What are people saying about your local area?
Facebook: You can use search to find out, bearing in mind this will only find status updates by people who have not set them to private.
Type your placename into the box at the top (or use this link to the Search page) and ‘Search results for [place], or the Magnifier icon. Then click Posts by everyone on the left to see the public stream.
Twitter: Go to search.twitter.com and type in the placename.
Google: Go to www.google.co.uk/alerts and type in your placename. You can search for ‘realtime’ which will mainly bring up Twitter results, or ‘everything’ which will bring up most new content added to the web. This alert can be emailed to you at intervals that you specify.
The vast majority of results won’t be useful, but scanning them regularly is a really good way of making connections with people talking about your area and widening your sources of news and information. Selectively linking to content that is most useful or taking the trouble to alert people about opportunities you spot is also a good way of developing your website’s reputation.