Why Outside.in may have the local solution

“On June 17 I bookmarked this item from Mike Caulfield… On June 19 I noticed that Jim Groom had responded to Mike’s post. Ten days later I noticed that Mike had become Jim’s new favorite blogger. #

Now, Outside.in allows me to post URLs much like one would do in Newsvine or Digg any number of other collaborative citizen media services. But Outside.in leverages the zip code data point as the topical vector rather than a set of predetermined one-size-fits-all categories. It then allows miscellaneous tagging to be the subservient navigational pivot. #

“They’ve built a platform that placebloggers can submit their content to. Their platform “tags” that content with a geocode — an address, zip code, or city — and that renders a new page for every location that has tagged content. If you visit outside.in/10010, you’ll find out what’s going on in the neigborhood around Union Square Ventures. If you visit outside.in/back_bay, you’ll see what’s going on in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.” #

Again, the local online media model isn’t new. In fact, it’s old. CitySearch in the US and UpMyStreet in the UK proved years ago that a market does in fact exist in local media somehwere somehow, but the market always feels fragile and susceptible to ghost town syndrome. #

“Why doesn’t Craigslist choose small towns? Because there isn’t enough liquidity in the market. Let me put that another way. In cities, there are enough buyers and sellers to make markets work – whether of used stuff, new stuff, events, etc, etc. #

If they commit to building essentially micro media brands based exclusively on location I suspect Outside.in will run itself into the ground spending money to establish critical mass in every neighborhood around the world. #

“Any piece of content that is tagged with a zip code will be assigned to the corresponding area within outside.in’s system. You can include the zip code as either a tag or a category, depending on your blogging platform.” #

I love this. #

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  2. OK Matt.
    I have added my zip code to all my blog posts on http://kitchen-exchange.blogspot.com/and my other blogs.
    I am that local kitchen designer you talked about above, who blogs informatively and has an educational web site.
    I am located about ten miles south of your home.
    If you had Googled “San Francisco Kitchen Designer”, or CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer), or “independent kitchen designer” I would have popped right up. That’s because I pay close attention to what is happening on the web, especially in the Bay Area, most especially about kitchen design.
    I also could have told you all you learned on that fateful day the building inspector stopped by your site. As could have most any experienced designer or architect in the area. But some people have to learn the hard way.
    Good luck with your project Matt.

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