Jonathan Peterson: Become the Local Media.
Yeah baby, yeah! I see big opportunities there. The cost of blogging is
practically zero and there's got to be people who like to follow what
happens locally and wouldn't mind writing about it.
Okay, so how can this get started in a loosely joined fashion?
One way would be to find a few other local bloggers (GeoURLs can come in handy here) and set up a community aggregator, e.g. using the RSS-based Rollup or the TrackBack-based Topic Exchange. (The latter route is how Austin Bloggers
got their start, and look at the great local log they've got now.)
beef things up at the outset when you have little manpower, you could feed on local news, as gathered e.g.
by topix.net (which is US only for now) and reblog whatever feels right. [Update, March 1st: Hmmm. Careful with that one, as their terms of service might well forbid that.]
Geoffrey also points to a fascinating (if you're interested in the dynamics of academia) document in which the Faculty of Information Studies of the University of Toronto attempts to redefine itself. As Geoffrey writes,
In the paper the dean, Briank Cantwell Smith raises questions about
what is the subject of information studies (we all study information.)
He argues for an issues oriented, interdisciplinary centre that looks
at documentary practices and performances.
What is exciting about the process is that it is open (I can look at
it) and openness is also one of the issues (as in Open Source as an
Perhaps what we need is a clear philosophy of open source research as a practice.