The abrupt death of Everyblock caused almost a sense of panic on the internet, particularly among the new media class, and for a good reason. Everyblock was a brilliant concept that instantly became an invaluable tool for people curious about their communities; and not just the internet savvy, but anybody with internet access and the facility to do a Google search. In Chicago the sudden shuttering may have been felt a little more deeply; Everyblock was one of the gems of Chicago’s new media/open data start-up community.
Outside of that parochialism, Everyblock was unique because its principals recognized one of the impossible contradictions of contemporary media: the World is at our fingertips, with the exception of our particular neighborhood. It smacks of the old poem by G.K. Chesterton, which pointed out the tension between lofty ideals and the material necessity and hard work of living in the real world:
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