I was in Birmingham yesterday for Talk About Local 12, the fourth annual get-together of local publishers and other folks interested in hyperlocal in the UK.
As usual it was a great day with lots of interesting discussions, ranging from the ethical dilemmas of reporting local crime, to fundamental questions about the sustainability of hyperlocal sites.
On the point about sustainability, I was surprised and pleased to be given a prestigious TAL12 unaward for Best Handover, as Saddleworth News continues to flourish without me.
An old friend of mine, Kathryn Hamlett of BBC online, was there with her boss Robin Morley as part of a new effort by the corporation to forge closer links with hyperlocal sites. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in the coming months, but including links to appropriate hyperlocals in the Related Stories sections of BBC articles, which they’ve promised to do, is a sensible first step.
Great sites from all over the UK and further afield were represented. But I’ll pick out a couple I hadn’t seen before. Both A Little Bit of Stone and Lightmoor Life were recognised in the unawards, and after a quick look at each of them it’s not difficult to see why.
I also took the opportunity to do a quick show-and-tell of Pinwheel, which I’ve been using a fair bit lately. The invites I had to dish out were quickly taken, so hopefully there should be some great new users on there soon. I’ve got some more though, so if you want an invite yourself then either tweet me your email address or put it in a comment below this post.