Reports about the death of hyperlocal have been greatly exaggerated.
That was the takeaway from a panel of entrepreneurs and observers of hyperlocal and local news sites at a South by Southwest Interactive panel Monday.
Local news sites continue to pop up across the country, despite a high churn rate among small local sites. In 2007, one in eight Americans lived in a city or town with a local blog, panelist and Placeblogger Founder Lisa Williams said. Now, closer to half of Americans live in a city with a local blog. Data from Placeblogger, an index of local blogs, show that between 50 and 60 percent of the local blogs indexed by the site don’t make it, Williams said.
Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab, wrote last month that of the 1,200 sites in J-Lab’s database of community news sites, about half are now inactive.
That doesn’t mean hyperlocal is doomed, panelists said. Read more