Destination Local – examples of (non Twitter) coverage

It is now just under two weeks since NESTA launched Destination Local, a major new £1million programme designed to understand and stimulate the development of a UK hyperlocal media sector, led by NESTA and the Technology Strategy Board.

Below is a roundup of some of the links and discussions I’ve come across relating to the initiative and my accompanying report “Here and Now – UK hyperlocal media today”.

Insight and Comment

*** Deborah Fox, Programme Manager, Creative Economy, NESTA writes about the programme in more detail on the Community Knowledge Transfer website.

*** Five hyperlocal take-aways from the Here and Now report – Sarah Hartley, Talk About Local

A good point well made here I think, very often those of us in the UK look to the States to see what’s happening (usually with a feeling of funding-envy) and wonder what, if any, of the activity will spark interest over here. But, of course, the landscape is very different.

*** Bonanza Time As #Hyperlocal in the UK Goes Mobilelondonhyperlocal

…maybe there is a more carefully thought out plan in operation here. Nesta issued a report at the same time which was a review of the hyperlocal scene – ‘Here and Now’. Despite the unflappable desire to celebrate the sector on behalf of the authors, it made for depressing reading. The focus was, as ever, on a small group of sites and was broadly an attempt to cheer-lead for them but the lack of numbers on visitors and revenues and the sheer mediocrity of some of the sites featured reinforced the impression that the key competency needed is networking rather than giving a local community what they need. If there is an underlying recognition that as it stands the hyperlocal sector is not going to fill the growing gap in local media provision then it may have brought Nesta round to thinking it is time for something new hence the concentration on mobile.

Although the sums of money are small there are plenty of people out there with the skills and inventiveness to come up with useful apps within a small budget. They are not the same people who are currently involved in the hyperlocal sphere. If the money is spent wisely it will attract a new set of younger, less conservative people into hyperlocal one of whom may develop and application that gets widely used. Anything would be preferably to doling out the cash to the more well-connected and vocal members of the hyperlocal community who have little expertise in mobile and have thus far generally failed to crack the problems.

*** Nesta searches for pioneering hyperlocal services – How-Do

Paul Egglestone, project lead and head of digital at UCLan, one of the partners in the project was quoted as saying:

We are actively prototyping and testing radically new forms of interaction between people and the internet that have not been seen before.

“Being able to place the paper in the middle of the internet opens up a whole new ball park in the ways we can both tell stories, but also how we can collect data. Who’s holding the paper, who’s touching it, how are they interacting is part and parcel of the kind of stuff this project will explore.

*** Lichfield Live mentioned in review of hyperlocal media – Philip John, Lichfield Live

Here and Now is a review conducted for NESTA by Damian Radcliffe who has long tracked the sector whilst working at Ofcom. It’s very interesting reading for anyone interested in the hyperlocal sector.

Round ups

Hyperlocal in the spotlight with Destination Local – Sarah Hartley, Talk About Local

Developments in UK hyperlocal scene – William Perrin, Talk About Local

NESTA announces details of hyperlocal research and funding – David Wilcox

5 hyperlocal things {UPDATED} (or may be 6) – Online Journalism Blog

Press Release

Creative Scotland announce Funding for hyperlocal media – The Edinburgh Reporter

Call for ideas to develop hyperlocal media sector in Scotland – Creative Scotland

Hyperlocal media receives £1m funding boost – The Drum

£1million boost to develop UK hyperlocal media sector – Creative Boom

D-Log – David Haden, which includes some links to a few new (for me hyperlocal sites) Creative Stoke and Good News from Stoke (hyperlocal)



List of Digital and New Media reports – The CDI Alliance

Hyperlocal – one every two minutes – Dave Harte

The Rise of Data Journalism – Storify by NESTA, UK

NESTA Seeks Innovators – Lothian Life

Law and Media Round Up – 2 April 2012Inforrm’s Blog (The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog)

Street Fight Daily – New $1.6 Million U.K. Program Puts Hyperlocal News Sites in the Spotlight (Talk About Local)
“Sarah Hartley: Local websites, community blogs and all manner of hyperlocal activity will be put center stage by a new initiative looking to both study and importantly, fund, some projects. The £1 million Destination Local program announced today is designed to “understand and stimulate the development of a U.K. hyperlocal media sector” and is led by Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board.”

Hyperlocal website Effra Blog nets 1,500 hits – Brixton Blog

The news comes the week that a definitive report by hyperlocal expert and friend of the Brixton Blog, Damian Radcliffe, outlined the importance of emerging local news websites. The study, entitled Here and Now, was part of a project for the charity Nesta.

2 responses to “Destination Local – examples of (non Twitter) coverage

  1. Liked the report, although I am surprised it missed out some of the major (web) hyperlocal initiatives such as the ODPM funded and the story of the now defunkt UK villages online and Geocities.

    • Fraser, good points.

      In terms of older stuff like UK villages and Geocities, we tried to focus on the Here and Now (hence the name of the paper) rather than tell the history. Although there’s an interesting story in there for sure.

      For latter day, sadly we couldn’t include everything, even in 15,000 word report, which meant many interesting and good examples didn’t make the final cut. e-voice is one. I would argue Facebook and white label tools like WordPress have had more of an impact, hence their relative prominence in the report. However, you’re very welcome to disagree!

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