10 thoughts on “Going local

  1. That’s a great post, Sarah. Really glad you could come across and visit the Black Country Social Media Cafe.

    Everyone is still getting their heads around hyperlocals, it’s fair to say. Even those that are doing it.

    It’s amazing where sites such as this have taken off. It could be a town, a village, a housing estate or a tower block. But in order for hyperlocals to really work I can’t help but think that smaller surely has to be better. They can fill the gap brilliantly that newspapers don’t.

    With that in mind they are absolutely tailor made for parishes and housing estates. It’s all about having a group of people with a common set of interests but not too big or too small. It can be the parish magazine online, for example.

    It’ll be interesting to see how councils respond to them.

    A hyperlocal blog may be a really good way for a community to stay in touch with a regeneration project on a particular estate, for example….

  2. Sarah, a very interesting and thought-provoking post, thank you.

    I was there last night but had to dash off a bit early so didn’t really have a chance to chat with you. You might like to check out my website ‘The Bloxidge Tallygraph’ which is part ‘hyperlocal community newspaper’, part blog and part local history magazine for Bloxwich and district.

    Bloxwich is a large village/small town within Walsall Metropolitan Borough and has a very distinct identity. Although administered by Walsall Council, Bloxwich people have always upheld the difference of the village from Walsall, and there is a rivalry that goes back to the English Civil War and probably before. The ‘Tallygraph’ is basically me doing my bit for the local community.

    By the way, ‘Bloxidge Tallygraph’ is old Black Country for ‘Bloxwich Telegraph’, the name derives from a scurrilous local news-sheet of the 1870s.

    See: http://www.thebloxidgetallygraph.com


    Stuart Williams

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on hyperlocal Sarah. We are just starting a project in rural Cambridgeshire to explore using social media to improve community cohesion. It’s so helpful to keep getting different perspectives on what hyperlocal means to local authorities, especially as I didn’t get to TAL09 and we don’t have a social media café (yet!). I will no doubt be blogging once our project gets started.

    I completely agree that providing content of value to communities is something local authorities can do, as well as providing training and support (which we already do for general IT/internet skills). For example we have a community website http://www.cambridgeshire.net and have been developing widgets and feeds that can be plugged into community sites or partner sites.

  4. Thanks Stuart – sorry we didn’t get to chat, maybe at a future BCSMC!

    I’ll certainly take a look at the Tallygraph as another example of Hyperlocal. I’ve started investigating what is about in Derbyshire but it seems quite thin on the ground at the moment! However, all this talk of hyperlocal has given me the idea to have a session on it at a future Derby/shire Social Media Cafe so watch this space (well, this space – http://socialmediacafe.org.uk actually)!

  5. Thanks Michele,
    I’d be interested to know how you get on with this as my own thoughts are running along the lines of cohesion in rural communities! Sounds like we may be taking a similar path.

    I’ll also check out Cambridgeshire.net as it sounds like a really useful resource for the community.

  6. Thanks Dan – really pleased to have been welcomed to the BCSMC! It was useful (and enjoyable) to come over and chat with you guys.

    Hyperlocal is something I am definitely going to make the time to look at further as I think there is certainly a place for local councils and huge benefits to getting these blogs / websites going for each community.

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