All politics is local. This post Personal Democracy Forum – Technology Is Changing Politics. has inspired me to think about the ways to organize locally on the internet.
1. Find your local communications grid. In some cases it will be a discussion forum, a blog or blogs, listserves or a community paper that encourages user comments. Look up neighborhood names, local politicians at the very local level (school board, county executive etc.) Where the local names appear starts to help you define the local web.
2. Grab domain names on very local issues, terminology and debate topics and blog on very local topics. (www.innerpurpleline.org) the media creates local memes. They build brand and issue awareness around very strange names and issues. Often the local government will not grab the names that a project gets tagged by the press (inner purple line was officially bi-county transit way) but the DC press called it inner purple line. As people pick up interest they google and you get to provide the landing page. Free Schuylkill River Park the local sites can cast a big online influence around local issues because the issues are not well known undesided people Google as they look to make up their mind and that is a key audience to greet with your talking points.
3. Search for all the divisions and community associations in a local area and get on the local listserves or monitor local traffic and conversation. Watch where you can jump into add something to the conversation and also promote your local blog or site.
4. Join local blog sites and promote your blog for your group even at the local park clean sites, local news discussions, etc. comment on boards about local issues. Remember the goal is not lots of traffic but a good number of local online readers .
5. " Use Technorati's directory of bloggers to hunt for sites that have self-categorized as being about a particular locality. For example, I found 59 blogs about Baltimore there, and since most of these bloggers have also chosen to tag themselves by other topics like politics, it's fairly easy to discover some local political blogs here. (Argh, more disclosure, my little brother started Technorati.) "