Community media exists today in its traditional formats of local TV, radio and newspapers. Almost anybody can attest to the reality that most local news and events coverage still happen through these traditional media.
Community 2.0 media, where the community itself participates in local conversation, is evolving through several specific, established online channels:
- Online newspapers provide venues for community commentary on local news
- Craigslist and Yelp provide ad hoc community bulletin boards
What’s surprising is that the above venues are the only “local” websites with significant community participation. (Try thinking of any others…)
The above means of community interaction relies on the local user to post directly onto the site. Thus, conversations are much harder to find and track in real time because the commentary remains buried inside the website, whether it’s the online newspaper or Craigslist.
The local conversation is most engaging when it is distributed
Local conversations can also be hashtagged for distribution via Twitter and through local Twitter feed aggregation sites like Breaking SF News.com:
Conclusion: Local conversations are oriented to real time because every participant is a part of a real life community. Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and other real time social media applications will be the most efficient way to broadcast running dialogues, even conferences, within the community. Community media systems, structured like the Breaking News Network or adhoc in local Facebook groups, will evolve to capture these conversations.