A site about how community groups and charities can make the most of data and open data to do something useful. Focused on Birmingham, relevant everywhere.

Copy and paste hyperlocal blogging


As the hyperlocal phenomenon spreads across the UK, those who have been doing it for a while now are coming up with easy models for hyperlocal bloggers to adapt for their own website.

Philip John has been a very busy bee, working on a number of plug-ins (which you upload to your site as a widget – boxey amorphous things on the side of your blog) which hyperlocal bloggers would do well to download and pop on their website.

Picture 3First up, the TheyWorkForYou widget shows you exactly what you local MPs are up to – listing recent activity from the government – this is only the first version of the widget and hopefully it will soon show what your local MP is saying in parliament.

The WriteToThem widget allows you to type in your postcode and write a letter online to your local MP/MEP/Politician – priceless.

GroupsNearYou will highlight groups you can go to in your area based on the postcode you provide.

Last but not least, the OpeningTimes widget is a niftly little plug-in which will show you all your local shops/supermarkets/newsagents opening times – from the Opening Times website which you can edit as it’s a wiki, like Wikipedia. Pretty useful for Christmas Tesco times.

If you want to see what these widgets look like on a hyperlocal blog, head over to Bournville Village. com where I’ve plugged them in to see how they work – they’re on the righthand side of the blog.

There are also a number of people working out hyperlocal wordpress themes which would take away the job of searching and searching for a a wordpress design which suits local blogging.

And there’s news on the grapevine of more local data widgets coming along to so this space…

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