Vote: Mashable’s Open Web Awards (Where’s Local??)

Mashable is holding its second annual Open Web Awards and voting is open until Dec. 15. You can vote for one company in each of the 26 categories, such as social networking, photo sharing, search & social search, etc. (full list here).

But my biggest question is, where’s local? Among 26 categories, there is no local search — not even mapping. There are some local sites like Yelp and Center’d that are scattered throughout other categories, but shouldn’t local get its own category? The omission isn’t commensurate with local search’s exposure (Google Maps, Yelp, iPhone apps, etc.), market opportunity (our data), and overall usage.

This reminds me of Sebastien Provencher’s mission to get local on the agenda of next year’s South by Southwest conference where it was noticeably missing. Despite local’s actual impact and level of importance in the online world, sometimes, it’s like Rodney Dangerfield: Can’t get no respect. Maybe it’s just not sexy enough …

This could change as growing iPhone penetration garners more exposure for location-based search and content delivery. It’s already having an impact on online product development, with Firefox, Google’s Chrome and Windows 7 OS — all anticipated to have baked-in location awareness a la iPhone Wi-Fi positioning.

This was a hot topic during a session at ILM:08 on Web 2.0 community sites, and a TKG report will publish next week on the subject.

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