Doing Local Right

Great presentation by Simon Willison, Doing Local Right, he used to be at LJ World and they do some great things over there, superb products. While I’m on the subject, is there a Montréal equivalent to Lawrence.com ? I’m talking real equivalent, not some watered down crapass “supposed” to be site, something of a similar quality to what the LJ crew put together.

  1. Bof!

    In my opinion, as soon as an “aggregator” type service is moderated by one person, then it becomes just like a regular newspaper.

    The bands listed are chosen personally by the lawrence.com crew. They clearly don’t want to be “cluttered with hobby bands”… where’s the “community” in that?.

    They should let the community decide what bands should be listed, what restaurants are good and what events are worth attending. It’s the people who live and visit Lawrence who know Lawrence, not some cheap-labour intern.

    The idea is good but still needs some work to turn it into a REAL local site. I’m pretty sure they don’t post information for a small local garage sale.

    Also, I don’t think it’s right for those guys to have taken over the domain lawrence.com knowing all too well that there’s a city named Lawrence in at least 6 different states.

    Oh yah, and it also took me about 5 minutes to figure out where this specific Lawrence was located (Kansas).

    Totally uncool.

  2. “In my opinion, as soon as an “aggregator” type service is moderated by one person, then it becomes just like a regular newspaper.” They don’t aim to not be a newspaper, they aim to use online possibilities to be a different newspaper.

    “The bands listed are chosen personally by the lawrence.com crew. They clearly don’t want to be “cluttered with hobby bands”… where’s the “community” in that?.” And where’s the word “community” in his post or mine? Even if it was, building a site for a “real life” community, as in a city does not require a web 2.0 online community. Editorial decisions are still required and interesting in a lot of settings, who said everything needed to be crowd sourced nowadays just because they can?

    “I’m pretty sure they don’t post information for a small local garage sale.” You mean like “here”:http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/categories/automotive/ ?

    The point is not to make their newspaper website a digg or wikipedia or forum clone, it’s to build a platform where they can mix and match data in ways that aren’t doable on paper and are useful to the citizens of Lawrence Kansas.

    Who cares if it took you five minutes to find where that specific Lawrence is? It’s not a web 2.0 application for everyone, it’s a local site for locals, they know where their Lawrence is. All parts of the internet can be accessed from anywhere (normally), doesn’t mean that every site has to cater to the world at large.

    I’ll give you the .com point although how that relates to “doing local right”, I’m not sure?

  3. Hi Patrick,

    Good point for the geographic location of Lawrence. Assuming the locals know where they live, this site doesn’t need to specify their state. Makes sense.

    After a second look, I must admit they do a great job of mixing data and presenting it in a way that is much more accessible than on paper.

    Thanks for clarifying these things.

  4. @Simon: Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen one first-hand. What I meant by “real local site” was more in regards to a site where most of the content is generate by the people who live there (and visit), as opposed to 1 person, or a committee. LJworld seems to do that rather well, so my first comment was misguided.

    lawrence.com kind of reminds me of an online version of the old NightLife and Vice Magazines that were distributed in Canada for many years. Although it’s obviously a few steps ahead of the printed medium.

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