0250: /


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  Calendars and other “what’s going on” sites are likely outdated and only cover the largest of events.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

0209: /v/costumes


Who’s got the best costume around?

Some people go out on Halloween and some people go ALL OUT on Halloween.  If you have put effort into your costume, you want to share it as much as possible.  Get that respect and not just on one night.

For the month of October localweb.is/v/costumes is constantly at the top of the front page.  People there are sharing their costume creations and others are voting them up or down.  This is what the /v/ does to the slash.  Having the best costume in your area is quite rewarding, especially when those people see you at parties.

There are lots of places to show off your costume online, but with many platforms you are competing with literally millions of other people doing the same thing so it can be hard to get some respect.  But when the pool of people is lowered to those in your area, those that actually matter, it can be easier to get noticed for your hard and creative work.

The local web is about small ponds, and who doesn’t want to be a big fish every once in a while?

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via a_karenina on reddit

0194: /TIL


Today I learned… locally.

There is a fun and popular subreddit called “Today I learned” and accompanying acronym, TIL, where people share interesting and often unknown facts.

Example “ TIL there’s a whole genus of spiders whose scientific names all derive from characters from the movie “Predator”

Often when we are browsing the web we come across such interesting factoids and feel obliged to share.

The same thing can happen when we are walking about our physical world, only we don’t really get the opportunity to share.  Or when we do, the big wide Internet doesn’t really care about our small local facts.

That’s why people are posting their interesting local findings to localweb.is/til.  There they will find interesting stuff about a place’s history and its people.

Did you know that Louis Ballast, who ran the Humpty Dumpty Barrel Drive-In in Denver, was the first person to trademark the cheeseburger?  If you are not in Denver, you probably didn’t care either.  But if you are in Denver, since the local web URLs are location based, then these kinds of facts are what you’d find at /TIL

The Internet is the best tool for learning that we have.  But for sharing, especially locally, the mile-wide web is better.

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

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Tim Bockley on Flickr CC 2.0

0158:  /reddit


Global website, local audience

Reddit is often described by its’ founders as a country with 160 million citizens. That’s a lot of people. The site is also frequently a source of both dramatic change and controversy.  Redditers are everywhere.  In fact, there is probably one near you right now.

That’s what localweb.is/reddit is for: those who love or hate Reddit but are looking for a local conversation instead of a global one.  Want to find Redditers in Denver?  You can find some at reddit.com/r/denver but there are also some on /denver and if you filter the URL down to 100 yards, there might be some very close by.

The world wide web is wonderful at bringing people together using global websites, but many of these people already share a very important commonality — proximity.  URLs like localweb.is/slashdot, localweb.is/hackernews and localweb.is/wikipedia can facilitate local groups borne out of the global collective, and reveal 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

Image via Tim Dorr on Flicker | Licensed by CC2.0