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Placeblogger.com launches: Anyone out there?

January 2, 2007

It’s the New Year, and I almost forgot about this new site launch — Placeblogger.com

Placeblogger.com pic (courtesy of Poynter)I met Lisa Williams, the power behind the Watertown, Mass. community news site H2Otown, a few months ago at a journalism blogging seminar in Harrisburg.

Since meeting her and hearing her extensive insights into newspaper and community blogging, I’ve had the blog bug.

I started this blog, Hard Drive Life, soon after … I hope this bug is contagious!

Williams is one of the forces behind Placeblogger.com, a searchable index of local news blogs around the country and world.

What exactly is a “placeblog?” Here’s the scoop from Poynter:

What’s a placeblog? Williams defines it as “an act of sustained attention to a particular place over time. It can be done by one person, a defined group of people, or in a way that’s open to community contribution. It’s not a newspaper, though it may contain random acts of journalism. It’s about the lived experience of a place.” Her own community site for Watertown, Mass, H20town, is an example of a placeblog.

While many placeblogs focus on hyperlocal news and citizen journalism, others are more personal views about life in that town or region.

Placeblogger allows you to find and list placeblogs. Each placeblog listing includes a map, link, and other information. I know Lisa is a major fan of OPML, so expect some sophisticated feed options later from Placeblogger. Apparently, wikis will be part of the mix. And there’s already a discussion forum for placebloggers.

PressThink has posted about the launch, with a list of the Top 10 “placeblogs” on the new site:

The launch package includes a top ten list of the best placeblogs in the US…

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

Looking at the index for the Lancaster-York-Harrisburg area, it’s slim pickings. Only the York Daily Record’s blog site is featured in York County, none are listed yet for Lancaster (and I’m not really a community news blog…so I exclude myself from listing there), and Harrisburg has only its LiveJournal community listed.

That’s pretty sad. Where’s the whole PennLive community of bloggers?

I’ll be keeping an eye on those local bloggers’ lists, and try to give our readers a heads-up on Placeblogger’s progress. Good luck Lisa!

Boing Boing: Placeblogger.com launches: searchable index of local blogs

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