A few weeks ago Will Perrin asked me to do some writing for him. The brief was vast and vague – just how I like it – and having thought about the issues over December I’m going to process my thoughts in a series of blog posts.
This isn’t the end result. That’ll probably be a couple of articles for the Talk About Local website tying things together and making a point. This is social processing, where the act of talking about the subject helps me drill down and formulate my thoughts on it.
In short, Will wants me to examine where local media is going next. Buzz around “hyperlocal” has died down (one could say “the hype has left hyperlocal” if one were a witty wag) and there are stirrings from big media looking to move into this space with government support for local TV through the Localism bill. Meanwhile the online space appears to be fracturing into smaller and smaller pieces thanks to the dominance of Facebook and Twitter while the notion of an online community becomes so vague as to seem rather quaint.
Are we seeing a normalisation of the social internet? Is this, to all purposes, a return to the pre-2000s dynamic of a few big players dominating a lot of chatter? Are local blogs no different to local groups and societies? Or has there been a fundamental shift in how people relate to the places they live in? Did the blogging revolution actually happen?
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be working through these questions and many more. Since no-one really knows what’s going to happen in the future, least of all me, I’ll welcome your thoughts and ideas. This is, after all, social processing.
Image from this article about surfing where “localism” has a quite specific meaning.