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Getting Local: The Future of the Web?

Where do you get your local news these days? With more and more newspapers going bankrupt or cutting staff, it seems like the web is more and more the only place to get info about what’s going on in your neighborhood/town/city. Loads of websites have stepped up to fill the void, but many individual blogs or small news sites can’t quite make the cut because they don’t have enough staff or access.

That’s where Everyblock.com comes in. What if you went right to the source? Most cities log all sorts of information into online databases and many of those are actually open to the public. Everyblock takes local data such as crime data, city service requests, and construction projects, and lets you view it by location – address, zip, neighborhood, etc. In addition, Everyblock brings in online news articles, photos, real estate listings and business reviews to give you a detailed picture of all that’s going on around you.

Started in early 2008 using a grant from the Knight Foundation, the project has expanded throughout the course of 2008, and is now active in 11 cities: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, DC. More cities will come as more and more data becomes available.

Everyblock is likely the first of many projects like this. As the web expands more and more into our daily lives, the logical direction is for sites to focus in on our daily lives or at least at what surrounds our daily lives – news and events where we live.

By Jared Seltzer, Founding Partner of Rad CampaignAK