Radar, cool hyper-local service from outside.in

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outside.in, the local news site co-founded by geographer-historian Steven Johnson, launched a service called Radar which claims to feed you news from within 1,000 feet of your stated location. Similar to the other hyper-local services like EveryBlock and Topix, their service parses blogs and other social media for stories tied to a specific location.

outside.in also added GeoToolkit for publishers that want to geo-tag their feeds and take advantage of outside.in distribution. For users, they’ve synched with Yahoo’s FireEagle platform to automate updating of your location. The “news within 1,000 feet” is a compelling promise and hopefully it will generate enough interest in the service so they can reach critical mass.

Local news is a hard nut to crack. I still get the best results from a variety of bloggers that cover my home town which I can share via My Yahoo. The winning solution is going to be a hybrid of automated parsing (which has it’s own limitations) and crowd-sourced editorial that brings in the right people with the right set of incentives. Local Newspapers have the institutional clout to invite local participation but I’m still looking for a site that expands on the seemless integration of community blogs at the Lawrence-Journal (work incidentally started by EveryBlock’s founder, Adrian Holovaty).

Who’s going to write the CMS platform for the local newspaper that wants to go online?

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3 Replies to “Radar, cool hyper-local service from outside.in”

  1. hey Ian, thanks for your mention. we're doing our best to help people share information within their neighborhoods– to help connect citizen journalists with folks who'd like stay aware of what's happening in their own back yard. while we're not a CMS provider, we have been working on GeoToolkit, which you've called out, which should help placebloggers with geotagging and promoting their content to take advantage of the ever-increasing amount of geo-aware technology that's out there.

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