Let's stay in touch
It's not just a website. I use this site to pull things together, but use other services to offer items of interest to civic-minded people to people like you.
- Sign up for the weekly email newsletter (on your right, or below if you're using a phone). This sends posts from this site conveniently to your in-box
- @SouthOfFraser on Twitter. I try to share links and items about the communities South of the Fraser River
- South of the Fraser or the Surrey page on G+. This is more photo-related items
- creating an almanac of data and news about the area
- collecting public sentiment about the area, as it is publicly expressed through Twitter, because it's convenient
- experimenting with moving statistical data from tables into graphs and narratives
- occassional blog-like posts about flora, fauna and other discoveries
The big plan
My first thought was to think big(ish) and create an inclusive space for Delta, Surrey and Langley. But that's too big. Too much work. Too much of a hassle. Who's got the time? Not me. I have to work. So I have to focus.
The notional working plan now includes:
The South of the Fraser project makes extensive use of news alerts and rss feeds, and Twitter, through @southoffraser. This isn't just a marketing tool for the site, but also a method to (1) share content that may not be shared by every other person, and (2) collect news items of interest for other projects, like weekly news roundups, or perhaps (at some point) a year in review.
In practice, I've noticed...
I get intrigued by problems. One early project was to take every mention of Surrey on Twitter, the bad and the good, and make a daily post out of it. This has turned into a fascinating adventure, one that's still evolving. I've since put it on hold. If you're interested in that sort of thing, I have a blog, in the original sense of the term, here, where I vent over technical and other issues about this site.
Two weekly posts try to sum up what's happening. The Week in review gathers a compilation from news sources, local bloggers and politicians into one convenient package. Tweets and retweets pulls together a week's worth of @SouthOfFraser tweets. Great reading!
I'm slowly filling in other areas of interest as I get around to it, and along the way trying to be more inclusive of other cities. The contact page on politicians from Delta to Abbotsford is the most comprehensive I've seen anywhere. Gathering the information for that shows just how difficult finding some of this material can be. You'd think by now online contact information would be easily accessible, accurate and comprehensive. It isn't, especially once you get to the municipal level.
A few influences
Although the hyperlocal dream hasn't lived up to it's initial promise a lot can be learned from the variety of its manifestations. A good example I've enjoyed over the years is New Westminster's Tenth to the Fraser, the counter-cultural and sadly no-longer active Beyond Robson, plus a few personal blogs that have a civic point-of-view like Gordon Price's Price Tags and Frances Bula's State of Vancouver.
On this side of the Fraser South Fraser Blog deserves mention.
Complaints and commendations