0249: /wheres.link

link

Local hashtag?  Try local instant communities.

At the PAX conference in Boston there are many ways to use the local web to enhance your experience.  If cosplay is your thing there is /pax.cosplay for general cosplay action, or /bonnie.aether.wing.kayle for a specific cosplayer, but what about a specific character?  Thats where /wheres.link comes in.

If Link is your favorite video game character you really don’t want to miss any Link cosplay at the event.  Others at PAX are taking photos of Link cosplay they see and posting to instagram and twitter, but the real magic is when they post to /wheres.link on the local web.  On /wheres.link you can find all the Link cosplay to be found at PAX and people are discussing and asking questions of the players.  “Slash wheres Link” becauses a pop-up community for all the Link fans at PAX.  By posting on /wheres.link all the Link cosplayers become…well… linked… and decide to get together for a massive Link photo shoot at noon on Saturday.  This becomes an historic event and /wheres.link shoots to the top of the front page of the local web.  Others at PAX see it at the top and get hyped about the photo shoot and being in the presence of 100+ Links.

This event wasn’t listed on the PAX website, or mobile app.  It wasn’t on a schedule or attached to a twitter hashtag.  It was the product of the type of organic community that can happen on the local web.

The first step to getting an instant community like this is to bring people together in the same place, which PAX has done.  But the local web allows people to find others with similar interests and interact and organize.  No app needed except a web browser.  /wheres.link wasn’t in planning for months before PAX.  It happened when one person posted a photo of Link to the url localweb.is/wheres.link. One Link fan browsing the local web noticed it and thought it was a cool idea so posted a photo too.  Then another.

There is a sense of spontaneity and DIY attitude that is missing from our current online life.  We have tons of apps with narrow and carefully curated experiences, but few opportunities to break out of those boxes and do what we want, whatever it is.

The local web as far as social media goes is a sandbox experience.  It is what you make of it, whether that is for gathering 100 Links together into the most epic of photos… or any of the other 248 uses currently listed here.

And we are just getting started.

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 Ryan Quick on Flickr

0248: /bonnie.aether.wing.kayle

bonnie

Your on-site social profile

Some people just enjoy their cosplay and some people take it very seriously.  And then there is Bonnie.  She designs, creates and wears amazing and show stopping cosplay at events and conferences.  She has a Facebook page and a Twitter account and does the usual social things that creators are supposed to do, but none of these really carry much weight when she is in costume at an event.

When in costume she is turning heads and making a lot of noise in   the scene.  Posting a tweet into the twitterstorm feels insignificant.   That is why she is using the local web when she is on-the-ground at   an event.  Instead of telling people to “follow me on twitter” she asks them to reach out to her on the local web at localweb.is/bonnie.aether.wing.kayle.  There she is answering questions and talking to fans, and others are posting photos of her. Everyone she talks to in that “slash” is at the event because it only reaches a few miles.  This insures that she is talking to the most valuable people possible.

All the discussion in the slash causes it to rise near the top of the front page on the local web.  Other people checking out what’s hot at PAX see her slash and investigate.  League of Legends fans immediately recognize the Aether Wing Kayle slash and can seek her out, in person. With the local web she is able to amplify her presence but only with the people at PAX, which is perfect, because that is where she and her fans are right now.

Note: Bonnie 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 Matt Avinger on Flickr

0247: /sanders.for.president

sanders

Where social media turns                   into local action

Bernie Sanders is running a grass roots campaign and trying to leverage the tools of the internet to reach out to voters.  At the forefront is the subreddit /r/Sandersforpresident which has 203,000 subscribers and its activity constantly pushes Bernie’s message to /r/all and the Reddit community at large.

Reddit gets over 1 million visits a day so this has a real impact and a really broad impact. But Sanders needs to win Michigan and needs to win certain pockets of Michigan specifically.  This is no time to go broad.  The Sanders subreddit does a good job at focusing on the needs at hand and telling Michiganders to get out and vote, but the subset of those on reddit and in Michigan is small.

That’s where the local web comes into play.  There is also organizing and discussion going on at localweb.is/sanders.for.president.  This is a URL that speaks about the national agenda, but is only visible for 2 miles around you.  So the people talking about getting out the vote in Flint on /sanders.for.president are actually in Flint and can do something about it.  Closely correlated with the subreddit, the local web is where national goals are implemented locally.

All the activity on /sanders.for.president causes that slash to rise to the top of the local web front page.  This means that those who are not paying attention to Sanders specifically get exposed to his message.  It should be noted that /clinton.for.president is also an active slash and there is a great deal of debate that goes on among residents in both of these slashes.  What is important is that these are local debates about local issues.  These are not trolling comments on a Sanders news article on MSNBC, or snarky upvoted comments on reddit.  The conversation in /sanders.for.president looks very different in Flint, Michigan than it does in Bangor, Maine.  As it should.  These groups have different values and priorities.  The web has done wonders to unify movements, but these movements are often made up of thousands of similar but distinct motivations.  The local web is where these distinctions play out and where words become actions for cities, counties and states.

Note: Bernie Sanders is not officially affiliated with the local web. The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches in April.  Use your imagination.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Phil Roeder on Flicker

0246: /totalbiscuit

totalbiscuit

Mobilize your fans, wherever they are

TotalBiscuit is a popular YouTuber and video game critic.  His followers count in the millions among YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, Facebook, SoundCloud, Google+ and any other other platform available.  But where are his followers when he needs them most? TotalBiscuit is at PAX East, but are his followers there too?  Maybe. Some of them must be, statistically.  But there is no good way to bring them together.

That’s where the local web comes in with localweb.is/totalbiscuit.  It’s a URL or “slash” where TotalBiscuit, or anyone, can post about… TotalBiscuit.  The difference is that it’s only visible to people in the area.

So if TotalBiscuit tweets out to his 500k Twitter followers that they should follow him at /TotalBiscuit during PAX, when he gets there he has a ready-formed collective of on-the-ground TotalBiscuit fanatics ready to do his bidding.  If TB wants to show support for a booth or panel that needs some love, he could post on Twitter… but his Twitter followers probably are not at PAX, and they might miss the tweet.  But if he posts to /TotalBiscuit it goes directly to his fans at the event, the ones that can make a difference.

If he wants to meet more fans in person, he can post where he is at /TotalBiscuit.  If he wants to ask his fans what the best games at PAX are, post to /TotalBiscuit.  If he wants to put together a guerrilla campaign to support an awesome but under-appreciated developer at PAX…. you guessed it, /TotalBiscuit.

All this activity in /TotalBiscuit will cause it to rise to the top of the local web front page, which lists all the hot slashes.  Others at PAX who are browsing the local web will wonder what all the excitement is about on /TotalBiscuit.  This leads to more exposure and more fans for TB.  Pushing /TotalBiscuit to the top of the local web can attract attention from executives and other deal makers who are wondering who has this mobilized army of super fans.

And if worse comes to worse and he can’t make PAX at the last minute, then Total Biscuit fans themselves can network together and have their own unofficial meetup, all organized on…. yup… /TotalBiscuit.

Note: PAX and TotalBiscuit 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 Genna Bain on YouTube

0245: /triangle.clouds

traiangle-clouds

Illuminati confirmed?

On February 7th, 2016 multiple triangle-shaped clouds appeared in the skies above San Francisco.  What was the reason behind this sky-writing?  Was it an advertisement for Doritos?  Arrows pointing towards the location of the Super Bowl?  A dreadful warning that the skies belong to the Illuminati?  That day there were more questions than answers.  That day also saw the /triangle.clouds slash blow up on the local web in and around San Francisco.

All it took was for one person to go to localweb.is/triangle.clouds and post a photo.  Others quickly saw the post while browsing the local web and posted their own photos.  Soon /triangle.clouds became the defacto record of pictorial evidence and repository of possible theories.

It didn’t take long before /triangle.clouds became a local meme to San Francisco residents.  Just like memes can spread quickly through the world wide web, they can move very fast through the local web, just not very far.  They are of course local memes, so they don’t make much sense to those who can’t look up and see the clouds for themselves.

Local news outlets saw the spike in activity on the front page of the local web and many of them covered the story.

Soon enough it was discovered that they were in fact Dorito shaped advertising and people went about their day.  /triangle.clouds died down and eventually fell off the front page of the local web.  But for one day, the people of San Francisco were captivated by this local meme that was spread to all corners of the local web.

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

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Image via @soffes on twitter

0244: /pantry

pantry

What would a shared neighborhood pantry look like?  This.

You just got a great recipe online for jambalaya and you have all the ingredients needed to pull it off… except one.  One bay leaf.   Now you are left with some choices.  Get yourself down to the grocery store, fighting 6 pm rush hour traffic, and grab a $7 container of bay leaves of which you may use three single leaves over the next year.  Or don’t include the bay leaf, and always wonder what your dish would have tasted like if you had made it properly.

With the local web, there is a third option.  Post your request for a single bay leaf to localweb.is/pantry.   There is a good chance that someone within a 3 minute walk has a single bay leaf they can spare. /pantry or “slash pantry” is an experiment and a movement.  It’s a way to share the items in your cupboards with your neighbors but without some centralized pantry or food bank.  People post requests of what they need and others offer to help.  Or if you are going on vacation and you just got a dozen eggs that won’t last, offer it up to /pantry.  Or you thought you were being adventurous with those kale chips but it turns out they aren’t your thing.  Well someone on /pantry might want them, or at least try them.

/pantry works well in suburban neighborhoods but really shines in urban cities where it feels as if an entire apartment building is pooling resources.  While sharing food stuffs is convenient, in the process of doing so residents are also sharing recipes, cooking tips, and interactions that is bringing everyone a little bit closer together.

A few generations ago people would think nothing of going next door to borrow a cup of sugar.  Then the internet happened and things changed and people became siloed.  Then the local web happened and the silos were opened up and sugar again flows freely with the magic of /pantry.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Joanna Alderson on Flickr

0243: /shovel.bounty

shovelbounty

Trading money for time on a snow day

You wake up one February morning and it’s entirely white outside. Whether it’s snowmageddon or just a few inches, you really don’t want to get out there and stress your back and knees doing the shoveling.  So what do you do?

Just drop a post on /shovel.bounty with your address and how much you are willing to pay to have it shoveled.  There are plenty of highschoolers who now have nothing to do but play video games or earn a few extra bucks shoveling.  They are checking /shovel.bounty and replying to posts.  In fact, some are either undercutting each other so instead of offering $20 to do it, an enterprising teen offers to do it for $15.  Free market at work.

When you post to localweb.is/shovel.bounty, only those within a few miles can see your post.  Which is fine, because no one is going to travel more than a few miles to shovel your driveway.

/shovel.bounty is just a URL.  It’s not an app that needs to be developed and installed.  If you search the local web and don’t see a /shovel.bounty, simply create it by going to the URL and posting.  Your post maybe not be active enough to reach people miles away, but some are just viewing the local web on a 300 feet range, in which case your post will be visible.  Which is fine because those within 300 feet are the most likely to take the 3 minute walk over to shovel your driveway. Soon others will see your post and want their driveway shoveled too and post themselves.  All this activity makes /shovel.bounty rise on the local web front page and spread geographically.  Before the snow stops falling, it’s been spread citywide and a new market has formed.  This is the power of slashes and the local web.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Dan Deluca on Flickr

0242: /carcassonne.friendly

carcasonne

Who’s up for a game, right now?

Carcassonne is a popular table top strategy game.  At Pax East there is a specific time and location for the Carcassone tournament games.  But with all the waiting around, sometimes you just want to get in there and play.

That’s why PAX attendees have turned to the local web to get quick Carcassonne games going wherever they are.  By posting a quick note to localweb.is/carcassone.friendly that they are starting a new game in 5 minutes in the south hall, they can reach other Carcassonne players but only those in the immediate area at PAX.

This does not require an app that every Carcassonne player has to install or an email list that they have to sign up for.  It’s just a local web URL that you don’t need to sign up for or be logged in to view.  It’s a quick and open method of communication, just like the web only local.

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 PMM on flickr

0241: /lost.at.pax

lostpax

Local help on your phone

PAX East is a gigantic sprawling video game conference held in Boston each year.  The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is over a half million square feet.  At PAX, you will occupy one of those square feet. Despite the best efforts of maps, both physical and online, it can be daunting to know where you are, where you want to go and how to get there.  And because the maps were printed weeks ago, it can all be a bit out of date.  So if you find your self a few wrong turns deep and down a deserted hallway, who do you turn to?  The local web.

Simply drop a post on /lost.at.pax about your prediciment and someone will quickly point you in the right direction.  PAX has people monitoring that slash officially, but there are also lots of people checking it out during their down time who can lend a hand as well. Where is the nearest bathroom that has a baby change table?  A PAX volunteer might direct you to the closest but another momma attendee will direct you to closest one that works because she just visited the one the volunteer suggested and the latch is broken.

At a conference like this people are always looking to help others, but surprisingly it can be hard to find the person who needs help.  But at /lost.at.pax those needing help can find those willing to give it and more attendees can have an awesome experience.  /lost.at.pax isn’t the first line of defense for those in need as the PAX officials have done a good job at providing adequate resources.  But it’s an effective last   line of defense in which crowdsourced volunteers instill a sense of togetherness in all attendees and make sure no one goes home frustrated and overwhelmed.

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 Colin Taber on Flickr

0240: /lost.and.found

lostandfound

The decentralized 21st century lost-and-found that we deserve

You are attending the PAX East conference and stop to talk to a YouTuber who you are a fan of.  You put your backpack down, grab a shirt out of it and get him to sign it.  After the convo you are elated, having just found and talked to one your idols.  This elation turns to hunger and you go look for a place to get something to eat.  As you are standing in line for food, admiring the signed shirt you just got, it hits you.

Fuck.

Your backpack.  It’s back in the middle of a convention hall that’s a 10 minute walk away.  Or at least it was.  It’s gone now.  Left backpacks just don’t stay left for long.  What are your options?  Suck it up and try not to let it ruin your day, even though it will?  Or try to find someone who knows where the “lost and found” is, if such a thing exists, and hope that someone saw your backpack and took 20 minutes out of their day to find this lost and found and put your backpack there too.

There is a third option.  Get your phone out and check localweb.is/lost.and.found.  There people who find lost items immediately take a photo of it and post it, then take the item with them, so nobody else takes it.  You quickly see that your backpack is one of the most recent posts and you reply to the post to retrieve it.  He responds with a question about what is inside, just to verify, and you agree to meet up at a spot that is only a few minutes from both of you.

Crisis averted.

The centralized concept of a lost-and-found is some 20th century technology that doesn’t fit how we live our lives today.  If there is considerable friction to returning a lost item, people won’t want to do it and the item will remain where it is until it’s stolen.  But thanks to the local web, returning an item is as simple as taking a photo of it, so the good Samaritans, who always outnumber the thieves, usually will get the first shot.

The traditional lost-and-found hasn’t been functional since grade school.  Many places – bars, restaurants, clubs – just don’t keep that stuff around for long and other places like parks, play grounds, and other outdoor spaces don’t have a central lost-and-found at all.  But with the local web, everyone becomes their own receptacle for lost goods and you can move to meet the owner as well.

Lost items are usually discovered as lost by their owners within minutes so time matters.  When the digital lost-and-found is accessed on mobile phones and /lost.and.found can be dialed down to a few hundred feet, it allows both the owner and finder to connect much sooner.  If the finder collects the item, then waits until they get home to post it to Craigslist, the owner might be 45 minutes of rush hour traffic away, increasing the hassle all around.

The local web is enabling people to solve their own problems in their own way using the tools we already have in our hands.  It doesn’t matter if you have lost something or you are lost yourself, the local web is your connection to those who can help.

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 Paula Izzo

 

0239: /pax.after.parites

paxparties

Whats going on when its all over?

So maybe you are not a formidable social butterfly with all the right connections.  That doesn’t mean the fun needs to stop at 10pm when you made the long pilgrimage to PAX once a year.  So where do you find out where all the after parties are going down?

You could follow a helpful twitter acount like @paxparties where its creator does the best to list as many parties as they can find.  But for this type of information, the decentralized local web would be a better choice.

The local web URL /pax.after.parties is where anyone can post info about what after parties are happening and when.  After party organizers large and small can post their info to the slash, without it going through one person first.  People who are actually at the parties themselves are posting photos of the parties so they can give you a glimpse of what it is actually like.

You wanted to go to 8-bit Boston 3, but people are posting that the line is ridiculous and its over capacity already.  Why waste your time. Thanks /pax.after.parties.

The Borderlands Pants-Optional party wasn’t advertised but the photos people are posting look ridiculous. That is where you want to be right now.  Thanks /pax.after.parties.

The Harmonix after party isn’t very crowded, but also overpriced for what it is, according to “ToadDuster” who just posted some pics to /pax.after.parties.

When information is scattered and real time, there needs to be a collection method that’s decentralized and not bottle-necked by the speed and attention of one person.  The local web is that method and platform.

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

Signup at localweb.is

0238: /ask.history

askhistory

AMA for places

Every since /history split off from /about, the heavy posters have been looking for a way to keep the quality high without putting people off. They decided to create /ask.history and direct users in /history to put all their questions there.

How did they go about creating a new slash for the global community of history seekers to use?  It’s a two-step process.  First, come to a consensus on a name and a way that the new slash will be used. Second, type the name into a browser.  Localweb.is/ask.history is born.

If you are reading interesting posts at /history and want to go deeper, just put your question into /ask.history and the knowledgeable folks around you who are maintaining /history will enlighten you.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Hamster factor on Flickr

0237: /history

history

Travel back in time, no Delorian needed

The slash /about started as an experiment to provide info about certain locations.  Many people wanted to use it for mostly historical facts, but soon those folks were overwhelmed with the creativity and uses for /about so the historians broke off and started their own /history.

Many historical landmarks have some sort of plaque that has been there for decades.  Thanks to /history, they also have additional historical info and even photos which you can access by just standing near the landmark and checking localweb.is/history.

The main participates of “slash history” are quicker to moderate out wasteful posts and encourage other users to ask their questions on /ask.history instead.  Now most landmarks have a digital placeholder on the local web that is filled with historical photos, facts, and stories.

This isn’t limited to popular landmarks either.  Placing a weather resistant sign or plaque on a landmark is expensive.  Posting on /history is free and quick.  So many places that don’t make it into the textbooks have posts in /history.  Bridges, farm houses, grave yards can now have more context if you have your phone and an internet connection.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Bill Badzo on Flickr

0236 /about

about

An about page for where you are standing

People are accustomed to clicking that “about” link to find out more about a website or an organization.  But what if you could do that out in the real world.

/about or “slash about” is a convention that local web users have created and adhere to.  If you are in an interesting place and you know something about it, just post that info to localweb.is/about.

The Childs Restaurant is an interesting part of Coney Island’s history but it doesn’t have a website.  It does have several posts on /about both from knowledgeable experts and also interested passersby.  How to read about the Childs Restaurant on /about?  The first thing you need to do is go there.  Most people filter /about with a 300 foot radius so you have to be pretty close to see what people have posted.

“Slash about” isn’t always perfect.  It’s like a decentralized location based Wikipedia where anyone can contribute so, as you would expect, you get all sorts of info from all sorts of people.  But at the very least, it provides an interesting narrative to the world around you.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Bill Badzo on Flickr

0235: /trailercakes

trailercakes

Social media marketing that is actually… social…

This account is fictional. The local web is not affiliated with Trailercakes.  The local web isn’t available yet, these are just examples of what could happen.

Trailercakes is a bakery in Dallas that serves up delicious cup cakes each day.  Heather, who runs the place, engages in all forms of local marketing platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Google Adwords, and Instagram.  It’s a lot to manage, especially for some one whose core competency is baking awesome cupcakes.

Recently, instead of trying to make sense of her various analytics dashboards, she decides to make a presence on the local web.

She startups up /trailercakes by simply going to localweb.is/trailercakes and posts a few pictures of her baked goods. Then she posts pictures of her daily specials every day to /trailercakes. She puts a sign in her store that customers can interact with her on the /trailercakes ‘slash’ and some do, asking questions or posting their own selfies with her delicious cupcakes.

What does this all mean?  Well, by being active in /trailercakes and responding to customers it causes her ‘slash’ /trailercakes to rise to the top of the front page of the local web.  It doesn’t mean she has a worldwide audience, or even a citywide audience, but it does mean that those who are browsing the local web within a 10 minute walk can see this activity and wonder what’s going on.

Fortunately, the people who can see this activity are also the most likely to be her customers and regulars.  Yelp is great for figuring out good places when you first move to a new place or when you have a specific need like searching for a bakery.  But the local web offers a bit more serendipity.  You may live near Trailercakes but not even know it’s there, until it’s ‘slash’ starts surfacing while browsing the local web.  You may choose to ‘hold’ the slash for a few weeks, just seeing what goes on there, and when you are ready, going into the store at that point makes you already feel like a regular.

For Heather it works out great because what matters on the local web is activity and by simply being social with her customers and fans, she is promoting her business.  There is no need to optimize local SEO keywords for the odd person googling “cupcakes Dallas”.  There is no need to pay Facebook to reach the people who have already ‘liked’ your establishment.  The local web just amplifies Trailercakes’ already warm and inviting presence.  The local web was built for local businesses.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Claire K on Flickr

0234: /bus.stop

busstop

We, the people, of this bus stop…

Ah the many things to do while waiting for the bus.  There is 1) using your phone; 2) using your phone; 3) staring blankly out into space; and 4) using your phone.

Waiting at the bus stop is a daily activity that millions of Americans partake in every day.  Often in silence on their phones.  Even if there are other people waiting with you, its a pretty anti-social affair.

But it doesn’t have to be.  Using the local web, you can communicate with your fellow bus stop brothers and sisters.  When you get to a bus stop just pop on localweb.is/bus.stop and set your filter to 100 meters. You will see messages people have posted to that very bus stop and its dwellers.  It could act as a digital bulletin board, or just a place to drop some bus stop wisdom, or bus stop jokes.

You probably know about /bus.stop because some one put up a local web sticker with the localweb.is/bus.stop URL on it.  That’s really all it takes to visit or create a slash.  Each bus stop is different, and savvy bus riders follow the /bus.stop slash on their mobile location group, which means that as they are riding the bus from stop to stop they can briefly see all the /bus.stop messages people have left before the bus starts to drive away to the next stop.

Yeah, the content at various /bus.stop slashes isn’t Tolstoy, but it isn’t “The 13 Best ClickBait BuzzFeeds of 2016 You Can’t Miss” either. It’s local content, written by locals.  It’s content from your fellow bus riders.  It’s just one of the many stories that are told in your city using the local web.

Pro tip: The Number 55 Admiral bus line in Providence has a rider that writes a poem each day, and drops a single line at each /bus.stop. In order to read it, you have to be going inbound and following on a mobile location group.  If you are riding the bus outbound, the poem is backwards. but still cool.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Rene McGurk on Flickr

0233: /u/popo

popo

Whoop, whoop – that’s the sound of the police

If you hear someone shout “popo” and you are engaged in illegal activities, then you know what to do: stop the activity and casually walk/run away because the police are nearby.  But those were the old days.  Today everyone has a phone so shouting “popo” deserves a more advanced solution.

If you spot the police rolling by, or you spot an undercover checking I.D.s at a bar, or you know a party has been broken up, just leave a post on localweb.is/u/popo for your friends, campus buddies, or other evildoers to find.  That way, they can save themselves the trouble of dealing with the police.

The /u/ means that it is an unlisted slash, so it won’t appear on the homepage of localweb.is.  Ideally, this means the police don’t know about it’s use, but you can never be sure.  Maybe the police are using their own unlisted slash to fight crime themselves.  Either way, following /u/popo is a good way of keeping your criminal record to a minimum.

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Image via Michael Burns on Flickr

0232: /pay.to.pickup

paytopickup

OK, no one wants it, now what?

So you couldn’t unload your stuff at /free.to.pickup.  Apparently those vintage and stained chairs just are not anyone’s style anymore. Well… you just can’t leave it on the curb; it needs to be removed.

Renting a dumpster will cost a few hundred bucks at least, and there is no way all that stuff will fit in the back of your Subaru.  It’s time to post to localweb.is/free.to.pickup.  Just take a photo of the lot and post what you are offering, maybe $50 to take it to the dump.  Anyone with a pickup truck could take that stuff to the dump and probably profit $20 or so for 20 minutes of work.  Not bad.

Or maybe someone will just want to take on your “problem” for $50 and keep the stuff in their garage.  Who knows, who cares.  You are willing to pay $50 to have this stuff moved off your curb.

All of the slashes such as /free, /free.to.pickup, and /pay.to.pickup are not categories that were created by the folks at local web HQ.  They were created by patrons themselves, and spread by patrons themselves.  By allowing patrons to use the local web the way they want to, it creates the most efficient avenue to getting stuff done, sold or just moved.  If there is no /pay.to.pickup in your area, just make it by simply going to the URL and posting.  Someone will see it.

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Image via Bradley Gordon on Flickr

0231 /free.to.pickup

freetopickup

Set it (on the lawn) and forget it

So maybe you are not giving away hugs and you really do need to just get rid of this stack of cooking books.  Well just take a photo and drop a post on localweb.is/free.to.pickup and there is a good chance someone will come by to get it.  The posts you see there aren’t just from your state or city, they are from within 2 miles and might be right next door.

If you are having a yardsale and it’s getting late in the day, start snapping pics of some items and post them to /free.to.pickup to drive some attention to your yard sale.  It’s a clever way to promote some “loss leaders” for the tail end of your sale.

Sure you can post an ad to craigslist as well, but there might be more people looking at /free.to.pickup and chances are they are closer, which means your stuff has more value.  The free stuff on Craigslist isn’t such a great deal if you have to drive 15 minutes to get it.  Some patrons even have alerts on their phone when stuff is posted to /free.to.pickup within walking distance of them.

Of course if there are no takers, then you might have better luck at /pay.to.pickup.

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Image via Derek Hatfield on Flickr

0230: /free

free

If you love something, let it go…

What started as a simple way to get rid of free stuff you had accumulating has turned into something much more.  Sure you can put that old desk and winter coats on /free and someone might pick them up, but these days /free has evolved into a different purpose.

People started putting “free hugs” on /free, then “free conversations”, and “free friendships”.  Some people are naturally giving, and when they run out of hard goods to give away, they give away part of themselves.

The people of /free are just looking to make their small corner of the world a better place by offering up their time and emotional energy. There aren’t many places online where you can get a “free coffee conversation” because our current platforms are not really set up to do that.  The “free” section of Craigslist is mostly mattresses and other piles of semi-garbage.  Dating apps and other “connect to those around you” type apps come will all sorts of expectations.

The local web is created and defined by the people who use it.  And patrons are using /free to share a part of themselves that is hard to commoditize.  Where else will your find your neighbors offering free garden planning, free art lessons, or free painted portraits in exchange for being a model.  When you have a platform that is as open and flexible as human nature, you end up with a product that is closer to the human heart.

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Image via Marcel Hauri on Flickr

0229: /christmas-trees

christmastree

The tree is trimmed, time to share

For some people, Christmas tree trimming is an annual family event. To others its an expression of their decorating skill.  If you have a good looking tree going on, while not share it?  You earned it.

Just snap a photo and post to localweb.is/christmas-tree where you can see what your neighbors are up to with their trees.  It’s not really a competition.. ok.. it’s a little bit of a competition, but it’s all in merry fun.

If you haven’t bought your tree yet and see your neighbor has posted a great specimen of a blue spruce and you want to know where he got it, just ask!  Do you love your neighbor’s ornaments?  Drop a compliment.  /christmas-trees is a celebration of this one aspect of Christmas and because all the posts are from people in your area, it’s an opportunity to get to know them a bit as well and spread some holiday cheer.

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Image via Selbie Lynn on Flickr

0228: /munch

munch

Social media?  Try local media.

Sarah Johnson is an influencial food blooger in Providence, Rhode Island.  Whenever a new restaurant opens up, her reviews on her blog, “Munch”, can be an important part of that opening being successful or a failure.

While she gets a lot of traffic to her blog, her other social media accounts just aren’t moving the needle.  She often instagrams her meals but on that platform she is competing with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other food bloggers across the world.  Providence is her domain and she is a big fish in a small pond there.  These global platforms are like the ocean and it can be hard to get some attention.

She posts her food thoughts on Twitter as well, but readers really aren’t on Twitter, or at least not often enough to catch her tweets.  Her readers are localized in Providence.  That is where she has the most influence.  So instead of social media, she has turned to local media to get the word out.

While she posts full reviews of new restaurants to her blog, she gives short thoughts on most meals at localweb.is/munch.  She has followers there too and since she knows all her followers are in the area, she can get a lot of interaction.  /munch or “slash munch” as its called in Providence can be useful tool to fill seats at any restaurant.  When Maria raves about the eggs benedict at the Seaplane Diner (not on the menu, you have to ask for them) it creates a lot of activity in the slash. This causes /munch to rise to the top of localweb.is, which is like the front page of the local web.  When /munch is near the top, people in the area take notice.  The next day, the Seaplane Diner has to print new menus since everyone is asking for the eggs benedict.  This is the power of local media versus social media, where most hashtags just get lost in the wind and noise.

Local media is just a natural extension of the local web.  Global platforms force global competition when most of the time what matters most is what you can walk to.  What you can actually experience.

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Image via Lori Stalteri on Flickr

0227: /blues

blues

What’s that sound?  Someone is playing the blues.

Where can you hear the blues in your town?  Go ahead, google it.  You will find some club dates, maybe a festival in a few months.  But there is much more blues playing going on below the surface.

The blues are being played in garages, basements, schools and small bars and coffee shops.  Places that don’t have an official booking, or a website, or an affiliation with Ticket Master.

Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen.                 -Amy Winehouse

Just lost your job?  Well now you have a blues song.  Grab your guitar and head out to the park and start playing the blues.  But also post to localweb.is/blues.   People who are looking for the blues will be following that slash and you might attract a few fellow musicians.

It doesn’t always have to be so spontaneous though.  Is your local high school putting on a blues show with some great young talent?  It’s going to be hard to get the attention of the typical music gatekeepers in your city.  Just post to /blues.  When you are at the event, take a photo and it post to /blues.  The activity will cause /blues to rise to the top of the directory at localweb.is.  Others in the area will see it, and because they are all local, and this is their high school, it has more value to them then some blues show they have to plan a whole evening around.

Of course, if you live in a city where the blues is played quite often, you can just keep an eye on /blues to see what shows are really hopping that evening.  Who are the people exited to see that may be flying under the radar of local publications?

The local web removes the traditional gatekeepers from local knowledge and events.  What’s going on right now, to the minute, within walking distance?  That’s what the local web will answer.

And if there is nothing going on and the place is totally dead…. well then you have another blues song.  Post to /blues.

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Image via Chris Beckett on Flickr

0226: /u/caleb-beard-diary

bearddiary

A private collection of a beard            pic a day

The journey to “yeard” takes strength, determination, and often the right genetics.  It helps to document your progress and look back to see how far you have come.

Well Caleb here is trying to grow a beard and started an unlisted local web URL where he posts one beard pic per day.  Every day he just goes to localweb.is/u/caleb-beard-diary (it’s bookmarked as an icon on his home screen) and quickly takes and posts a selfie.  Sometimes he adds some thoughts about his beard as well.

The /u/ makes it unlisted on localweb.is, which is a directory of popular and trending slashes.  The only way to know about Caleb’s beard diary is if he gives the URL out.  Sure he could just take photos on his phone and save them to local storage, but he does want to share the diary with some folks.  He gives the link to close friends and to the folks on /beard-selfie.  But mostly, it’s a private URL which makes it free from trolls.

Whenever Caleb is suffering from beard-induced depression and gets the urge to just shave it all off, he swipes through /u/caleb-beard-diary and gets a sense of all the work his face has done.  It gives him a little encouragement.  His friends sometimes leave nice comments in there too.  Caleb now realizes again that his beard is worth growing.

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Image via Sean Salmon on Flickr

0225: /beard-selfie

beard

Beards of a feather…

So it’s the end of “Movember” and what do you have to show for yourself?  Chances are it could be a rocking beard and mustache.  Well it’s time to show that off and show some solidarity for your whiskered kin.

Just post your beard pic to localweb.is/beard-selfie and lavish in the man-on-man attention you have been missing.

Growing a beard for the long haul, also know as the “yeard” is hard work.  You have to face the sometimes daily score of your spouse, co-workers, or mother-in-law.  It’s a journey and it helps to share that journey with others in the area who are going through the same personal and physical growth.  While posting to other social networks may lead to abusive beard-shaming, the local web, or at least /beard-selfie is a close knit community of like-bearded souls to share your progress with.

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Image via Mike Mozart on flickr