I'm really excited to report that we launched Radar today, the most significant addition to outside.in since we first put up our alpha site 20 months ago.
The list of cool things you can do with Radar is long, but I think the basic premise is pretty simple and intuitive. Tell us where you are, and Radar shows you what's happening around you, at increasing levels of zoom: the 1000-foot scale, the neighborhood scale, the city scale, and "Everywhere Else" in the U.S. (Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will recognize the zooming concept.) Right now, we're tracking blog posts, news stories, outside.in discussions, and Twitter tweets, and organizing them all both around specific places and topics. You'll see more content -- and more kinds of content -- flowing through your Radar in the coming months.
One of the things I love about Radar is that you track can specific places: schools, real estate developments, playgrounds. We'll "star" any item that comes in about that particular place, and if you happen to to be zoomed in on a location far from that place, we'll make sure that the item shows up in the "Everywhere Else" zoom level.
You can see two key ideas at work here, both of which are central to our philosophy about what hyperlocal means. The first is that to date hyperlocal hasn't been local enough. Yes, it's nice to see news filtered by your zip code or your town, but there are more immediate zones that matter even more than that. A deli closing within five hundred feet of my house matters a lot to me; a deli closing ten blocks away is pretty much meaningless. (This is the Pothole Paradox I wrote about last year.) The thousand-foot-view lets you zoom in on precisely that zone of core interest. This is one of the concepts that drove us to create dedicated Place pages for hundreds of thousands of places around the country a year ago; Radar takes all that information and makes it immediately easy to parse.
The other big idea about local is that people care about specific places that are, in some cases, scattered all around the world. I'm fascinated by the Hudson Yards and High Line development projects in Manhattan, and so I've set up my Radar to track those specific places, even though I live in another borough. I don't see all the hyperlocal news from Manhattan's neighborhoods in my Radar, but I do see every mention of Hudson Yards and the High Line.
The underlying principle here is that hyperlocal is all about places that are geographically close to you and emotionally close to you. Radar lets you see it all. So go check it out...