Posted by: rowenawilcox | March 15, 2010

Hyperlocal: Angel or Demon?

Along with ‘niche’, ‘hyperlocal’ has become the buzz word of the century so far.

It has seen the vast realms of cyberspace split into millions of sub-spaces that house communities of interest, shared ideals and even geographic communities.

All of these are united by their chosen blog or website to frequent and unlike the web itself, the information you receive is specifically targeted at you as you have expressed an interest within the subject area, albeit a Chilean wine appreciation society, the Cardiff Devils fan club or a Valley’s online forum.

These sites act as a Google replica and bring you the things you will find most relevant.

Anyone can start a blog and tailor it to their main interest and as a result, create a following, an online community, based on the shared ideals that knowledge of a specialist subject brings.

All members are united by a particular passion for whatever you are blogging about and so your blog becomes a hub of interactivity as the integral link that gives each member a forum for discussion and unites the community.

Within this community, there’s room for interactivity-something the media industry has pioneered for many, many years with radio phone-ins, letters to the editor and stories that are open to user comments on their website.

You can get involved with the things that matter to you and as hyperlocal communities have a niche target audience, membership is somewhat exclusive.

However, the downside of hyperlocal content and attracting a niche audience is that the business ethos that has encapsulated the entire media industry rears its ugly head and the fundamental bond that unites all members of the community becomes a saleable commodity.

It can be extrapolated, magnified and then used to bring you an overwhelming abundance of targeted advertising and spam so the hyperlocal element seems to turn against you.

Twitter introduces lists in the later part of last year to allow for these shared ideals to be fed with a constant stream of potentially interesting followers, you can add and should like as the list’s creator has said you will.

You recommend people of interesting to your followers, relying on the fact you have a bond created by an interest, location or hobby and so Advertiser’s Paradise, a place where Spam Central is the capital city, virus’ roam free and you are a potential victim is the destination.

Bon voyage!


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