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HyperLocal – a Framework

*** Last Updated February 14 2010 ***

I will be continually refining and updated the Framework presented in this post. Please subscribe to this post, or revisit this post, to follow the elaboration of this Framework.
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HyperLocal – a Framework

Many moons (4 months) ago I posted this post trying to define the meaning of HyperLocal. Not a bad first try, but I’ve since come to understand HyperLocal in a somewhat different way. I’ve come to understand HyperLocal strategy as being comprised of a number of different “dimensions”, each of which comprises some part of the overall picture. My initial list of these dimensions are (using Local and HyperLocal interchangeably):

  1. Local News/Journalism
  2. Local Business/Commerce
  3. Local Advertising
  4. Local Community
  5. HyperLocal Business Models

These are the core dimensions. At the same time, there are various technologies that are key enablers of the solutions developed for these above dimensions. An initial list covering some of the capabilities I am most interested in is:

  1. Identity and Personalization
  2. Social Media/Social Web
  3. Real-time Web
  4. Geolocation
  5. Search
  6. Mobile
  7. Machine Learning
  8. Structured Data/Semantic Web

BTW, for a very nice examination of different aspects of the HyperLocal space, see Alex Isgold’s post on RWW from November 2007 titled The Rise Of Hyperlocal Information. A more recent analysis of the Hyperlocal space from Mark Briggs reporting from the Interactive Local Media conference in December 2009 can be found here: Look to ‘local online’ for the business model of local journalism.

I will explore these distinct dimensions, or perspectives, in a series of follow-up posts:

Hope you enjoy this series of posts.


Categories: Local Tags: ,
  1. January 5, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Very intriguing. It brings back the concept of HyperCard, or perhaps even better, the various three-dimensional networking applications in which you can “enter” at any point and then have immediate, contextual access to multiple other points–all local, all connected, all potentially providing mutual support and energy. It turns the fear of “globalization” inside out and further boosts the value of “sister cities,” “sister neighborhoods.” I’ve been working with a regional group of intentional communities toward increasing real-time mutual support and learning via social media, which would be a different level instance of what you are laying out.

  2. January 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Hi Ken. Thanks for the reply. BTW, I briefly checked out your website and found in very intriguing. I’m a big “patterns” guy myself, being an architect, and really appreciate the work of Christopher Alexander. Look forward to exploring your site in more detail.

    Back to you reply, as an Architecture, I’ve always appreciate the value of identifying key viewpoints, or dimensions, and then viewing a complex system from various viewpoints. Basically, it’s a critical strategy for both capturing essence and managing complexity.

    And you’re absolutely right about this approach allowing one to “enter” a complex space from various dimensions, explore the system from that perspective, but then “toggle” to another related dimension as one’s curiosity or interest suggests.

    This approach BTW, lay at the heart of Graph Theory and the Semantic Web. This is the approach of well-describing a complex domain in terms of well-specified, interlocking or cross-cutting dimensions, which enables one to explore and toggle one’s views as mentioned above. Ideally, this can be done in a graph-like, highly exploratory and visual manner – as opposed to simply toggling dimensions for instance in the case of a pivot table or data warehouse.

    Regarding your providing your work with “sister neighborhoods/cities” as an example of this type of approach, I think you find the possibility of this type of approach in the analysis of any complex system. And if a system is understood/designed with well-defined, well-factored, well-related dimensions, it provides the underlying architecture for a very flexible, agile system, very adapabtable, BTW, to emergent behavior.

    Best wishes,

  3. January 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Ken and Glenn,

    Very interested in this thread – we’re working on a new project that may be of interest in creating tools for local resilience (Buildership.org and a “Builders Lab” Buildership.ning.com ).

    We’d especially welcome your coming in on the review of workplans and specs for open source projects to increase the ability of online communities to create, crowdfund, and timeraise in support of local solutions.


    Mark Frazier
    @buildership @openworld @peerlearning

  1. February 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm
  2. February 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm
  3. February 14, 2010 at 11:51 pm
  4. February 15, 2010 at 12:13 am
  5. October 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

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