Tag Archives: ultralocal

2011: the UK hyper-local year in review

In this guest post, Damian Radcliffe highlights some topline developments in the hyper-local space during 2011. He also asks for your suggestions of great hyper-local content from 2011. His more detailed slides looking at the previous year are cross-posted at the bottom of this article.

2011 was a busy year across the hyper-local sphere, with a flurry of activity online as well as more traditional platforms such as TV, Radio and newspapers.

The Government’s plans for Local TV have been considerably developed, following the Shott Review just over a year ago. We now have a clearer indication of the areas which will be first on the list for these new services and how Ofcom might award these licences. What we don’t know is who will apply for these licences, or what their business models will be. But, this should become clear in the second half of the year.

Whilst the Leveson Inquiry hasn’t directly been looking at local media, it has been a part of the debate. Claire Enders outlined some of the challenges facing the regional and local press in a presentation showing declining revenue, jobs and advertising over the past five years. Her research suggests that the impact of “the move to digital” has been greater at a local level than at the nationals.

Across the board, funding remains a challenge for many. But new models are emerging, with Daily Deals starting to form part of the revenue mix alongside money from foundations and franchising.

And on the content front, we saw Jeremy Hunt cite a number of hyper-local examples at the Oxford Media Convention, as well as record coverage for regional press and many hyper-local outlets as a result of the summer riots.

I’ve included more on all of these stories in my personal retrospective for the past year.

One area where I’d really welcome feedback is examples of hyper-local content you produced – or read – in 2011. I’m conscious that a lot of great material may not necessarily reach a wider audience, so do post your suggestions below and hopefully we can begin to redress that.

Advertisements

Ultralocal blogs update and a new local directory: nutshell.org.uk

Last week Paul Bradshaw and I launched an exercise (background) last week to identify and map as many “ultralocal” (*) blogs and websites as possible.

We have had almost 140 blogs and websites added, albeit with a certain amount of “creative marketing” in the mix, which will reduce the total – depending on the criteria used by each person using the data.

There are so many blogs which can be called “local”, with a wide range of purposes, that I think we are likely to end up with a series of directories rather than a single monolithic website. Otherwise the directory might become so large as to be unmaintainable.

Life in a Nutshell

I have an interest in independent commentary and a movement to rebuild politics from the grassroots upwards. I think a key to this is to react to the recent political scandals by seeking a broader, more rounded view of politics, rather than either rejecting or ignoring political life.

So I’m kicking off with a directory – called Nutshell – based on the following criteria:

* Sites focused on a defined and identified area or community.
* Sites edited and controlled from within that area or community.
* Sites which are editorially independent.

I’m also listing local websites (such as forums) which are not on a blog platform, local aggregators, local directories and networks of sites which are centrally managed.

20090817-new-nutshell-local-blog-directory-launches

Nutshell is built using WordPress, but I’d hope in the future to move to a platform which will enable website-managers to create their own accounts and edit their own details.

Wrapping Up

I’m expecting other directories to be coming along, I hope including one from Talk about Local listing the 150 sites that the project aims to help set up as they are created.

And someone needs to create a Google map of the sites submitted.

Watch this space.