Yesterday, Placeblooger.com launched its searchable index of local blogs, placeblogs. The local blogs in this hand-assembled directory are more than just local news sites. They are sites that provide the texture of the culture and life of their local communities. Placeblogger was developed by Lisa Williams, who runs H2OTown with advice and support from Dan Gillmore's Center for Citizen Media, Jay Rosen professor of journalism at New York University and the author PressThink and Susan Mernit at Yahoo!
At launch the list included 700 placeblogs, a number that it is expected to rapidly grow. The intent is to grow a community and resources around this form of hyper-local blogging. The site today offers a searchable index and links to a placeblogger discussion list, the first steps toward developing a.community for locally oriented bloggers.
When I first heard Lisa Williams discuss this project several months ago at a meeting of the Berkman Thursday Blog Group meeting, I was excited by how many placeblogs were included in the project. These placeblogs fill a void left by the waning of local newspapers and the growth of online media.