The street where I live could easily be home to Sally, Dick, Jane, and Spot, yet it boasts a marvelous diversity that makes it much more charming. Residing in this little suburb is an expensive habit, but there are incalculable benefits.
A group of people in my community recently formed a commission to assist city officials with the selection and implementation of new digital technology. At least a couple of the volunteers are interested in community building and hyperlocal media, which is why I attended one of their meetings earlier this week. I thought a few intrepid citizen journalists might have initiated a community news website, but the commission’s work is still in the discussion and planning stages.
It pleases me that the technology commission created a Yahoo! Group forum where its work is documented for all to see. The city’s technology director urged the commission volunteers to make their business transparent. Citizens unable to attend the commission’s meetings can still chime in with comments in the Yahoo! Group forum.
The proliferation of startups designed to facilitate online communities makes the prospect of choosing an online service for hyperlocal media daunting. Ideally, a local community website’s concept and design should be appealing to citizens of all ages. Above all, it must be easy to use. Free is also good. A company that shares its revenue with contributors whose articles, blogs, podcasts, and videos attract the most viewers is certainly nice.
I’m trying to identify existing grassroots media website services that might interest my neighbors. Here are just a few:
Backfence.com (closing) Hyperlocal Media, designing sites built with Moveable Type Newsvine, recently relaunched with new options for hyperlocal groups revver, for video sharing
SlideShare, for audiovisual presentations
Can you name other hyperlocal community web services like these? Please feel free to chime in here with a comment or a link. There’s a lot of territory to cover, and your comments are appreciated.