Local social network streetlife.com is making headlines across the country as it becomes one of the fastest-growing online communities thanks to its innovative partnership with Archant. Nina Whittaker, head of communities from streetlife.com reports.
It’s just six months since Archant launched streetlife.com across its network, and the partnership has already brought over 25,000 users, established an incredible 700 new communities, and been endorsed by social media guru Stephen Fry, who last month tweeted over 5 million followers, encouraging them to join.
streetlife.com’s unique advantage is that it bridges online and offline worlds, making a real difference in local communities. Recent conversations on the site have helped to unite lost pets with their owners, expose local scammers, save threatened public services, recall local history and encourage real-world friendships and activities.
Just as importantly, the site has become a valuable resource for Archant’s news desks, driving content and enabling reporters to engage with their local community.
Michael Adkins, Acting Editor of the Barking & Dagenham Post, has been championing the local social network across London, and describes the site as “a strong additional tool in our editorial armoury.”
By maintaining regular contact with locals via the site, starting polls and seeking opinion, his team has generated a range of stories covering issues from parking charges and recycling rules, to a feature compiling photographs and memories of the Great Storm of 1987.
Michael said: “streetlife.com has been an excellent way to communicate with new and existing audiences through a fresh, hyperlocal forum. Our news desks have benefited by finding out about breaking news, seeding conversations to gain a response for planned features, and identifying topical local issues.”
Natalie Hoodless, digital publisher for Archant Suffolk, is another keen advocate of the local social network, which she says is “bringing people together and reigniting the community spirit that many feared was lost forever.”
Highlighting the benefits streetlife.com is bringing news teams, Natalie said: “We have been able to discover exactly what people want, the subjects that interest them and what really upsets them.”
Issues discussed on streetlife.com have been brought to a wider audience through their print titles, including a front page story in the Ipswich Star about concerns that cats were being poisoned.
Matt Boyes, founder and CEO of streetlife.com, describes the rapid growth and vibrancy of the new communities as “a truly excellent achievement, made possible by Archant’s continued enthusiasm and support.”
2013 will see streetlife.com collaborate with Archant KOS Media, and extend its reach via Archant Life magazines as part of a county-by-county rollout.
A conversation started on streetlife.com earlier this week, questioning Kent UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark’s controversial personal manifesto, generated a superb lead for an exclusive in The Reporter by Anna Dubuis. The story (pictured right) was quickly picked up by the Press Association and made national headlines. Mr Clark has since been suspended from UKIP.
This week, Norfolk became the first Archant region to hit 5,000 active users. Archant Anglia has been very proactive in promoting streetlife.com in print and online, and has successfully introduced many local government representatives to the forum, including Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who joined a recent campaign to tackle vandalism.
Archant South West was the latest region to launch the site, and quickly built some of the most engaged communities in streetlife.com history, achieving the highest level of activity per user within its first month. Communities in Somerset and Devon have been particularly proactive in arranging real-world meetings, from quiz nights and winter solstice celebrations, to support groups for people with arthritis.
© Archant Ltd 2013