0273: New student orientation

Making the leap from high school to college is one of the most abrupt transitions a person will go through in their lives.  They are thrust from hometowns where the world made sense into an academic commune of sorts where there are new rules.  Many of those new rules can be found in the handbook, but most of them you need to figure out on your own.

The lack of available information coupled with new social and academic expectations can really do a number on an incoming freshman’s anxiety levels.  While there may be official places to get help and information, these may not be well publicized or may be too formal for the minutiae of a freshman’s various curiosities.

Fortunately, the local web exists as a way to fill in the anxiety inducing gaps between students and the information they need.  It also serves as a way to bring the community together in simple and digital ways.

At Colgate University you can find a local web slash for various freshman dorms, like /drake or /andrews.  This way students can social network on their phones, which they are already on anyways, and make valuable real word connections with the people who are probably just a few doors down.

The front page of the local web is a list of all the slashes in the area that people have created, sorted by activity.  If you want to find out what people are talking about at Colgate you might want to check the calendar or their twitter account.  But if you REALLY want to know what people are talking about, then check to see what is popular on the local web.  Incoming freshmen are asking questions and getting them answered at /incoming.freshman and various groups and volunteer organizations are spreading their own awareness to the study body simply be communicating on /volunteering.

The first few months for freshmen will invariably have more questions than answers.  By bringing students together online in a natural and fun way, freshmen can get the courage to break out of their social shells that form when life can be overwhelming.  The first step to growth as a group is getting everyone on the same page.  At Colgate, that page is the local web.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day. 

Signup at localweb.is

0272: /haiku.tag

haikutag

Group poetry

In east San Francisco there is a group of people playing haiku tag.  What is haiku tag and where did it start?  No one really knows.  There seems to be only one rule, you just post a haiku.  Because its the local web, all the haikus come from people nearby.  This doesn’t mean it will be the best haikus on the internet, but it certainly will be the most local.

Experimental slashes like these on the local web don’t need a lot of planning to get started.  Someone decided to post a haiku to localweb.is/haiku.tag and someone else decided to respond with another haiku.  Haiku tag was born.

Haiku tag isn’t an app or a startup.  It’s not a movement or a facebook group.  It’s just something fun to do on the local web if there are other in the area who want to play as well.  If there is no /haiku.tag in your area, simply start one.  All slashes start with essentially one person making a post.  It’s like dropping a hook into the local water and seeing if you can get a bite… or a poem.

2JpVgRO

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day. 

Signup at localweb.is

Photo via Steve Johnson

 

0271: /turkey.creek

turkeycreek

Live-blogging a creek because           why not?

There is a small creek that runs from the Kansas river down through Shawnee, Kansas.  It’s so inconsequential to most of humanity that it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry.   But, to one person who lives nearby, it’s pretty cool.

This person is live blogging the conditions and observations there at localweb.is/turkey.creek.

2FOwVtZ

You have to be in Shawnee to see their posts, which makes sense because no one outside of Shawnee really cares.

That’s the cool thing about location.  Distance is a proxy for relevance. If you live within walking distance to Turkey Creek, there is some value to this information.  It might be the case that you live nearby and didn’t even know about the creek because it never showed up     on Facebook or trended on Twitter.  But in South Shawnee, /turkey.creek is one of the most active slashes and if you are   browsing the local web, you can’t miss it.

This local web blogger sharing something special with the world, but given the distance limitations of the local web, he’s only sharing it with the world that might care.  That is the power of the local web.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day. 

Signup at localweb.is

 

0270: /take.back.lakeview

lakeview

Organizing your neighborhood with out jumping through hoops

Lake View is a community on Chicago’s North Side.  It’s home to Wrigley’s Field and also a 100,000 residents.  It doesn’t get the     attention for it crime that the South Side does, but that doesn’t       mean it’s residents haven’t had enough.  They have.

And when the residents feel as if the local politicians and police     aren’t listening, it’s time to take matters into their own hands             and get organized.

At a community meeting with over 100 residents in attendance, the ‘slash’ /take.back.lakeview was shared as a way to communicate.   There are other platforms to communicate on, but many platforms require onerous sign up and confirmation processes which can       hold things up and slow momentum.  If you were at this meeting,     and you had a browser on your phone, you could participate in /take.back.lakeview within a few seconds.  You don’t even have to   sign up to read what’s being said.

Communicating among each other is good, but what about spreading the word?   By simply posting in /take.back.lakeview, residents are pushing that slash to the top of the frontpage on Localweb.is on the north side of Chicago.  If you check the local web there, you will see this slash at number one.   This serves to bring in new residents who may be out of reach of the other organizing tools which don’t serve location particularly well.

The Localweb front page is a snapshot of what people in the area are thinking and talking about.   In the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago, it’s about taking back their community.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day..

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Joven J on Flickr

0269: /pax.meetups

paxmeetups

Ad hoc meetups on a whim

Meetups are best when they happen unplanned and on a whim.  If there is too much planning and people need to signup or register or check their schedules and RSVP then some of the magic is lost.

When you have thousands of people in the same place like at PAX East, there is no reason why meetups can’t occur among gamers with little warning or planning.  Everyone is there, they just need a little coordination.

That’s why smart planners are sowing the seeds of meetups on localweb.is/pax.meetups.  It’s a simple and fast way to post where you are thinking of meeting up to try and get a little traction.  Want to go to Thinking Cup coffee bar around 1pm?  Just post it.  Others looking to meetup will see your post on /pax.meetup and respond.  Maybe they want coffee instead of beer and pizza, or maybe they are already headed in that direction so why not stop by.

It can be hard to get people’s attention when there is so much to see and do at a huge event.  But the people who are checking /pax.meetup are those who actually want to meet up.  And because it’s the local web, they are within walking distance to you, which means they are the ones who have the ability to meet up.  Pair the desire to meet up and the ability to meet up and it’s not long before you are having coffee with some new friends at a local coffee bar.

Hat tip to @NotUilliam for the use case idea.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web comes online at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Thompson Plyer on Flickr

0268: /need.pax.tix

needpaxtix

When you need something, today

It’s two days before PAX East and you don’t have tickets.  You didn’t even plan on going because you had to cover someone’s shift at work, but now that person can take their shift again and you can go… if you had tickets. It’s too late to get them off eBay or from anyone that needs to ships them.  What do you do?

It’s two days before PAX East and you have tickets.  But some jackass from work really needs to you to cover his shift on Friday.  It sucks, but you have to get rid of your Friday ticket, but where do you do it?  You don’t have time to walk around and scalp them on the street.

In both cases, you just go to localweb.is/need.pax.tix and post that you are looking or selling.  /need.pax.tix didn’t exist a few minutes ago.  But when you type any local web URL into the browser and post, it’s automatically created.

There is lot of activity in Boston on the local web and many people are searching for PAX related slashes.  A quick search will turn up your /need.pax.tix and someone who is looking to buy or sell and get in touch with you.  This person is within walking distance.  After a few interactions, the /need.pax.tix slash moves higher on the local web front page, especially around the Boston Convention Center.  More people decide to either unload their PAX tickets or buy a few more for their friends.  Within 24 hours the /need.pax.ticket slash has become a thriving marketplace and continues right until Sunday, when people are offloading their Sunday tickets for sweet prices.

This didn’t take a developer to code up some marketplace app.  It just took ordinary people to get together to use a URL in a certain way.  And it was started by one person, in less than 10 seconds.  This is the power of the local web.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web comes online at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Dan Ox on Flickr

0267 : /pitch.your.game.idea

pitchyourgameidea

Turning sparks into fires

If you love something, let it go.  Not only does this apply to former romantic partners, but it applies to ideas as well.  The best first step to turn an idea into something real is to talk about it publicly.

On Saturday evening at PAX East there is a panel where you have 45 seconds to pitch your game idea to experts.  This is a great way to get some critical feedback and also get your idea out to others in the room.  My question is, why wait until Saturday?

People have already turned to the local web to pitch their video game ideas to others in the geographic area.  And when there is a massive video game conference going on, the “others” in the area are the people you want to talk to.

Attendees at PAX are posting their game ideas to localweb.is /pitch.your.game.idea and others at PAX and folks on the local web are responding with feedback.  Some ideas start to get a lot of traction and people are offering more than just feedback, they are offering help.   This can only happen when you get out in front of the crowd and get exposed.  You can do that on Saturday at 7:30pm, but the crowd is also on the local web and there is no limit to when and how you use it.   Can’t sleep on Friday night after all the festivities have your brain moving at 88 mph?  Can’t get that idea for a Back to the Future meets Civilization RPG out of your head?  Post to /pitch.your.game.idea so you can at least get some sleep that night.  Then check the activity in the morning when you wake up.

PAX is great for bringing people together with similar interests, but often these interests are segmented into time slots that come and go.   The local web also brings people together, but the “slashes” have a much longer life span with more opportunities to make something magical happen.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web comes online at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Cookie Brigade on twitter

0266 /cookie.requests

cookierequests

Uber for cookies

The Cookie Brigade started as an experiment in random acts of kindness.  Now it’s a baking force to be reckoned with and the kindness generated is tangible with the thousands of dollars they   have raised for the Child’s Play Charity.

At PAX they are using the local web and /cookie.brigade to coalesce cookie fans in the area and get some exposure.  The Cookie Brigade can be hard to miss when you are at PAX, but that doesn’t mean they are there when you need them, often when you can’t even move because you are stuck waiting in line somewhere.

That’s why the Cookie Brigade is using /cookie.requests to come to the “aid” of those who can do nothing but check their phone and ignore the rumble in their tummy.  People simply go to localweb.is /cookie.requests and post which line they are in and their cookie preference and before they know it, the closest Cookie Brigadier is there with the sweet and tasty relief.

It’s not long before the word of this “Uber for cookies” spreads and   the Brigadiers are hopping.  The best part is this doesn’t require PAXers to download some new app, which is only available in iOS   and not Android.  /cookie.requests is a URL.  If you have a browser on your phone or your laptop, then you have the cookie request “app”.

All this activity in both /cookie.requests and /cookie.brigade causes them to rise to the top of the local web front page, which is a list of   the popular slashes in the area (at PAX).  Because slashes are so easy   to create by anyone, non-brigadiers get in on the action by starting /cookie.request.xl for folks with a big appetite and /cookie.request.black for those who are willing to donate a bit more for quick service.  The Vault Boy cookies are a huge hit and people   are requesting them for big money at /cookie.brigade.rares.

The Cookie Brigade has become a full out local meme at PAX this year which doesn’t bother them at all since donations are at record levels.   This is all possible thanks to their tireless dedication and the serendipitous way the local web can bring people together who are in the same place.

Note: PAX and Cookie Brigade are not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web comes online at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Cookie Brigade on twitter

0265: /jamspace

jamspace

Getting the band back together…       for the first time

Jamspace is an event within PAX East put on by Magfest that brings together local music acts and also random musical strangers in open jam sessions.

Being located at the far end of the hall at a huge convention center isn’t ideal, even with the chip tunes blaring out at full volume.  The Magfest crew needs a better way to get the word out than relying on PAX’s own promotion of their event.

Since the open jam sessions rely on strangers in the area getting together to make some sweet music, what better way to make that happen than the local web.   By posting info about the open jam sessions to localweb.is/jamspace it allows Magfest to reach people who are at PAX — not on Twitter or Facebook or in forums but actually at PAX.   If you go to /jamspace and you can see people talking about the open jam sessions, then you are at PAX.

It’s a long walk to the signup sheet in the Jamspace room, so many     PAX attendees are just using the local web and /jamspace to ask questions, post what they can play, and in an ad-hoc way, getting       the band together before they meet for the first time at one of the open jam sessions.

All this activity has the side benefit of pushing the /jamspace slash to the top of the local web front page.  When PAX attendees are checking out the front page to see what’s hot at PAX this year, and /jamspace is at the top of the list, it really doesn’t matter how far down the hall you are.  If you play it (and promote it on the local web), they will come.

Note: PAX or Magfest are not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Magfest on the Penny Arcade Forums

0264: /borderlands.gathering

borderlands

Getting the gang together               online, then offline

PAX East is a big video game show and conference where hundreds of people dress up as their favorite game characters.  Borderlands has a massive following and PAX will be full of both Borderlands cosplayers and fans alike.  But how do they all find each other?  A Borderlands PAX takeover won’t be very effective if they can’t all assemble for maximum impact.  Sure there is a Facebook group, but tons of Borderlands fans won’t know about that or will be too busy to be checking Facebook at PAX.

That is why the organizers of the Borderlands Gathering are using the local web to not only round up all the stray Borderland fans, but mobilize them as well.  They are using a local web slash, localweb.is /borderlands.gathering to organize and communicate when they are on the ground in Boston.  It’s not just about organizing either.  /borderlands.gathering becomes this instant local community where people can talk about anything… among other Borderlands fans, be it where to eat dinner or how they design aspects of their cosplay.

All this communicating on /borderlands.gathering causes that slash to rise to the top of the frontpage at localweb.is.  PAX attendees are checking out the front page to see what is active and hot for the day.   Any Borderlands fan can’t resist seeing what is going on in /borderlands.gathering and even people who don’t know what Borderlands is are wondering why this slash is so popular.  There is a lot of exposure going on for Borderlands on the local web and it’s time to turn that online activity into offline madness.

When you have hundreds of Borderlands fans all checking /borderlands.gathering to see whats going, it’s much easier to mobilize people on the ground.  Because it’s the local web, you know that everyone who is watching or has posted is in walking distance.  It’s not like they said they were going on Facebook, then didn’t show up.  On the local web, they are already there.

The organizers of /Borderlands.Gathering have to get multiple meetups going over the course of the three days of PAX.  By Sunday, /borderlands.gathering is so active, that multiple meetups are planned for the final day, including a mega-meetup, which might just break the record for most Borderlands fans and cosplayers in one photo shoot.   It’s all a bit of pandemonium which is exactly the way Borderlands players like it.

This wasn’t planned months in advanced.  It all came together   because the local web allows for ad hoc communities to form     quickly and easily, and get exposure from the people around           them — the people that matter.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via L & M Cosplays via Facebook

0263: /new.in.town

newintown

The real time human guide book

For those who travel a lot, finding a good place to eat around your hotel is a task that isn’t hard, so much as it’s just… boring.  There are the usual places to check like Yelp, or asking someone at the front desk who rarely lives in the area, but sometimes you just want to grab a local off the street and ask them.

To do that from your hotel room, or even just waiting for the plane to deboard, just post your question on the local web in localweb.is/new.in.town.  There are locals who are eager to help travelers on the local web since it involves nothing more than having a friendly conversation.

Posting in /new.in.town isn’t really about getting a restaurant review that might be 6 months old.  That is what Yelp is for.  /new.in.town is about interacting with real people on the ground.  Sure, getting a restaurant recommendation is great, but people on /new.in.town like to go deeper.

“If you like Sarducci’s (4.5 stars on Yelp) then you definitely need to walk back to the Marriott along Seekonk pathway by the river, as the smell of fresh baked bread is in the air from the East side bakeries and it’s quite magical.”

The smell in the air doesn’t have an official rating on Yelp yet.

It’s also not unheard of that a recommendation and subsequent conversation in /new.in.town can lead to dinner plans and new and short-lived friendships.  The local web is what you make of it, and this often leads to a lot of serendipitous encounters.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Jim Penucci on Flickr

 

0262: /paxover.seder

paxover

Keep your traditions with a   temporary family

There are going to be tens of thousands of people attending PAX East on the weekend of April 22nd.  Many people will be flying in from all over the country to be there.  This weekend is also the start of Passover, so many Jewish folks attending PAX will be without their families to share in the tradition.  But just because you aren’t near your birth family doesn’t mean you can’t make a new one, on the fly.

That’s why many Jewish peeps who are attending PAX East are also checking out /paxover.seder on the local web.  This type of planning is often hard to do because most gamers and fans don’t overtly identify themselves as being Jewish when interacting online.  Religion just isn’t a big part of gaming.  So how do you find other Jewish gamers at a massive conference?  The local web.

A few organizers start posting their seder plans on /paxover.seder.   Other PAXers who are in town on Thursday and are checking out the local web frontpage will see this activity in /paxover.seder.  If they are Jewish they might be drawn to what’s going down and post themselves about helping out.  By the time Friday evening rolls around /paxover.seder is one of the top slashes and dinner plans have been made.  If you thought that dinner with your extended family was a lively time, just imagine dinner with your greatly extended and temporary family of dozens of Jewish gamers.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The   above is just an example of what could happen when the local   web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via peppered jane on flickr

0261: /livestreaming.ethics.panel

ethics

Start the conversation … before         the conversation

Luke’s PAX panel on the ethics of live streaming is on Sunday at   10am.  It’s not the best time slot and he doesn’t have the audience       or name recognition of some of the bigger panelists.  But that       doesn’t mean that he can’t work smarter to make sure he packs         the room on Sunday morning.

Luke turns to the local web to get the conversation going on /livestreaming.ethics.panel.   He is in there answering questions       and bringing up discussion topics on Friday, two days before his   panel.   When he meets folks on the floor he directs them to /livestreaming.ethics.panel to continue the conversation.   All this activity is causing /livestreaming.ethics.panel to rise to the top of       the local web front page, which is a list of popular slashes in the immediate area.   By engaging his community beforehand, he is starting a fire on the local web that spreads to other attendees         who are checking the local web front page to see what’s going on.       By Sunday, Luke’s panel becomes the can’t-miss event as the discussion is super heated and many people want to continue             the conversation face to face at the panel.

This is one of the major aspects of the local web — turning online interaction into offline action.  Luke could have discussed his panel on Twitter using a hashtag and it may have gained steam, but the people who can see the content on /livestreaming.ethics.panel are all within walking distance of where the panel is taking place.  They are the people who can actually make a difference on the ground.   Fifty extra Twitter followers is great, but fifty people waiting outside the room because the panel is packed to capacity is the real prize.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Shelzar on flickr

0260: /u/enforcer.comms

enforcer

The following is a fictional scenario.  It’s an example of what could happen with the local web.

The “enforcers” at PAX have a hard and rewarding job.  Being the spine and lifeblood of the show, they are tasked with making sure everything goes according to plan and attendees have a great time.

To pull this off they use the local web to setup quick and temporary local “channels” to communicate on.  There is /u/enforcer.comms for general communications, and /u/enforcer.zoneleaders for the zone leaders to communicate on, and /u/enforcer.questions for the new enforcers to get their questions answered.  The /u/ in each of these URLs means that it’s unlisted from the local web front page.  The only way you can access these “slashes” is if you know the URLs, and only the enforcers know them.

They work a bit better than a group communication app because it’s not an app that everyone has to download.  It’s a simple URL that anyone can access, as long as they know the URL.  If the URL leaks online, it’s really not a huge deal because content on the local web is location based so anyone outside of Boston won’t see anything posted to /enforcer.comms.

PAX is a big deal and there is a lot going on that only lasts a few days. Permanent repositories of information like forums have their place, but they are often not real-time or perform poorly on mobile.  The organized chaos of PAX lends itself to a decentralized and mobile based communication system, which is exactly what the local web provides.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Knight725 on Flickr

 

0259: /cherrygrove.cleanup

Time to pitch in around                         the neighborhood

Cherry Grove Beach in South Carolina is a quiet beach just north of its busier neighbor, Myrtle Beach.  Most of the year it’s a neighborhood gem, but for a few weeks in March the overflow from all the spring breakers can wreak havoc as the detritus left behind is a huge chore   to clean up.

Not wanting to wait for the city to do it (they have their hands full too), the residents near Cherry Grove Beach organize a cleanup effort each year.  Posting flyers at the local grocery store or on Facebook doesn’t really get much attention so they have turned to the local web to make an impact.

The slash /cherrygrove.cleanup is where organizers are doing their planning.  It’s an open URL so anyone who sees it can join and help out.  The activity in the slash causes it to be a familiar sight on the local web front page, particularly in the area around Cherry Beach, which is the area that matters most.

The activity builds to a head on the weekend of the cleanup because it’s more than a community service event — it’s a party.  Residents are celebrating the departure of spring breakers with their own festivities of BBQ and volleyball.  In between the events are the clean up efforts.   Many people are posting photos to the local web, like they would to Facebook or Instagram, except on the local web word spreads to those who care most.  Within a few miles of Cherry Beach the /cherrybeach.cleanup slash is red hot and at the top of the local web front page.  It’s hard to ignore, unless you travel away from the area, in which case it’s less prevalent but also less relevant.  If you are browsing the local web near Cherry Beach on that weekend, you will know where the party is and it’s going to be hard not to take a short walk down there to help out and get fed.

The local web acts as a digital megaphone for events in the area.  If the event is online like a webinar, then the local web might not be very effective.  But if you are trying to reach those in the immediate area, even those who might not be paying close attention, then you need a local platform to do it.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Seuss on flicker

0258: /The.PAX.RPG

paxrpg

Calling level 89 conference wizards…

Sure you can have a great time if you simply attend the PAX gaming conference… but what if you could actually play it?  That is question a group of guys and girls asked themselves on the 18 hour drive from St Louis to Boston where PAX East is held.  And a question they wanted to answer.

They came up with an idea to use the local web to turn PAX into an actual RPG game.  You start by posting your character info in /The.PAX.RPG and then you can earn experience and items by doing various quests, which are also part of the local web.  Players on /PAXRPG.Swag.of.Destiny are looking to collect certain items of swag given out by vendors at the event.  Other attendees are posting shots to /PAXRPG.High.Score.Towers of the best scores they have gotten at selected demo games.  Not only is this a fun meta-game to play at PAX, but it forces you to really get around the venue and see and do some things you may have missed.

Even the action at /PAXRPG.Slay.the.Line.Beast is intense as attendees will post which line they are in and if they are accepting challenges. Other PAX RPG players can challenge them face to face using dice, cards, rock-paper-scissors or any other type of game.  The results are posted to the ‘slash’.   It’s a fun distraction while waiting in line for some of the major events.

This type of organization can only happen on the local web.  “Slashes” are as easy to create as typing in URL and easy to disseminate as well. Players don’t need to download some new app since the local web only requires a web browser.  Sure, /The.PAX.RPG is not a well oiled machine but that is part of the charm.  It’s a mostly spontaneous flow of creativity and good will that is localized to this event.  It’s the type of thing that can come about on the local web when you get a bunch of like minded people together in the same place, and give them the right tools to make some magic.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via erin m on flickr

0257: /solo.at.pax

solo

Alone together

Even if you are going with a group, it can be hard to stay together when there is so much to see and do at major conferences like PAX.     If your buddies can’t get tickets and you are going solo to PAX, that doesn’t mean you will have no one to chill with.  In fact, you are probably already part of one of the largest groups there, those who are going solo.

If you are headed to PAX by yourself or lose your group of friends, then just check out or post on /solo.at.pax.  There you will find other solo PAX’ers looking for some tabletop action or just someone to wait in line with.  The impromptu meetup on /solo.at.pax is one of the best opportunities to meet some new people.  Don’t feel like eating alone? Post when you would like to grab lunch to /solo.at.pax and you can quickly get some company going.

And when the festivities are over, there is no need to go back to your hotel by yourself and watch TV.  One of the biggest parties is from the folks on /solo.at.pax who are all meeting up at FiRE + iCE for drinks and food.

Despite thousands of attendees all around you, if you go alone you can feel alone.  But thanks to the local web other soloists can find each other and at least dispel that ‘feeling alone’ part.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Lay-luh on Flickr

0256: /astro.gaming

astrogaming

Astro Gaming makes premium gaming equipment for pro-gamers and core enthusiasts.   They have Twitter, Facebook, and all the usual social accounts but at the PAX East convention so do all the other vendors, and with hundreds of other booths to compete with, they have to play it smart.

That’s why they are turning to the local web to make an impact focused on where they are right now, at PAX.

To start, they are using the local web URL /astro.gaming to communicate with fans and their audience at the event.  But to generate some interest, they are asking people who stop by their booth to post their favorite game to /astro.gaming and they will pick one person every two hours to get their A50 headset for free.  This is a serious piece of hardware so people are more than willing to share their favorite game on the local web.

The first few hours have a light amount of posts, but after the first A50 is given away, the word is out and no one wants to miss the opportunity this time.  The number of posts in /astro.gaming explode. Astro reps do their best to respond and engage their new audience.

The real benefit comes with all the activity that /astro.gaming is generating.  It’s causing /astro.gaming to rise near the top of the local web front page, and fast.  People at PAX are checking the local web front page to see what’s active and what’s hot right now.  And while huge panels like /pennyarcade.qa have a lot of activity, and rightfully so, there is another slash at the top of the heap, /astro.gaming.

Tons of people are now wondering what this Astro Gaming thing is all about and why people are posting their favorite games.  This draws scores of curious attendees to their booth, which in itself creates a scene which draws even more onlookers.

Creating a scene is the best way to create an even larger scene.  While this can be done in person with a lot of money and theatrics, it’s much harder to do online in social media.  Even if you can pull it off, the audience you really need is within walking distance, not scattered all over the interwebs.

With the local web and some tactical thinking you can create the perfect storm for turning a digital scene into a physical one.

Note: Astro Gaming or PAX are not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Astro Gaming’s blog post.

0255: /pennyarcade.qa

pennyarchade

An AMA for those in the room

PAX is a huge video game conference with no shortage of events, panels and other craziness to experience.  It can all be quite overwhelming.  Sure they have their own app you can download, but who really wants another app on their overstuffed homescreens.

That’s why many panel organizers have turned to the local web as a quick and dirty way to connect the room.  At the Penny Arcade Q&A in the main room, Gabe and Tycho just put up a sign with the local web URL, localweb.is/pennyarcade.qa, for people in the room to communicate on.  It’s sort of like a subreddit, just without the voting and only accessible to people in and around PAX.  If you went to /pennyarcade.qa while you were in Chicago, it would still exist but it wouldn’t be active.  You really need to be where PAX is to see what people are saying.

In that slash, conference goers are asking questions for Gabe and Tycho to answer and attendees are also talking to each other.  They are having debates, making friends and making plans.

All the activity in /pennyarcade.qa causes it to rise to the top of the frontpage which lists the most active slashes in the area.  Other people at PAX just checking the local web can see that something is going on in /pennyarcade.qa and maybe they should be there.  For the few days of PAX, the front page of the local web acts as a barometer of what is popular and interesting, at that very moment.

Note: PAX or Penny Arcade are not officially affiliated with the local web. The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

0253: /carcassonne.tourney

carcasonnetourney

Organizing a tourney with one URL

So while you were getting a casual game of Carcassonne going on /carcassonne.friendly, you were really just passing the time between tournament heats.  At PAX the Carcassonne tourney is run over the course of the day, starting with the initial heats, then the semi finals, then finals in the afternoon.  With players wandering all over the venue it can be challenging to get everyone back in time to get a game started.  Instead of relying on clunky group messaging or text messages, the tournament organizers are just using a local web URL   to inform players.

At localweb.is/carcassonne.tourney players are asking questions, often answered by other players, and the organizers are posting match results and deadlines.  It all works well because all you need is a web browser to view the URL and it doesn’t become noisy because the local web is… local.  Only those at PAX can communicate with each other at the URL.

There are many ways to tackle a communication challenge like this, but using the local web is the simplest and easiest.   There is an added bonus of the activity in /carcassonne.tourney pushing that slash to the top of the front page.  In this way, others checking the local web know that there is some Carcassonne finals action going on right now and they should be there if they don’t want to miss it.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via ValMan on Flickr

0252: /pax.cosplay

cosplay

A collective album, on location

Cosplay is one element of the PAX gaming conference that is unavoidable.  It’s everywhere and it’s glorious.  There is so much cosplay to be seen that it’s impossible to see it all.  But what if there was way to see all the cosplayers participating at PAX?  There is using the local web.

People at PAX are posting photos they take of cosplayers to Instagram but also to localweb.is/pax.cosplay.  This isn’t a personal account like Instagram, it’s a collective space where everyone is posting their cosplay photos.  And it isn’t just photos either; people are discussing the costumes, asking questions and getting answers from the cosplayers themselves.

/pax.cosplay acts as a central hub for all things cosplay during the event.  Sure they could use Twitter for something like this, but it gets noisy so quickly.  Anyone in the world can post to a hashtag.  But in /pax.cosplay, you know the people posting are from within walking distance to you.  There are lots of places online to find cosplay photos, but the ones on /pax.cosplay are also the ones you can see in person, right now.  That is the power of the local web.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Anthony Chodor on Flickr

0252: /miniladd

minilad

How do you contact YouTubers…when they are 40 feet away?

At the Google YouTube Panel at PAX there are some big time YouTubers on deck: Mini Ladd, Vanoss, Wildcat, Lui, Jerome,   xRPMx13 and BajanCanadian.  That’s a lot of people and with           only an hour for the panel they unfortunately don’t have time             for questions.  Combine that with the typical ten minutes it takes         to get through introductions, if you came here to see Mini Ladd     speak, he may only get a few responses.  That’s not quite the interaction you had hoped for coming to PAX and getting into           this packed panel.  Fortunately, Mini Ladd loves his fans and is following the local web URL localweb.is/MiniLadd.

Just because there isn’t time to ask Mini Ladd questions at the panel doesn’t mean his fans aren’t sending in lots of questions after each response he gives.  He can then answer them personally after the panel or even during the panel while the other 6 panelists are speaking.  This creates a direct connection between Mini Ladd and     his dedicated fans who came to see him directly.

Mini Ladd has over two million subscribers so his inbox and YouTube comments are flooded and he can’t answer them all.  But on /MiniLadd, he knows that those commenters are at PAX, and that they are his super fans, the ones he can build a special relationship with at the moment the event is over.  By interacting with fans on /MiniLadd he is rewarding his die-hard base and every YouTuber, especially those still on the rise, know that those die-hard fans keep the fire burning longer.

The other benefit of interacting with fans on /MiniLadd is that all that activity causes that slash to rise near the top of the front page of the local web.  Others at PAX who are looking at the front page to see what is hot right now see this activity and then explore what this Mini Ladd guy is all about.  Just by interacting with his fans, he spreads his own awareness and builds more fans, not just on YouTube, but in the building.  These new fans in the building have the opportunity to meet Mini Ladd and then to be come die-hard fans quite quickly.

“Slash MiniLadd” isn’t something he uses everywhere, unless he enjoys meeting fans at the grocery store, but when he is at an industry event he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to build his brand with the most passionate and supportive people around him.

Note: PAX and Mini Ladd are not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Mini Ladd on YouTube

0251: /watercooler

watercooler

The global and local watercooler             on your phone

There is nothing quite like wasting time and grumbling about your work at the office water cooler.  But those days are behind us.  Maybe the water cooler has been replaced by soy kombucha or removed entirely due to cost saving measures.  Or maybe you are a remote worker or travel around like an Uber driver.  Thanks to the local web, if you are around people who are working, you might be able to find them at /watercooler.

“Slash watercooler” or localweb.is/watercooler is a place that you can go to post your grumblings or any other sentiment about your work.   Hopefully you can find some solidarity or at least a few minutes of distraction from filling out TPS reports.

Because local web slashes are geo-based, the conversation at /watercooler will likely be from people at your workplace or workplaces nearby.  By narrowing your location to a few hundred feet, you can be almost sure that they may be your coworkers or at least in the same office building or office park.  But the point is not that coworkers of the same company can get together, it’s that all of us that share the same daily grind, from stuffing chalupas with ground beef to stuffing excel files with data, can empathize with each other in one place.  One global water cooler than you can find almost anywhere, but still has all the local character that you would want.

You can often find such places at the local bar around 5 pm, but       being able to post memes, gifs, and complaints anonymously from your phone to /watercooler can be so much more satisfying, not to mention, cheaper.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Photo via Lilla on Flicker

0250: /

frontpage

The front page of the local web

For the past 249 posts, we have shared a single way the local web can be used.  Each one is a small slice of the many ways that users can use, adapt, and create the local web.

This post is about a feature of the local web called all-slashes, or, the front page.  The front page of the local web is essentially a list of all the slashes that people have been active on in your area.  It can be sorted by the number of people who are holding each slash or by how active each slash is at that moment.  This is the primary way that people will find new slashes.  This also solves a problem that has not been adequately solved since the internet started.

What is going on around you right now?

Go ahead and try to find out.  Local Twitter hashtags are noisy and generally worthless.  Yelp and Foursquare are focused on local businesses and not very timely.  Local social networks are not very informative.  Calendars and other “what’s going on” sites are likely outdated and only cover the largest of events.

But what is going on right now in your apartment building and on your block?  That is a question that the front page of the local web will answer.

Anywhere the local web is active, there will be hundreds, possible thousands of slashes that people have contributed to.  Some of them are very specific and transitory like /triangle.clouds and others are broader and lasting like /pantry.  Some of them only make sense in a certain place like /wheres.link while others are expected to be present anywhere you go like /about.

But when you check out the hot slashes for your location, the ones at the top are what people are talking about, right now, around you.  If /blues is at the top then you know that something blues related is going on.  To find out, just check what people are saying.  If it’s 7 am it may be no surprise that /morning-selfie is at the top of the list.  Others around you are doing their morning routine, just like you.

The /halloween.houses slash only makes it to the top of the front page for a few days a year.  I’m sure you can guess which ones.  What’s going on at 4am?  Probably not much, which is why /anyone.still.up is constantly near the top at that time.

These are the latest thoughts, feelings and actions of the people within a few miles of you at this exact moment.  And then you can dial the distance down.  In NYC there are likely millions of people who live within a few miles of you.  That’s why you can view the front page on a range of only 300 feet, which should cover your apartment building and most of your block.

What are people thinking, feeling and doing on your block right now? That’s not a question that could have been answered before the local web.

When you are at a conference, what are the people in the room thinking?  What are the /women-in-the-room thinking?  If you have a web browser on your phone then the local web can tell you.

For too long our neighborhoods, communities and places have been dark and unsearchable.  This has severed many of the bonds we used to enjoy as neighbors and local citizens.  The front page of the local web is a chance to explore the thoughts, feelings and actions of those around us.  It’s an opportunity to shed a brilliant light on all the possible connections that have always existed but haven’t had the chance to grow.  The local web is the fertile ground where our local selves will finally see the light of day.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Photo via Robbie Shade on Flickr