Get Local with NBC 11 Hometown

I recently met some of the folks at NBC 11 at the Social Media Club’s Silicon Valley chapter last night, and they shared with me a hyperlocal website that they’ve launched. While NBC is known as a media creator, this time, the neighborhood and community are the producers of the content.

What’s in Hometown? Pretty much everything important to your neighborhood, (check out this one of downtown San Jose) from restaurant reviews, to business reviews, and even an area to post one’s information and link to exterior blogs. From one glance, I could also check the weather or even add to a community calendar.

The good folks have just launched this site and are looking for people to jump in try it out and provide some feedback, which is testament they understand the new media landscape –real time feedback from the community. Overall I like what they’ve done and have a few suggestions for getting the ‘conversatoin going’

It was suggested I provide feedback so here’s a few things that could help it grow:

-Cool user interface, seems standard in navigating and getting around, I wasn’t confused.
-I like how users can create their own neighborhood, neat.
-Caution: I see this site as replicating content that exists elsewhere, read my thoughts on community.
-I hope they take a look at Topix, which aggregates local content, I’m sure it will scrape the content found in Hometown.
-Create a local aggregator, so content can be scraped off the web and shown on the site
-Pull in and display images tagged with local locations, some modern photo applications have geo coordinates in them
-Content doesn’t only have to have news from the neighborhood only
-Check out Chowhound and Yelp to pull restaurant reviews from those sites
-Check out and pull in content from those sites
-Look at voting type features in addition to reviews, and build ‘best of’ lists for the bay area
-This is listening and intelligence tool for NBC, the community will start to tell you what’s important, and what NBC should be covering in it’s mainstream news.
-Bonus: check out what Newstrust is doing with their multiple layers of content filtering

Again, overall this is a fantastic start, and it’s a tread of what smart organizations are doing to let others join in creating content. It ties to why I believe the corporate website is irrelevant, and the future holds the communities creating it in addition to marketing.

I’m a spectator in the journalist + social media world, and recently was in a video that shared my thoughts on the future of media.

Congratulations to NBC for letting go to gain more.

Please check out the hometown site, and leave your feedback here in the comments

1) What’s good?
2) What could be improved?
3) Would you use it?
4) Would you tell others about it?