Here’s a pipe I’ve created that attempts to marshal the content from hyperlocal blogging in Birmingham and allow people only to subscribe to feeds that interest them. This is a piece of investigation and experimentation that I’ve been able to find the time to do thanks to Will Perrin and his hyperlocal blogging initiative Talk About Local. Will also helped define the reason why it would be useful to do — for what he called “lazy journalists”.
Lazy here is used in the same way that it might be used — in praise — of a computer programmer; that is, lazy means you’ll work hard at setting yourself up right to make sure you get everything you need easily later on. Will got to the crux of the argument by saying that journalists interested in a subject — let’s say noise abatement issues — could easily find examples of those at a local level outside the areas they physically know.
So this is a run through of the decisions made in building it (and what other options could work), it’s no more than a prototype at this stage so comments and improvements are very welcome. However if you would rather just get stuck into the pipe itself, head on over.
Someone I did get to talk to at the Digital Britian was Will Perrin of Talk About Local — a new project to : ” give people in their communities a powerful online voice. We want to help people communicate and campaign more effectively and influence events in the places in which they live, work or play.”
Will is at the forefront of work in hyperlocal blogging, so I was interested in his view on how the report talked about local news as a priority worth paying for: