“Twickenham is full of idiots. Discuss.” You’ll never see a headline like that in the Richmond & Twickenham Times. If truth be told, you’ll not see a headline like that on this site either. Well probably not more than just this once but, and it’s a big but, we could do it every week if we wanted. OK, so you’re already bored and already asking yourself what is the point of all this. Well it’s because our esteemed and genuinely pretty good local paper, the Richmond & Twickenham Times, is adding the “hyperlocal” to its well established “local” presence. In addition to its borough-wide coverage it’s just launched a Twickenham specific site, twickenhamlive.co.uk. The aim is to cover Twickenham in a way that engages with the local community and, they hope, becomes sustained by “user-generated content”. Fair play to them, it’s something that every local site would want, including this one.
At the moment twickenhamlive just seems to filter existing R&TT news stories to show only those relating to Twickenham (fair enough), it encourages chat (a bit like the comments we have on here), it has a Facebook page and a Twitter account (as do we) and even has a link to a Flickr group for your photos (yep, we have a twickerati group but just haven’t done much with it yet). So the structure is all there for a great hyperlocal site, all it needs is the content to get it going. Ah yes, the content. Remember back in 2000 when “content was king”? Well, it still may be. You may want to contribute to it (feel free) but you may also want to contribute to this site (and don’t pretend we haven’t asked you).
The R&TT has a good reputation but it’s entering a congested market. Twickenham already has various local listings, events and directory sites in addition to an array of other sites (of which twickerati is by far and away the best). You can see some of them on our links page. Twickenhamlive will be competing with all of them and competing with its own printed edition of the paper. As for the site itself, we know they’re the experts on local stuff etc but if we could give them one tiny tip we’d say don’t use a rugby stadium photo on the home page. Whilst rugby is what the town is known for, not everyone in Twickenham wants it to be defined by the old oval ball.
We can’t say that we wish it every success but nor do we hope that it fails. After all, we all like getting people interested our local community even if our motivations for doing so may vary. Who knows, it may even complement this site. After all, we’d be happy to continue using headlines like “Twickenham is full of idiots. Discuss” while they cover the other stuff.