A quick rant about Local People

Yes I’m biased because I run Lichfield Live which is obviously a competing service but I’m still gonna whinge about Local People.

This week Lichfield Live launched a business directory, in part because the alternative is so out of date!

Today I’m annoyed because they’ve decided to be all community-hugging and have the residents of Lichfield vote for their favourite pubs.

Number 9 has been shut for years (see screenshot below)!

Not only that but this is supposed to be a local media web site. In that case, what are “Best UK Pubs Ltd”, “Crown at Lichfield Ltd” and “Lloyds No One”?

I’ll tell you – they’re the legal names of the place known locally as Samuel’s (or Sammy’s), The Crown and Gatehouse.

Great work, “Local” People network.

7 thoughts on “A quick rant about Local People”

    1. They’ve reserved 1000’s of domain names but so far have only built 400+ sites. There’s communities across the country that will suffer from their model. They are taking passion away from communities and replacing it with trash!

  1. I really should read your stuff more often, Phil… ;o)

    Anyway, I have no issue with anyone doing their own thing and I’ve said as much to ‘Elksie’ (as he refers to himself in your screenshot above). After all, that’s exactly what we did.

    However, what I do take issue with is the myth that Local People Lichfield is some kind of caring, sharing site for the people by the people. It isn’t. The clue is at the bottom – Northcliffe Digital. This is a commercial operation with profit at its heart. Again, nothing wrong with that. But let’s be open about it. I had a discussion with Elksie on Twitter about the reasoning behind Lichfield Local People and I’m still awaiting a response to a point I made about why, if it was set up as a place for the community to interact and get hyperlocal news, they hadn’t involved those already doing it at the outset?

    I’m not saying we’d have got into bed with them, but stranger things have happened at sea. We got involved in the Birmingham Mail Communities project when a number of ‘commentators’ suggested the big bad wolf was peeing on us from a great height and taking advantage. We’re not stupid enough to realise that the Mail aren’t getting something from it, of course they are. They’re filling pages which would otherwise need content created, and they’re doing a PR job for themselves on the work they’re doing with the community-led sites. However, we were happy with what we were getting out of the arrangement and went for it.

    But Local People never got the chance to pick our brains and learn some of the lessons we’ve spent the last three years learning because they never asked. But it kind of sums up the general attitude of the traditional print media (a land I once resided, incidentally) – man the barricades and don’t let the commoners in. A small part of the piece I wrote for Journal Local sums a lot of it up, where one editor essentially admitted he knew his website wasn’t really succeeding, but they weren’t prepared to admit defeat as at least they were in a position to stop someone else starting a website (the full piece is here: http://journallocal.co.uk/2011/04/15/trying-to-go-forward-while-always-looking-backwards/).

    And Local People smacks of a spoiler site (look at the lack of coverage they’ve given it in the Mercury – God forbid it should actually start to damage their precious newspaper). It’ll chug along until they need to see off something they see as a threat and then it’ll disappear back in its shell. And who suffers because of a potentially weakened local media due to this attitude? The local people of course. Kind of ironic, really.

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