The New York Times writes:
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 http://www.Pleasantville.AmericanTowns.com every few days to stay abreast of local events. Its as provincial as it gets.