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Doing Local Right
The Lawrence Journal-World

Simon Willison - http://simonwillison.net/
      8th June, @media 2007
“Local”
Local Search Sucks
• How do I know if the results
 are comprehensive?

• How do I know if the locations
 are accurate?

• How do I know if th...
What the hell does a
Californian multinational
 know about my town?
Local flavour matters
• In London, people care about
  nearest tube station
• In American cities, it’s all about
  blocks a...
You can’t solve a local
problem on a global scale
Meanwhile...
The decline
  of news
• Craigslist is destroying classified
  advertising revenue

• Business models that rely on owning
  the only printing pres...
• What’s the point of republishing
  wire stories when the Web has
  hyperlinks?
Old media blames new media
quot;If all of the newspapers in
America did not allow Google
  to steal their content, how
 profitable would Google be?
  ...
Two problems

• Good local sites need local
  knowledge

• Newspapers are finding their old
  business models no longer work
What happens when you put
  a great web team together
and get them to build sites for
      a local newspaper...
... in Kansas?
... Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

• Population: 80,098
• Newspaper: The Lawrence Journal-World
 • Circulation ~ 10,000
 • Locally owned
 •...
lawrence.com
ljworld.com
ljworld.com/marketplace
How do you do it?

• Small, passionate team
 • “Wouldn’t it be cool if...”
• Someone else to think about the money
• Inter...
Use Django
The team
The team
http://www.jeffcroft.com/

http://www.b-list.org/

http://www.jacobian.org/

http://postneo.com/

http://www.playgroundblu...
Thank you!
kthxbye




http://xkcd.com/c262.html
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Doing Local Right

  1. Doing Local Right The Lawrence Journal-World Simon Willison - http://simonwillison.net/ 8th June, @media 2007
  2. “Local”
  3. Local Search Sucks
  4. • How do I know if the results are comprehensive? • How do I know if the locations are accurate? • How do I know if the place has closed down?
  5. What the hell does a Californian multinational know about my town?
  6. Local flavour matters • In London, people care about nearest tube station • In American cities, it’s all about blocks and intersections • In Oxford, it’s all about where I can park my bicycle
  7. You can’t solve a local problem on a global scale
  8. Meanwhile...
  9. The decline of news
  10. • Craigslist is destroying classified advertising revenue • Business models that rely on owning the only printing press in town are no longer relevant • News is becoming a commodity
  11. • What’s the point of republishing wire stories when the Web has hyperlinks?
  12. Old media blames new media
  13. quot;If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be? Not very.quot; - Sam Zell, Chicago Tribune owner
  14. Two problems • Good local sites need local knowledge • Newspapers are finding their old business models no longer work
  15. What happens when you put a great web team together and get them to build sites for a local newspaper...
  16. ... in Kansas?
  17. ... Lawrence, Kansas
  18. Lawrence, Kansas • Population: 80,098 • Newspaper: The Lawrence Journal-World • Circulation ~ 10,000 • Locally owned • Media monopoly (for about 50 miles²)
  19. lawrence.com
  20. ljworld.com
  21. ljworld.com/marketplace
  22. How do you do it? • Small, passionate team • “Wouldn’t it be cool if...” • Someone else to think about the money • Intern power! • Treat your data with respect
  23. Use Django
  24. The team
  25. The team
  26. http://www.jeffcroft.com/ http://www.b-list.org/ http://www.jacobian.org/ http://postneo.com/ http://www.playgroundblues.com/ http://mintchaos.com/
  27. Thank you!
  28. kthxbye http://xkcd.com/c262.html
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