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Memo to our U.S. readers: If you like this idea, please suggest to your local newspaper editors that they publish this article.


Americans at war can keep in touch with their hometown buddies on the internet by taking advantage of a clever inter-active website set up by Carl Bromley, of Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Bromley's site, allots a separate page to each of the nation's zip codes. He's seeking the help of community groups and individuals to provide local input.

"I had no thought of its value in a time of war when I visualized setting up a separate web page for every community," he told us. "It's the web equivalent of pinning messages on cork bulletin boards. Anyone can post a hometown message simply by entering the required zip code."

Bromley said he combined his beliefs in technology, personal empowerment, and volunteerism when, with company co-founder Julia Duris, he began his project two years ago. He established Kittanning's community website in 1997.

A well illustrated online "walking tour" of Kittanning proved popular. Word spread through families and friends of this new way to connect with "back home". Emails arrived with stories of times past; long-lost elementary school students found their old friends through the hometown message board.

"I hope the Kittanning site will be used as a model for other small communities throughout the nation," he said. "If we can do it successfully, so can they."

Julia Duris said: "I hope this website with all the available zip code areas will be used throughout the nation and users will take this opportunity to publish their stories and messages successfully  and easily 24/7."

The website provides communication tools and  fundraising opportunities for non-profit groups, community calendar listings, and many other items of local interest.


Copyright 2003

Eric Shackle

Story first posted April 2003

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