Our summer fellow, Ali Hashmi, joined us in June and immediately began working with our "Your Town" editors to think about some new ways to help the hyper-local news being aggregated on Boston.com. After a meeting with some area bloggers, it became apparent that what the bloggers really wanted was an easy way to discern what was happening around them. While Boston.com provides a large "Events" page, they communicated their frustration with finding small gatherings: a high school football game, or a Strawberry Festival in the next town over.
So Ali began looking at the ways in which these organizations publicize their events, and landed on Facebook's Pages feature. There, he found a rich data set from which to pull relevant content. Over the next two months, he was able to collect a comprehensive list of Massachusetts-based organizations broken down by town. Further, he was able to pull photos and posts from these pages in order to paint a vivid picture of the local landscape as seen on social.
The result was a relatively thorough tool for local bloggers to potentially use to find news and events.