Great news. Lisa Williams has launched Placeblogger, covering hyperlocal news sites around the nation.
What’s a placeblog? Lisa explains:
Placeblogs are sometimes called “hyperlocal sites” because some of them focus on news events and items that cover a particular neighborhood in great detail — and in particular, places that might be too physically small or sparsely populated to attract much traditional media coverage. Because of this, many people have associated them with the term “citizen journalism,” or journalism done by non-journalists.
Placeblogs, however, are about something broader than news alone. They’re about the lived experience of a place. That experience may be news, or it may simply be about that part of our lives that isn’t news but creates the texture of our daily lives: our commute, where we eat, conversations with our neighbors, the irritations and delights of living in a particular place among particular people. However, when news happens in a community, placeblogs often cover those events in unique and nontraditional ways…
Jay Rosen’s PressThink and the Center for Citizen Media are proud “co-presenters” of Placeblogger. The Drupal specialists at Bryght are handling the technology. Jay and I, with Yahoo’s Susan Mernit, are advisors.
But you should think of the site as Lisa’s, who’s the driving spirit — and yours, in a sense, because it will need the help of many folks as it proceeds.
Lisa is the founder and operator of H2otown, the other Placeblogger presenter and the excellent site that covers Watertown, Massachusetts, with a keen eye and ear. She’s a natural at this stuff, and when she decided to give Placeblogger a try — long before the name came to anyone — she was the obviously best person to do it.
The site contains a fantastic directory of some 750 placeblogs, arranged by geography and mostly (so far) inside the United States. It will grow.
One of the first postings is a list of Lisa’s top-ten U.S. placeblogs. I expect the list will engender some comment and, no doubt, dispute. But that’s a good sign, and no doubt the list will change over time. Here’s it is, anyway:
1. Baristanet, Montclair, NJ
2. Edhat, Santa Barbara, CA
3. Fresno Famous, Fresno, CA
4. Westport Now, Westport, CT
5. ChiTown Daily News, Chicago, IL
6. New Haven Independent, New Haven, CT
7. Gotham Gazette, New York, NY
8. Philly Future, Philadelphia, PA
9. MNSpeak, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
10. Duke City Fix, Albuquerque, NM
Are you a placeblogger, or do you know about one? Please visit the site, and help Lisa broaden and deepen the knowledge she’s collecting.