Parking violations and parochial content

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Yesterday a colleague asked me what crowdsourcing was. So I chattered on about pothole maps, and crowdsource maps, pertrol and CD prices. As I was talking I realised that on the surface a lot of the subject areas seemed pretty mundane. Not the kind of thing you would win a pulitzer for.

Later on in the day Justin McLachlan, a US journalist (blogger and superhero), stopped by to leave a comment on my ‘something for the weekend’ ireport post. So I popped over to his site – which is very nice – and came across a great post about a parking violation:

Downtown this morning, I saw a 12 News truck parked outside the courthouse. In front of a red curb. Illegally.

So, I did what any good digital journalist would do: I snapped a picture with my iPhone and ran back to my office to blog about it.
There is a picture and everything.
What surprised me is that it’s generated **28 comments**. And I mean heated debate.  From parking violation to journalism ethics debate in one sweep. Wow.
The two connected for me in gentle reminder about what can sometimes get lost in digital journalism.
**What matters is what matters to your audience **
Of course potholes, dog dirt, petrol and cd prices are mundane. They will always annoy, engage or motivate someone to participate because they matter to them.  Perhaps more than embedded reporting with an army or a clever online bulletin.  Maybe local,or better still **parochial,  is the ultimate in viral content**.
Never underestimate the everyday to attract an audience.
Oh, and never park near a red curb.

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