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What is it?

Bloom is a local journalism tool that lets you write or curate and geotag hyperlocal news.

When a reader types in a location they get stories tagged to a one-mile radius of it.

It has a plugin that enables you to present those stories on a map.

Bloom was formed because, they say, “local isn’t working online quite yet and it’s driving us nuts.

“Geographic data is underestimated in local news, which limits journalists from using location-based technology to the best of its ability.”

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Read more about it, from Journalism.co.uk, here.

Here’s Bloom’s mission statement: “Since the decline of print journalism, local news has been lost at sea.

“It’s impossible to reach a local audience simply with a 140 character tweet, hashtag, or a link slapped on a Facebook wall.¬†Geography needs to be valued.

“At Bloom, we are more than just a technology platform, we are a mission-driven organisation which collaborates with publishers to improve journalism in your community.”

Here’s Bloom’s founder expanding on that philosophy.

Should you use it?

First check you are eligible.

Bloom’s requirements for publishers¬†state that: ” Bloom’s publishing tools are exclusively for publishers who have shown commitment to serve communities with quality journalism.”

You need to apply, and will hear back, they say, within 24 hours.

Here’s how one Brooklyn NY hyperlocal is using it.

At the time of writing, Bloom only appeared to be in use in New York, so if you add your geotagged content to it elsewhere in the world you’ll have no competition.

How do you publish on it?

You can either use the mapping plugin on your own site, or link it up with your WordPress site.

Do the former and Bloom gives you embed codes to add maps to your website, which is as easy as embedding a YouTube video.

Do the latter and you can geotag articles directly in WordPress and toggle the local search to be ‘on’. All your posts will also appear on Bloom’s platform.

They say: “Bloom’s location-based platform can be integrated into your website by using [the] WordPress plugin.

“The plugin offers local search for your content that improves user personalisation and engagement. You can then analyse this engagement to get neighbourhood-level insights that help you serve the communities better.”

Using the Bloom plugin on WordPress

The Bloom for WordPress or publishers plugin is here.

The plugin: “Provides geotagging capabilities for your posts and a local search feature if you’re a registered publisher on Bloom. Geotagging is set by your authors, allowing them to define a location which is placed into web page’s metadata (for search engines and social networks). It then brings each post together into a search tool for your readers to discover your content nearby them.”

  • Geotagging your articles, they say, gives you:
  • Local search for your readers to discover content nearby
  • Built-in location recognition
  • Fully responsive design

Here’s how to use it:

  • Install Bloom for Publishers plugin
  • Activate the plugin
  • Register your website on http://www.bloom.li
  • Go to the Settings page in WordPress to add your Bloom account