Nowadays there is a strong focus on local content so it makes sense that as circulation and ad revenue decline and foreign and national bureaus all but disappear, newspapers jump on the bandwagon. But it seems communities are coming together and forming their own online forums where news and insights are shared and people are connected.
In class, we heard from Lisa Williams who created the local blog site H2otown and during WBUR's broadcast of its weekly show, Radion Boston, Cape Cod Today was featured. Even Boston has a site--9Neighbors--run by Rick Burnes, co-founder of Faneuil Media.
It's a community-ranked news site where Bostonians can share their pictures, blogs and news all while connecting and making friends. The site even has its own blog where Burnes posts about different projects the site will launch and helpful tips for users.
I particularly liked its newest endeavor, its Pothole Map where users can submit those pesky potholes throughout the city streets which are displayed using Google Maps.
I found some other interesting local information such as the fact that Martin Scorsese will be in East Boston shooting for his new film Ashecliffe. Shooting will be near Sumner Street. How ironic-- I use to live on Sumner Street. There goes my big chance at becoming an extra. I wasn't a fan of living in Eastie but it sure would have made it better if there were some movies being filmed right off my street while I was there!
Projects such as these do have the potential to create some competition for newspapers although I don't see it as a threat. It's an interesting alternative to the smaller issues that won't be covered by newspapers but mean a lot to the community. Take for instance, the deplorable service provided by Comcast (besides my own horror stories, I've heard too many to count from other customers) and the fact that there is virtually no other cable company to choose from throughout most of the city. Even Universal Hub commented on it. Both stories were pulled onto
9Neighbors along with other issues specific to communities throughout the Bean. These are most likely not going to be covered by the mainstream media.
For more pinpointed local coverage and for a little connectivity to those in the community, these sites offer a great way for people to communicate.