Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dan Gillmor's new blog

Dan Gillmor's citizen journalism idea is getting its first try out in a community site for Silicon Valley called Bayosphere. I'll be watching with interest, even from about 6,000 miles away, just to see how it works. I'd love something like that in London.

I've moved my blog to Bayosphere, where I'll report and comment on the Silicon Valley technology community -- and a whole lot more including my observations about the burgeoning arena that's variously called citizen journalism, personal publishing, grassroots media and a lot of other things. They all have something in common: the read-write Web.

What would a London version of this kind of site look like? How different would it have to be? Is there an audience?

What struck me most about the local journalism when I first moved here was that there is very little of it. You have the free, ad-supported newspapers that no one really reads (the articles seem designed just to fill the spaces between the ads) and then the national media. The local BBC broadcasts provide some news communities can use, but not much.

There was a huge fire in our neighborhood a couple of years ago. We could hear the roar from about a mile away, it woke us up. Coverage? It got mentioned once on the BBC -- during the traffic report. As for what happens in local government -- such as it is -- I hear almost nothing.

Compared with the U.S., there's a bigger gap here between the elite, national media (who mostly talk to each other) and the local community. A site like this would fill that gap nicely.

[Updated to correct the distance between the bay area and London.]

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