Here’s another hyperlocal voice: Robin Byles set up Sheffieldblog in 2008 when he returned to the city after working for the BBC. The site focuses on “The kind of stuff that may get featured as an aside in the local papers, but actually people are quite interested in and in the context of online, works really well.” More recently he’s also been involved in Crosspool.info. Here’s the full interview:
Who were the people behind the blog, and what were their backgrounds before setting it up?
I set the blog up on my own. I studied Media and Communications at UCE [now Birmingham City University], moved to London where I worked at the BBC for 8 years as a web editor and have now moved back north where I’m a digital editor for the University of Sheffield.
What made you decide to set up the blog?
A mixture of things really. I had seen one or two local blogs and knew that there wasn’t a major one covering my home town of Sheffield, so quite fancied setting something up.
I think living away from the area had given me a yearning for local news but not just the traditional stuff that I could read in the local paper or local news website.
I was also interested in the stories that people were talking about that didn’t always make the normal news outlets. This interesting stuff was out there on the internet and I liked the idea of being able to collate all this content and promote it from one place – a non-automated aggregator, I suppose.
I’m very fond of my home city and the pending move back home seemed like a good excuse to get something up and running.
I was also on the lookout for jobs at the time and knew that the more varied stuff that my CV had on it – in particular a place where I could do a bit of writing – the more it would help me find work. So part of the motivation was also a professional one. Continue reading