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Who's in your Zipcode Village?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

In a world where web-empires have been built on connecting you to people across the country and across the world, it can be easy to lose sight of what's going on in your own backyard.

Enter Zipcode Village, a new project from Bradley Berman (who brought us HybridCars.com) and Angie Karran. Users register for a free account, enter their zipcode, and are automatically connected to the people, news, events and businesses in their neighborhood. According to the website,

First and foremost, Zipcode Village is about meeting people, exchanging ideas, and having fun; in other words, creating more meaning in our lives.

You mean it's about... meeting people? Like, in person? What a radical idea!

In addition to the social benefits of engaging in local community, Karran and Berman remind us of the environmental benefits. Although Berman is

a self-confessed hybrid car geek, he understands that gas-electric vehicles are, at best, a very partial solution. Consuming less petroleum by living, working, and shopping locally and leaving the car in the driveway will beat a hybrid any day of the week.

The site is just getting started -- my zipcode, for example, has no users yet. Once it does, I'll be able to use it to swap and sell stuff I don't want anymore, read about community news, find recommendations for doctors and businesses, and meet neighbors with similar interests. It's like Craigslist through a magnifying glass (but without the "missed connections" section, at least for now).

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