Bob Tedeschi has an interesting article in the New York Times Sunday about local online efforts:
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.
“It replaces the guy from 200 years ago who rang the bell in town,” said Chris Marengo, a lawyer in Pleasantville, N.Y., who visits www.Pleasantville.AmericanTowns.com every few days to stay abreast of local events. “It’s as provincial as it gets.”
Pleasantville is one of thousands of municipalities on the AmericanTowns service, which is based in Fairfield, Conn. Like other community-oriented sites, AmericanTowns offers users the chance to post information free, to bolster postings by site editors.