Interesting article over the Moveabletype blog. Anil Dash interviews George Johnson Jr of Hyperlocal Media, who’s using MT as a content system to build hyperlocal community sites that can compete against local newspapers (see their very-cool looking BuffaloRising site).
Here’s some of what Johnson has to say:
Distribution, content creation, and the ability to more
easily compete with established local players online… blogging is
perfect for that. I mean a blog is chronologically arranged, in
columns, divided by categories and changes (in many cases) everyday.
That’s the broad definition of a newspaper, right? A blog is so much
more than that, but the basic structure lends itself very well to
developing an online competitor for newspapers.
It was three years ago that I followed Brad Choate’s instructions for using Moveable Type as a whole-site content management system.
What started as an experiment became a way of life for me. The MT
interface lends itself so well to content management that I’m now using
it for my non-techie clients: Quakersong.org and Quakeryouth.org
are both put together by MT and I’ve been surprised that there’s been
almost no learning curve for the client’s adoption of this software.
Given this, it seems odd that the kids at Moveable Type haven’t
taken MT in this direction (even more surprising since they hired Brad
himself a few years ago!). I see a big market in my niche sites for
this sort of functionality and three years later I’m still having to
tweak templates to get this to work. Anil, what’s up? If Drupal had better documentation and smoother installation it would have been the brawn behind MartinKelley.com.
It would be fun to follow Until Monday’s example and create a
hyperlocal site (hint hint to VW if she’s reading this). Of course,
locality is not just geographically-based anymore. Quakerquaker.org is a local portal of a different kind. I’m a big believer that the hyperlocality of niche and geographic sites are the cutting edge in the next-wave of the social web.
There’s a lot of pioneering to be done in this regards. The net has
a lot of power to take down culture monopolies by confronting old boy
networks and business-as-usual thinking with innovative social networks
that harness the talents of the outsiders. The smart newspapers,
magazines, churches and cultural organizations will come on board and
leap-frog themselves to twenty-first century relevance. Too many of the
Philadelphia (and/or) Quaker institutions I know respond to change by
shuffling job titles and putting blinders up against recognizing the
ever-narrower demographic they serve.