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Aug 26, 2014

EveryBlock:
The Online Community
for Your Neighborhood

By Paul Wright, Director, Local Media Development, Comcast in News

EveryBlock is the site to find out what’s happening around you – from local events and restaurant openings to community news – and to discuss that information with your neighbors, local businesses and elected officials. 

This week, we celebrate the relaunch of EveryBlock Philly, an online service and mobile app that aggregates and curates content on the neighborhood level. EveryBlock is a personalized news feed that allows users to stay connected with neighbors, interact and share what’s happening on their block, and discover great content and information from around their area.  The hyper-local site aggregates news, reviews, events, local blogs and other web content, civic data (like crime reports and 311 requests), as well as user-generated questions and comments, and packages it into a personalized feed for users. 

EveryBlock aligns perfectly with Comcast’s mission to invest and strengthen the communities we serve. One of our goals is to share more local information and resources. EveryBlock adds significantly to that capability and provides a hyper-local resource for all of us to contribute to, monitor and enrich our neighborhoods, campuses and cities.   

EveryBlock currently operates in Chicago, where it has enjoyed tremendous success. Since its relaunch in January, EveryBlock Chicago has gained thousands of users and is steadily adding more daily.  We are also seeing increased interest from Chicago-based community organizations, elected officials and other partners who are using EveryBlock as their go-to local communications tool.   

When we refreshed EveryBlock Chicago, one of our goals was to work with organizations that shared our desire to make Chicago a better city. To date, we have supported a wide range of initiatives from the Chicago Community Trust to the Metropolitan Planning Council. We also partnered with the Smart Chicago Collaborative to integrate Open311 into EveryBlock so that users could not only identify issues, but also quickly connect to the electronic filing process. Initiatives such as these provide a rich user experience and highlight how local platforms can be a force for social good while enhancing the efficiency of public services. 

In both Philadelphia and Chicago, we are also partnering with the local technology and open data communities to provide suggestions and enhancements for making EveryBlock even more robust. This benefits not only EveryBlock users, but the cities we serve as well. Similarly, any local blogger, publisher or other organization interested in content from the site can utilize our new syndication tools at EveryBlock WidgetControl or a more custom integration based on the EveryBlock API. We are thrilled to bring EveryBlock to Philadelphia and Chicago, and plan to roll out the service to other key markets, including Houston, Denver, Medford, MA (Boston area), Hialeah, FL (Miami area), and Fresno, CA over the coming months.

 

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