Ghost of Midnight

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Year-end look at hyperlocal big boys

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 by No comments yet

Peter Krasilovsky offers a year-end look ahead at the WalMart approach to hyperlocal news

… there is a rap out there that hyperlocal doesn’t scale and these [Patch and Fwix] are toys.  Is it still the case?

Patch now has a local presence in 600 communities, with editorial and sales “pods” of 12 each Some of being run by longtime newspaper industry leaders. Last Sunday, LA Times media columnist James Rainey wrote that Patch is revitalizing local journalism and asserted that may have become THE place for journalists to go (aside from wages of $35k-$50k, or half the salary that big city journalists might have gotten from the big metro, if they were hiring).

Patch President Warren Webster… didn’t dispute my characterization of Patch as an experiment that wants to quickly get a national footprint to attract national, regional and local advertisers; create a business directory that goes beyond the Yellow Pages; and scale editorial and sales resources.

On a macro-level, local ad revenues typically split 50/50 between targeted national and local. For Webster (and cohorts), the bet is that Patch is poised to do both. They’ve publicly said they were spending $50 million to ramp it up in 2010…

Peter offers this list of horses in the race, grouped in an interesting way…

National/regional “hyperlocal” news sites

Local editorial and sales
Main Street Connect
Hello Metro

Geographic aggregation for media partners

Local event and news sites

Aggregators also supported by unique user-generated content and pro/amateur content farms
Associated Content
Demand Media
Merchant Circle

Posted in: Citizen Journalism, Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Social Media

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