This a.m. I got a reminder from some of my U.K. twitter folks that today is Ada Lovelace Day: a day of international blogging established to draw attention to the achievements of women in techology. Technology, however, is defined rather broadly to include innovators, entrepreurs and tech journalists. I'd like to take this one step further to acknowedge the women who create hyperlocal journalism online, for many of them are not just writing about their towns and cities, but are also building the sites (yes, the dreadded "back end"), doing podcasts, and creating video. While some men are sitting around wringing their hands and kvetching that there's "no business model" and "you can't make money on hyperlocal" these women are out there doing the work of hyperlocal. Some are making money, while others are creating incredible influence in both big and small ways. Here's a list of ten that I know who've been constants in hyperlocal but still do not receive the requisite national attention that men whose efforts are half as successful have received...
1. Debra Gallant & Liz George of Baristanet who took a simple Wordpress blog and built it out into a highly successful (yes, moneymaking) hyperlocal site covering Bloomfielded, NJ and surrounding suburbs.
2. Lise LePage founder of iBrattleboro Along w/partner Chris Grotke, Lise works on back end, community building, and article writing for a site that has become a go-to for news in Brattleboro, VT.
3. Maureen Mann, former managing editor of The Forum (Deerfield, NH) What happens when the place you live has absolutely no news coverage? Maureen and several other "citizens" got together and created this hyperlocal site. There are a number of women on the staff as well as Maureen who keep the folks off Deerfield and the surrounding areas informed.
4. Ruby Sinreich of Orange Politics At the hyperlocal panel at BlogWorld Expo, Ruby made a point that sometimes you don't do hyperlocal for the money but for the influence. OP has a major influence not just on bloggers but on the politics of Chapel Hill, NC. Oh, and she also works on the "back end" maintaining this Drupal-based site.
5. Heather Brandon of Urban Compass I met Heather close to 5 years ago now, when she was keeping Urban Compass, a blog about Springfield, MA for the Springfield Republican's Masslive.com site. Since then, she's taken this important hyperlocal blog out from under the auspices of the msm, and has also moved to Hartford, CT--where she now blogs on both Springfiled, MA and Hartford, CT. She's had some of the best coverage on the flap at the Hartford Courant over incivility in their forums...and the criminal charges against the Mayor of Hartford (who was the most vocal critic of the Courant's forums, including a protest on the steps of the paper. such drama!) Oh, and Heather also does the artwork and "back end" of her site as well.
6. Christine Stuart of CT NewsJunkie The place to go for the scoop on the Connecticut political scene. Christine has also done some work for Fox 61, the Hartford Fox affiliate.
7. Gena Haskett of Out on the Stoop Since 2004, Genia has kept this modest blog filled with thoughtful commentary on the political scene, being a woman, and life in Los Angeles. Witty, wise, smart and down to earth.
8. Tracy Record of West Seattle Blog This is the little blog that really, really could! In a (relatively) short period of time, Tracy's built this site into something really special (and money-making) Oh, and she's also great at using Twitter.
9. Borges of KickTime and companion wiki Kickapedia
Kicktime is a huge hyperlocal site serving the Kickapoo Valley, Wisconsin. It's companion site Kickapedia, provides a listing of local businesses, farms, etc. Borges is also the site admin, who's in charge of the "back end"
10. And, last but not least, my compadre Lisa Williams, founder of Placeblogger.com and H2otown What can I say about Lisa that I haven't already said? When it comes to Placeblogger, Lisa and I are out there with the Big Boys of aggregation, probably the only women doing hyperlocal aggregation, that's for sure.
I know that there are a whole lot more women that I could add to this list, all over the country, who are making hyperlocal happen. If you know of other women who are making hyperlocal happen, please add them in the comments.
Happy Ada Lovelace Day everybody!
Note: There are so many women doing hyperlocal--and I have to apologize to all the women I couldn't include in this post....