One city’s blossoming digital media landscape

By Steve Outing

Over on the website of the Digital Media Test Kitchen (I’m director of that program at CU-Boulder), I’ve posted an update on one of our projects, called “Slices of Boulder,” which we’re working on with a technology partner, Toronto-based Eqentia, using its semantic publishing and distribution platform.

Work is happening over the summer, including building a taxonomy for the city of Boulder and surrounding communities, and identifying all of the local news and information digital sources currently in operation and serving Boulder’s residents. The latter is a fascinating, if big, task; the number of online sources of local, niche-local, hyper-local, and neighborhood news and information sources has grown significantly in the last year or two.

If you head on over to the Test Kitchen site at the link above, you’ll see a table I created of just some of the varied online sources available in the Boulder area today. The breadth and scope of the list (and what I published is just a small sample) is impressive. There’s a lot of diversity in the digital media-scape these days, even within a single mid-sized city. (Try this for a bigger city like Seattle, and you’ll be even more impressed by the growth of the “5th estate.”)

The reason for this, of course, is both the ease and low cost for anyone to publish in the digital age, and the decline in our local legacy news organizations, which just like in most other communities have seen editorial workforce reductions that leave holes in coverage of the Boulder area.

We expect to have a working website, a deep local-news-and-info aggregator, ready by the end of the summer or early fall.