Friday, December 14, 2007

And Now ... A Little Contest

Now that our sorting and recommendation features are up and running, we're going to kick their tires with a little contest -- a local photo contest we're calling Shoot9N.

At the end of this month we're going to recognize the photos that were most popular with 9Neighbors users over the last month. We'll define most popular by the full-month rankings on our photo pages like this one in Somerville. In order to vote, you need to be registered with 9Neighbors. (That's easy to do here.)

If you're a photographer, it's simple to get your photos onto our site and into the contest. Just load them into Flickr, and tag them with either "Boston9N", "Cambridge9N" or "Somerville9N". We'll pick a winner from each community (the photo must be taken in the community). For now, we're going to keep the contest to just Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

Shoot9N is an experiment. This time around we're just trying to gauge interest and see how it works. We hope to do more with it future months.

Ultimately, our goals with Shoot9N are the same as our goals with 9Neighbors. We want to draw attention to the great stories being told in and about our communities, and we want to support the people telling them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New This Week: Recommendations

This week's 9Neighbors update is a big step forward.

As of Sunday evening, you can recommend any story you find on By recommending a story, you give it a vote that will help it rise in the rankings we're now using to sort our "Popular" pages. That means the best content in your community is getting a broader audience.

It's very easy to recommend an item. You can do so on the new "Recommend this?" line on, or in the small frame we're now adding above pages you click to from 9Neighbors.

It's only been a few days since we enabled recommendations, but they've completely changed the site. Instead of a random stream of all recent content, our pages now bubble great stuff to the top, and keep it there for a bit.

The current Somerville page is a great example. It's linking to a Live Journal discussion about privacy and Tufts University's Naked Quad run, a great photo from Flickr user rnolan108, a post about a bike accident on Clarendon Hill this morning, a city notice on lice, a School Committee report on its goals, and several stories from the Somerville Journal. We're thrilled to see such a broad range of content on the site.

We're going to continue to incorporate your feedback and improve 9Neighbors. As we move forward, we hope to make it even easier for people to discover their community's best new media and information.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What's Your Topic?

New feature alert!

For the past week we've been rolling out a major new addition to 9Neighbors: topic pages.

Now, in addition to the main summaries of links we provide for each of our five communities, we're also grouping articles in each community into categories. Each of these categories has its own feed. So, if you want a simple way to follow stories about the Cambridge city workers arrested for selling drugs out of a city-owned truck last week, you can subscribe to the Cambridge crime page. You can check out the other topics in each community's topic index.

As you can see from the image below, we're also linking to topic pages from the article summaries we provide on our main pages. We hope these links provide folks with more context for the items we list on 9Neighbors.
We have lots more news in the pipeline, so stayed tuned. And, as always, we'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Add Your Feeds to 9Neighbors

Eagle-eyed 9Neighbors-users may have already figured this out, but we launched an update of the site over the weekend.

This time the headliner is a new feed function.

If you produce any type of feed about your community, you can now build a bigger audience by loading your feed into 9Neighbors. Just paste your feed address into the form on this page. Once it's loaded, a headline and short summary will appear on 9Neighbors every time you publish new content.

Here's what you'll see when you add the feed:

As always, let us know if you have any feedback. We'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Release, New Features

Here's the low-down on three super new features we released yesterday:

Following -- You can now follow the browsing activity of your friends on 9Neighbors. This is a great way to filter the content in your community.

We aggregate a lot of content in Cambridge. It's too much for me to consume, but the following feature is helping me solve that problem. When I sign up to follow my friends, I get a feed of links that they enjoyed. This stuff tends to be more interesting to me than the larger body of Cambridge content.

-- When you sign up to follow friends on 9Neighbors, you'll notice a change on your news page. In addition to the Recent and Popular sorting-method options at the top of the page, you'll see a new Personalized link. This is your page of personally filtered news for that community.

Share a Link
-- Over the past few weeks, I've been in a lot of situations where I wanted to share a Cambridge news story with local friends, but wasn't able to because the article wasn't on 9Neighbors. That problem is now solved. If you see something you want to share with other folks in the community, you can now submit it via the link in right column of the news pages.

As always, let us know what you think about these changes -- or anything else on the site. We'd love to hear your feedback. (You can reach us at info *AT*

Monday, October 8, 2007

What 9Neighbors Is All About (Example #1)

Anybody wondering what 9Neighbors is all about should check out our Cambridge news page today. You'll find it's full of wonderful photos of this weekend's Honk Fest, taken by Flickr user cmurtaugh.

These are fantastic pictures. They give you a real sense of what was going on along Mass Ave today.

9Neighbors is designed to make content like this easy to find.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Site Updates & Berkman Demo

Based on some early feedback, we've made a number of changes and additions to 9Neighbors this week.

Here are the top three:

Better Community Navigation -- It's now very easy to switch between Cambridge and Somerville, or Somerville and Boston, or Boston and Brookline. You get the idea.

Private Option
-- 9Neighbors allows you to share your viewing history with other members of your community. But not everybody wants a public viewing history, so it's now possible to make your account "Private" by selecting the appropriate box on the Settings page. Accounts that are Private will not be visible to other users.

-- You can now upload a photo on your profile.

I'm going to be showing the site to the Berkman Blog Group at 7 this evening. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by. (Directions are here.)

Friday, September 28, 2007


Congratulations. You've discovered 9Neighbors, the new local news filtering service from Faneuil Media.

We just pushed the site live last night, and have lots on our to-do list.

In the mean time, we'd love to know what you think of the site. What works? What doesn't? What changes and additions would you like to see?

Please send any feedback you have to our Google Group at this address:
Alternatively, you can contact us directly here:
We look forward to hearing from you!