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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Quirky arrow Anytown, Online
Anytown, Online PDF Print
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Human Interest - Quirky
Written by Bob Tedeschi, New York Times   
Sunday, 14 January 2007

Jim Maglione, left, and Ed Panian, co-presidents of, which develops town-specific Web sites.

Before the days of the printing press, town squares served as the main forum for exchanging community news and gossip. Now comes the virtual town square.

Across the United States, citizen bloggers and deep-pocketed entrepreneurs are creating town-specific, and even neighborhood-specific, Web sites where the public can read and contribute items too small or too fleeting for weekly newspapers. Suburban towns across the greater New York area are joining in, giving residents a new way to avoid traffic snags, find a lost dog or just vent about a local hot-button issue.

“It replaces the guy from 200 years ago who rang the bell in town,” said Chris Marengo, a lawyer in Pleasantville, N.Y., who visits every few days to stay abreast of local events. “It’s as provincial as it gets.”

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