Another data-point (from the Guardian) on how the decline of cyberspace encourages digital information to migrate from screens to streets, from planning and research phases of activities to decision-making, and from formality and permanence to informality and immediacy.
Spotted by Locals is a network of city bloggers providing up-to-the-minute local information — from a cosy London hideaway to Madrid’s best kept museum secret.
Like many great ideas, Spotted by Locals was conceived after a few beers. Dutch couple Sanne and Bart van Poll were on a city break to Brussels in 2007, and abandoned their customary guidebook in favour of tips gleaned from a Belgian blogger whose jib they like the sound of. «We went to the bars and restaurants he frequents, and walked around in the hidden local neighbourhood that was certainly not in our paper guide,» says Bart. And in one of said bars, they came up with the idea that would imminently lead to both of them quitting their day jobs.
Spotted by Locals is a network of European city blogs written by over 80 local bloggers who Sanne and Bart have met personally since coming up with the idea. Each city blog is manned by a number of enthusiastic local «spotters», ranging from 18-year old Czech medicine students to 60-year old Belgian retirees. As the bloggers are all writing in second (or third) languages, the prose can occasionally be a little clunky, but therein lies its beauty: authentically local, on-the-ground advice. And, like all good blog content, the focus is on keeping up. «All tips are always up-to-date. Our Spotters only write about places they visit regularly, and update the information in the article frequently.»
You could also do this in a more fluid fashion, if you mined Technorati for city names plus certain other terms, like vacation, travel, or a word that a service looks for.