NYT has an article by Bob Teseschi whis describes emergence of a new class of sites becoming popular.Â
BEFORE the days of the printing press, town squares served as the main forum for exchanging community news and gossip. Now comes the virtual town square.
Across the United States, citizen bloggers and deep-pocketed entrepreneurs are creating town-specific, and even neighborhood-specific, Web sites where the public can read and contribute items too small or too fleeting for weekly newspapers. Suburban towns across the greater New York area are joining in, giving residents a new way to avoid traffic snags, find a lost dog or just vent about a local hot-button issue.
â€œIt replaces the guy from 200 years ago who rang the bell in town,â€? said Chris Marengo, a lawyer in Pleasantville, N.Y., who visits www.Pleasantville.AmericanTowns.com every few days to stay abreast of local events. â€œItâ€™s as provincial as it gets.â€?
With availability ofÂ proper tools, this phenomena is only going to become more popular.Â Citizen journalism is as natural and satisfying as people’s curiosity about what is happening in their neighborhood.