Hyperlocal, What is It?

I’ve seen the term hyperlocal come up three times lately. I decided to spend some time to find out what it is exactly and how it is being used.
Of course, Wikipedia comes up first in the results I get from Google. : Hyperlocal –

refers to the emergent ecology of data (including textual content), aggregators, publication mechanism and user interactions and behaviours which centre on a resident of a location and the business of being a resident. Hyperlocal content, often referred to as hyperlocal news, is characterized by three major elements. Firstly, it refers to entities and events that are located within a well defined, community scale area. Secondly, it is intended primarily for consumption by residents of that area. Thirdly, it is created by a resident of the location (but this last point is discussed because for example a photo can be hyperlocal but not locally produced).

Hyperlocal World – Developments in news, people and the first law of geography.
HyperlocalBlogger.com – Tips and discussion for local bloggers.
Hyperlocal 101 – Tools and technique for the hyperlocal revolution.

Blog TO is a hyperlocal news blog from Toronto. It comes from a network, Freshdaily.ca (site is not up).

Other hyperlocal blog networks:

Individual hyperlocal content blogs:

If hyperlocal blogging is interesting you take a look at TwitterLocal, which gives you a Twitter feed by location and LocalTweeps which is a directory built with zip codes. Also, look for blog directories based on regional locations, each blog you find there is a possible source of news and events locally. You may find other locals to post their perspectives, advertising, photos and news stories on your hyperlocal blog. Of course everything local is a marketing/ promotion resource for a hyperlocal blog. You don’t need to be in to top rank of international lists for blogs, keep your focus on local in every way.

The links for networks and especially those for individual hyperlocal blogs are just a few I found when I went looking. There are masses of sites once you know what to look for. Some don’t use the term hyperlocal, they may call themselves citizen journalists, or maybe cell journalists.

NaNoTweetMo?

NaNoTweetMo – Would you want to write your 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo in Twitter? Can you imagine reformatting all of that to look like a standard manuscript?

Just to get an idea of how it would be to write in 140 characters at a time test it out with a word counter (or just use your Twitter account). Post what you get, 140 at a time, to your blog and then comment here so we can follow you and see how you wrote it. Fun?

Give a Link Even if you Don’t have a Blog

These days we assume people have a blog, not everyone does however. Or, some might not want to leave a link to their blog for whatever reason. (For instance, someone writing adult content might not want to have that link represent them when they are just sharing general information with others).

If you are leaving comments on blogs you could always add a link to something else, not a blog. How about a profile on a site where you use the forum, or a dating site? If you have Twitter or another social media site add that as your link/ website. You just need something that gives people a place to find you and give you some feedback too.  Even if it’s just to thank you for the comment.

Also, should you later want to link a blog to yourself you will be known by at least one link where people have followed you in the past.

Need Ideas for Writing about Climate Change for Blog Action Day?

Do you need ideas for writing about climate change for Blog Action Day tomorrow? (Blog Action Day on Twitter).

Everyone isn’t perfectly politically minded or caught up on all the environmental issues. Also, you may think about the idea of climate change personally versus globally.

That’s how I intend to write about it. So, here are some ideas that have come to my mind. I hope they help inspire you if you’ve been feeling stuck for just the right idea.

  • The seasons, what do you appreciate about having 4 seasons in the year?
  • What are your favourite winter and summer activities?
  • What do you think of those wind farms popping up?
  • What do you know about other alternative sources of energy?
  • Could you (or have you) chosen not to drive your car for the day?
  • Do you love the rain? What is your favourite memory from a rainy day?
  • How are winters different now than they were when you were a kid? Do you remember more snow or does it seem about the same?
  • Have you done things to reduce your carbon footprint?
  • Have you experienced any extreme weather, like tornadoes?
  • Do you use solar power for anything?
  • Do you think climate change could lead to an ice age in the far future?
  • Have you ever seen an iceberg?
  • Have you head about polar bears drowning due to habitat changes when the ice melts sooner than it used to?
  • Write about a day far in the future, when climate change and global warming are a reality.
  • Write about a day in the future when the south is cold and the north is warm as the climate changes.
  • Do you still think about the ozone hole now and then?
  • Have you ever traveled to a place where there is an extreme climate like the Arctic, the Sahara Desert or the Rain Forest?
  • What’s your favourite natural disaster movie?
  • Have you ever been stuck in the snow somewhere?
  • Have you ever seen a flood, even if it was just a ditch outside your home?
  • Do you conserve water?
  • Have you tried a water garden (like a pond), terrarium or xeriscaping (a garden designed to need little water)?
  • Do you ride a bike, could you ride instead of driving to work?
  • Have you gotten into the local food trend, shopping for food grown within 100 miles of your home?
  • Have you tried a hybrid car or any kind of alternative fuels?
  • What kind of weather do you most look forward to each year?
  • Which season costs the most when it comes to buying new clothes for yourself and your family?
  • Which season has the most family holidays and why do you think that is?
  • Are your home appliances energy savers? Do you like them?
  • Are ebooks energy savers versus reading old fashioned paperback books?
  • If you ruled the world what would you change to help the climate?

When Your Employer Wants your Twitter Account

Maybe I’m just being picky but, I don’t feel my Twitter account is open for business to my employer. The following comes from an ad looking for blog writers, part of what they expect in addition to passion and experience (experience wasn’t essential):

Bloggers who actively engage within their online communities and promote the content they write. 1 blog post + 3 twitter posts limited to 1 blog post + 3 twitter posts per day depending on length.

If you are being paid to write posts should you get paid extra for being their online marketer, taking care of promotions as well as the content? If you have your own blog you know promoting/ marketing takes up even more time than writing for the blog.  I find I spend masses of time looking at other blogs so I can leave comments and ideas, finding forums and groups I might join, then making an effort to be active in forums and groups I have joined and a hundred or so other things which I do every day. (Or try to!)

Should it be expected that you would use your own Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and other social media accounts this way? On one hand I understand, they want you to help promote yourself and your work (on their site). On the other hand… I consider my Twitter account personal, I don’t really want to have someone else tell me what to post or how often to post.

What do you think? Would you take the job knowing this is expected or would you change your mind about applying because of this? Of course, if you already use your Twitter account for blog promotion this may not make any difference to you.

  • Is it possible to open a new Twitter account just for stuff like this?
  • Would it be worth having a second account if no one signed up to read your Twitter ads?
  • Have you unsubscribed from a feed or Twitter account due to too many posts? Too much clutter?
  • Will you keep your friends and followers if your personal Twitter account runs more ads than personal chat?

I think it’s an issue that needs to be looked at. Most of the ads I read on the blog job boards had this expectation included. If you are a web writer be prepared and decide where you stand on the issue of letting your employer have a share of your Twitter account.