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Localism reaches for broader user-generated content

Community-focused site branches outside of real estate

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Localism, a neighborhood-focused Web site launched in beta last year by the ActiveRain online real estate network, has retooled with a new design and a plan to join together its real estate members with the general public in defining neighborhood areas and creating content around them. Localism.com, which draws content from ActiveRain's user base of roughly 97,000 members, works on the micro and macro scale in allowing users to search for information categorized at the state, county, city, neighborhood and community levels. And while ActiveRain has served mostly as a professional networking tool for real estate professionals, Localism steps outside these industry boundaries and seeks to draw in far broader participation from all types of folks in all types of communities. "It is a social network based around communities," said Jonathan Washburn, ActiveRain CEO. "We're trying to bring the geographic community back to the beginning -- to bring people close toget...