I only regularly read two and only two Chapel Hill blogs, one typically thought of as conservative and one liberal.
So when I looked at all these different sites, databases based on particular areas such as Bluffton Today or Bakotopia, probably what struck me most was their promotion of different blogs.
They're filled with events and other things you might care about, although typically not what I'd consider news. In Bakersfield, I learned about the techno Funalicious show. I was also enlightened about the Bakersfield culture, through this really intelligent post about phat vs. fat.
So what's the news? I can't decide.
But then I look at sites like GasBuddy and my first reaction is OH MY GOD THIS IS SO COOL. and so useful. It may require a little planning ahead, but it's SO COOL. Being able to know the cheapest gas in my area, cheapest gas on my way?! SO COOL.
I don't know. With a site like GasBuddy, there's nothing to sort through. It's so easy to use and organize. But sites like Bakotopia just seem to me like they can't be useful. I think that might be where the journalists come in. Take these blog posts about funotopia and make them organizable. Put them on a calendar or sort them by venue. Sort through the phat vs. fat blogs and put them in a separate section for humor. I don't think I could use Bakotopia for news.
MooCo looked pretty cool too. Unfortunately, though, it had one weakness over the other. MooCo might be amazing if you know what you're looking for — the other sites could be resources for other wishing to learn about the town.
The only thing that concerns me here is that journalists aren't fact checking things people post online. While I don't see people posting false information on things like gas prices, I could see people posting falsities to push agendas or advertise. Maybe that's where we fit in, too. Or at least copy desk.