Hyperlocal is the New Black

Mallusk Sign

The web is a big place. It’s full of porn, and social networking sites, people flogging all manner of dubious health products and even more dubious information on how to be happy. Much of it is pretty useless. How do we sift through the dregs to find the cream?

What I’ve noticed recently is a profusion of hyperlocal sites. I used to bemoan the fact that websites mentioned England, or America, but forgot about here. No longer. People want information. They want it about their area. And, they want to be able to filter it by county and town.

So, who’s doing hyperlocal well?

Trip Advisor

Following a very bad experience with a hotel a few months ago, I don’t even do an overnight anywhere, without consulting this site. It’s a review site, designed to give those booking holidays, trips, and other visits an idea of what a place is like, before booking.

People review for one of two reasons in my opinion:

  1. The customer service experience was outstanding. And, let’s face it, that’s not very difficult in Northern Ireland.
  2. The customer service experience made them feel like adopting a life of Asceticism, with need for neither food nor shelter, nor any other frivolities.


Consider Lookaly. Most reviews are positive, perhaps because we all know each other.

(But those that are poor, are very poor.) Lee Munroe is not doing the reviews, his users are. User-generated content. It’s the way the whole thing’s going.


Jacqueline McGonigle from WhatsOnNI has been very clever in establishing multiple categories on her site. That means I don’t have to trawl through a reem of Antiques / Crafts / Collectors Fairs for example, to find what I want. Much of the site’s content is user-generated, like with Lookaly, though she is also very busy blogging, tweeting and Facebooking these events too. (I wish someone would come up with a Facebook verb.)

People therefore can follow WhatsOnNI using a method of their choice. It takes time and effort to build a following though, be warned.

Business Events Hub

This is a public Facebook Page, so you don’t need an account to view it, though you will if you want to participate in any discussions on the page.

It’s maintained by Tracy Gilpin from Gilpin Consulting.

Alive on the Coast

Alive on the Coast is surfisode2 from Alive Surf School, for all you Bryan Wilson wannabes out there. (Incidentally, he never set foot on a surfboard.)

Look at all the good stuff that’s happening locally. Unstrap yourself from all your cables, phones, laptops, TVs, put on a big hat and coat, and go enjoy it! You couldn’t beat it with a big stick!