I was very interested to see the launch of the NY Times new hyperlocal sites for local communities. Jim Schachter, editor for digital initiatives at The New York Times, gives an interview to the Nieman Labs Blog. He makes clear there is an experimental aspect to this. “Schachter admitted, “We don’t know if the placeblogosphere wants us or needs us.” He said the first two sites are seeking a viable model that could be spread beyond five neighborhoods in Brooklyn and New Jersey.’
I have always had a thang for hyperlocal media like this that is embedded in its community. Probably just sentimentalism. See this piece I wrote on microbroadcasting in Texas, back before the war.
There is plenty of writing about hyperlocalism on the internet right now. See this post, explaining how to set up a hyperlocal blog. It is not just a US phenomenon: see the Guardian on localism in Scandinavia, which also points out that citizen journalism and hyperlocalism arent the same thing. This is also interesting for business: local search, local advertising, and the new technologies that help your phone and other devices know where you are give it a commercial edge. At the risk of irritating: Seth Godin, marketing guru, says “the next frontier is local!” His prose is relentlessly cheery and boosterish, but it is true that marketing sees big benefits in this.
I know – a lot of this is awful amateur nonsense and I cannot pretend that it is going to replace a job with a national daily newspaper. But some of it is entertaining and some of it is worthy (both would be great).