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Tired of using “San Francisco” as the metaphor for “all things Internet?” How about focusing on “bloggy neighborhoods”?

Beth Lawton at NAA New Media Fed alerted the readership to a list of Top 10 bloggy neighborhoods compiled by, the tracker of 3,000 U.S. neighborhoods. The list may be a little skewed. It not only includes total number of bloggers and comments, but Technorati also rankings for the bloggers and total number of posts. What I’m seeing are a bunch of rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. It is still a lot of fun.

Here they are:

1. Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
2. Shaw, DC
3. Downtown LA
4. Newton, MA
5. Rogers Park/North Howard, Chicago
6. Pearl District (“The Pearl”), Portland
7. Watertown, MA
8. Harlem, N.Y.
9. Potrero Hill, S.F.
10. Coconut Grove (“The Grove”), FL

I’m especially focused on No. 7, which is driven by Lisa Williams’ excellent H2oTown. Lisa, a former Yankee Group analyst, has really bootstrapped her entire community. She’s currently working with Bob Kempf’s team at on its ambitious community project.

Williams, in a comment to my sister blog, noted that “All of the communities on the list are densely populated near suburbs or outer boroughs of major metro areas.

“Why would outer boroughs/near suburbs be more “bloggy” than major metros, exurbs, or smaller cities? My theory: the nearby major metro daily soaks up the ad revenue that would otherwise support the local, usually weekly, paper that covers the near suburb/outer borough. The result is a metro daily that provides inconsistent coverage of their area, and a local news source with shrinking newshole. This creates an ecological niche for a placeblog or online community site for that neighborhood to flourish.

“It’s true that they’re all in areas where house prices rose dramatically during the last decade, but you can say that about the near suburbs/outer boroughs of all of the top 50 metros in the U.S. So it’s not house values that are driving the creation of web-based local community sites: it’s shrinking and inconsistent news coverage in the tight band around major metros.”

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