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24tips: finding online communities & hyperlocal sites

3 Dec: So you really like the idea of engaging with existing online forums and hyperlocal sites, and want to work with the ones relevant to your location or topic. But how to find them?

Hyperlocal
A great source of hyperlocal sites is @countculture’s OpenlyLocal directory, which lists them by name along with RSS and Twitter feeds where they exist. An even nicer way of looking at the list (and persuading sceptics that hyperlocal sites are widespread) is this map of hyperlocal sites.

Online communities
There are tools like Board Reader, Board Tracker, Big Boards, Omgili and plenty more, but if you want to find relevant online forums by topic, nothing beats this tip from Richard Millington of the great online community how-to blog, Feverbee using good old Google:

Searching for “{topic} online community” probably wont get you good results. Try “{topic} chat” or “{topic} forum” or “{topic} fans” and other terms along those lines.

search for forums

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