world-wide t-ball scores
December 13, 2004 1:03 PM   Subscribe wants to see a thousand tiny websites bloom, created by neighbors, for neighbors, and supported by local advertising. The founders' assumption is that many little people creating content for free will put big dollars in their pockets. (WaPo link, reg. req.) Is there an information gap in your life that "hyperlocal" websites could fill?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders (20 comments total)
i'd hold off on any major investment in this.
posted by quonsar at 1:08 PM on December 13, 2004

We already have one of those here in Toronto. It's called Ask MetaFilter.

Seriously, though, speaking as a sports team captain who has tried valiantly to issue team communication through a website bbs, it's really tough to get a wide range of people to see and use the web as a general-purpose communications medium. It's simply not an idea that a lot of people have adapted to. You've probably tried to explain a funny MetaFilter discussion to your significant other before, and they just don't get it.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 1:09 PM on December 13, 2004

I feel like I was duped just investing the time it took to throw that post together. Who looks at the average person and thinks: hey, look, a long-term, dedicated content creator!

Well, besides Matt Haughey, I mean.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:11 PM on December 13, 2004

Dude, I just had a flashback to 1997 when there were all these companies with incredibly stupid business plans.

Unless the town is a wired town, what's the point of this?

And I think this is a first, stupidsexyflanders, the author of the post, is bashing himself for posting it!

Damn, now the universe is gonna implode, thanks SSF!
posted by fenriq at 1:16 PM on December 13, 2004

no fenriq, cardosa did it first, and with much greater elan.
posted by quonsar at 1:19 PM on December 13, 2004

When I lived in Charlottesville, Va, I used to love the super-local For my new neighborhood, I've started something just like it that I will refrain from self-linking to... I think that there is definitely a need for this, if maybe not in that particular business model.
posted by john m at 1:20 PM on December 13, 2004

john m, me too. I think there is a need, but it only works when there's one dedicated person doing it because they believe in it. A business model that assumes people will line up to fill out a geocities-type interface for benefit of The Man twice a week is indeed totally 1997.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:32 PM on December 13, 2004

I think it's a great idea and has a lot of potential usefulness. If they could design a website package that would cater to organizational news, announcements, calendars, etc., it could be successful.

The problem is this: I've tried to use the web to get news out to organizations, but I'm not tech-savvy enough to be able to come up with a decent web page that's easily updatable, archivable, etc. I tried to use blogs and stuff for that, but they don't lend themselves to organizations that well.

If you could come up with a web page package that could do that, and be easily useable by, say, a secretary or office manager who is not a web designer, you might have a winner. The business model of getting local support might be good too: If a restaurant is willing to sponsor a little league team, make an ad on the team's website part of the package.

This WILL happen eventually; it's just a matter of when.
posted by Doohickie at 1:39 PM on December 13, 2004

We already have something (with much more functionality and design) like this for the UK:-
posted by SpaceCadet at 1:47 PM on December 13, 2004

I can't really tell, SC, but that looks very "systems" oriented -- a local view of big datasets like utility providers, business directories, etc. what I don't see is the quirky locally reported news -- hard to do and hard to find people to do it well.

Also, what is it about the UK that "upmy____" doesn't cause a lot of sniggering and chortling? Is this just me?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:58 PM on December 13, 2004

Dan Gillmour described something similar and called it "Open Source Journalism", borrowing the term from the editor of the Bakersfield Californian, who took her paper OSJ something close to a year ago. iBrattleboro and The Northwest Voice remain the only really active examples I know of that are not basically shoppers put onto the web [self /]. (There are probably others; I just haven't seen them.) Thing is, it has to have an audience that wants it, or grand ideas can become laughingstocks.

But I think there's a natural evolution likely here, as local free rags go farther into the web space. It will happen. But right now, the infrastructure to develop the critical mass just isn't there in most places.
posted by lodurr at 2:14 PM on December 13, 2004

stupidsexyFlanders point (that people won't necessarily be eager to volunteer their time for these projects) is important. is a similar project. The "44122" section has one short entry that I wrote months and months ago just to test the thing out. Still, I think the idea has potential and I'd like to see something come of it. I guess I'm not the sort of person who takes initiative in these sorts of things but I'd partipate in such a site if it gathered some momentum.

I'm sure I came across here and I think that there was one more such site that's been posted here. Can anyone think of it?
posted by stuart_s at 2:46 PM on December 13, 2004

Also, "hyperlocal" doesn't mean "very local." It means, rather, a phenomenon that transcends place, much like the ambiance of any given airport departure gate maps perfectly onto any other.
posted by Adam Greenfield at 3:23 PM on December 13, 2004

Hmm... is that really true, though? "Hyperlocal" sure sounds like it should mean "very local", not "transcending locality", and every use that I've seen of the term only means the latter if you really stretch your interpretation.
posted by lodurr at 4:07 PM on December 13, 2004

There's a need, but no profit in it. As other people said--it has to be a labor of love.
posted by amberglow at 4:25 PM on December 13, 2004

It looks a lot like I-neighbors but not free, lacking content, and not displayed correctly.
Meetup is similar, but for the sole purpose of (!) meeting up with people.

Note: I didn't read the Washington Post article.
posted by nTeleKy at 6:14 PM on December 13, 2004

I joined I-neighbors in early October. I was the second member registered for a fairly large neighborhood (10,000+ households) in Seattle. There are still just two of us. I'm not holding my breath.
posted by WestCoaster at 6:47 PM on December 13, 2004

it has to be a labor of love.

And other people have to care about your labor of love. And there's the rub.
posted by Arch Stanton at 7:14 PM on December 13, 2004

I'm not the sort of person who takes initiative in these sorts of threads, but I'll participate in them, once they've gathered some momentum.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:28 AM on December 14, 2004

lodurr, as far as I can tell the recent use that so dominates, e.g., Google all stems from one article. Doesn't make it correct, however: it still doesn't mean "very."

Think about the prefix in the context of "hyperspace" and "hyperreal."
posted by Adam Greenfield at 9:19 PM on December 14, 2004

« Older All killer no filler   |   Nothing--you're screwed. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments