Here lies City2.org
City2.org was an early (2007-2012) experimental local citizen journalism and civic engagement platform.
It's mission was to build and enable a network of principled citizen journalists, who would in turn contribute to a more transparent, connected, and engaged community.
The platform - consisting primarily of a hand-made blog network and customizable local news aggregation system - was built to scale it's unique combination of features to multiple cities, but never expanded beyond it's initial instance in Santa Barbara, CA.
Within Santa Barbara, City2 quickly became known for it's unique community of over 500 citizen voices, it's special features (which were groundbreaking for local news), and it's close knit and supportive culture.
🗒 Customizable news aggregation feed that dynamically mixed local City2 headlines with headlines from established news organizations. The aggregator could be user customized to focus on any subject; hard news, arts & entertainment, blogs, opinion, sports, etc.
🕓 Early version of mobile posting (pre-dating instagram et al), enabling users to use their pre-smart-phones to email or text in news updates, or blog posts.
🗒 Emphasis on dynamic data visualizations which made local public information useable and digestible.
🗒 Dynamic and realitme advertising functionality enabling vendors to customize their ads via home-rolled micro-CMS
A few favorite voices
🗒 Santa Barbara Man About Goleta - Self described post-multiculuralist Paul Rivas, providing entertaining commentary - often focusing on the spanish speaking community
🗒 Culture of Protest - Local Sociology Professor and lifelong activist, Dick Flacks on politics, & local and national social movements
🗒 Mr. Pottymouth - A secret shopper, and critiquer of local bathrooms.
🗒 The Undercover Nutritionist - who would savagely and secretly shame people after observing their purchases (and the reasons behind them) at the checkout line.
🗒 The Bellicose & the Bucolic - a New Yorker-like hand drawn 'comic', inhabiting a rich space somewhere between fine art and Gary Larsen
🗒 Almost Native Son - a widely read local citizen journalism blog focusing on current local current events, politics, culture, fire updates, SBIFF coverage, and infographics.
City2 was created by me, Warren, back when the internet was more full of wonder, weirdness, and possibility. I hope it can someday be that way again.