I was in Cambridge doing some regional training yesterday with my day job.
This was despite London transport’s best efforts to thwart me, throwing signal failures on the Hammersmith and City Line, and gridlock between Euston and Kings Cross in my path. I had a great time though, and thought I’d share the notes for non-subscription sources here.
The focus for the session revolved around this story, and I started things off looking for sources and material which would help in putting together a wider features piece on violence against the homeless (in Cambridgeshire, and across the country more generally). Given the limitations on some SN sources, this subject matter gave way quite rapidly, but I hope it still hangs together in a meaningful way…
Try an Advanced Google search for an academic expert in (or from) the area:
homelessness professor cambridge* site:.ac.uk
Then try an Advanced Google search for a local group:
homelessness cambridge* site:.org.uk
If you want to try further afield (i.e. international searching by domain) take a look at this list of upper-level domains.
Use yoname to search for people across several social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Bebo, Yahoo 360, etc.)
Register for Facebook, and search the groups (top left of the page, once you’ve logged in) for groups in Cambridge.
Social bookmarking sites let you search sites which other people find useful. As yet they are not widely used by the whole surfing population, but they are growing in popularity. Try del.icio.us search: search for Cambridgeshire, see Cambridgeshire Family History Society.(further down page). Click on the number of favourites this site has received, then you can see who has saved them. They may have similar interests to you (though not hugely likely just yet!). Try also Stubmleupon search: search Peterborough, see various subscribers pages (there’s no great shakes on Peterborough yet, but you never know!). You don’t need to subscribe to either service to search the lists of bookmarks they contain.
Register for Bloglines, then search (top right) for Feeds (not posts) on your local area. Once you find interesting things, subscribe to them (see the links in the results page. search feeds for Cambridgeshire, then Peterborough). Technorati is a specialists blog search engine – try it for Cambridgeshire. Try NewsNow for local news/blogs. No subscription – use one keyword in search bar at top of page. search for Cambridge. Don’t forget Google Alerts, and try Metacarta for mapped news. Also, subscribe to Flickr – its easy to geotag your pictures (just upload them, then put them in a batch, or group), then click on map from the main page. You just drag and drop your picture to where it was taken, or where its relevant to.