Hyattsville websites

The world wide web is (surprisingly) doing a lot to bring local communities together. I wouldn’t have ever guessed on my own. It’s just that this phenomenon is so prevalent that I couldn’t help but notice when it happened to me. Here’s what’s up.

Technorati is the largest blog aggregator and tracker on the web. One of its useful services is tracking incoming links. Basically, it will let you know if any of the blogs it tracks link to your own blog. This feature is so useful that it’s integrated transparently into WordPress, so you don’t even have to go to Technorati to see who’s linking to you. It’s always fun to know who’s linking to you and what they’re saying about you. So imagine my surprise when I saw that I had an incoming link from a website called The Hyattsville H4X pointing to my post on the housing crisis at the University of Maryland.

Hyattsville H4X is a weekly hour-long podcast devoted solely to the city of Hyattsville, located in Prince Georges County, Maryland (where I currently reside). I never would have guessed that this medium-sized city would have such a presence online, but it does, and I imagine that increasingly, more and more other communities do as well. So I downloaded and listened to the episode of the podcast whose show notes had linked to my blog, and lo and behold, they were talking about my post and suggesting that Hyattsville would inevitably end up absorbing a lot of displaced UMD students because the city of College Park seems intent on keeping them out.

But this gets back to my original thesis: that the Internet is actually helping to bring local communities closer together. I never would have learned anything on my own about the local government issues I heard discussed on the podcast. Local government is notoriously esoteric: you normally have to go out of your way just to learn what’s going on (let alone affect it). I would guess that easily 95% of people don’t know what’s going on in their local government; very very few would ever go to the City Council and community meetings to find out. But now, with the web, there are people who do it for you, whether it is in the form of blogging or podcasts. Then the average person can simply check a website every once in awhile and they too will know what’s going on. The rise of community-oriented websites is excellent because more involved communities lead to better communities.

After discovering this new podcast to listen to, I decided to check the web for other Hyattsville sites. I had never even thought to search them out prior to discovering Hyattsville H4X; going on to the global Internet to find information on local issues seems counter-intuitive. But it’s an excellent resource. I even found a site called My Hyattsville Wiki. It’s a surprisingly active wiki devoted just to Hyattsville. I suspect this experience isn’t unique to Hyattsville, either — all across the country, thousands of communities are probably organizing and coming together online. So wherever you live, go search online and see what’s out there. You might be pleasantly surprised.

3 Responses to “Hyattsville websites”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thanks for the post Cyde Weys. Interesting thing about the wiki is that it is ranked 71 out of the 300,000+ wikis on that particular wiki platform. I am not aware of any other local communities with a wiki – but I am sure there are at least a few.

    It’s cool to know you live in Hyattsville, we’ll have to have you on as a guest at some point.

    Chris

  2. Jim Groves Says:

    Hyattsville also has many different listserves. The City of Hyattsville has one that does not allow back in forth with residents. It’s used for sending out information about upcomming meetings and events and other City wide stuff.

    The Hyattsville Organization for a Positive Environment also has a listserve that has over 350 subscribers and allows back and forth about whatever topic people wish to post about. While maintaining a “Hyattsville” focus, often subject affect the surrounding areas as well.

    Both of these sites can be linked to on the Hyattsville Wiki you reference above. Thanks for the plug!

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