Articles about "Hyperlocal"


Why some hyperlocal sites struggle to attract audiences, generate revenue

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 … Read more

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Former Patch editor says wall between editorial & advertising was too high

Columbia Journalism Review
Sean Roach reflects on his stint as editor of Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch. The 60-hour weeks were invigorating, he says, even if advertising was a frustration. Rather than feeling muscled by the folks in shiny suits, he wishes they'd asked him for more ideas: "It seemed I could control every aspect of my site’s being, but making it sustainable was out of my grasp."
In many small-town publications there is a thin wall between advertising and editorial. At my previous job, with a twice-weekly newspaper, the wall literally had a doorway that connected the two departments. At Patch, the dividing wall between editorial and advertising seemed so high at times that it was impossible to know where we stood in relation to those on the other side. (more...)
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Street Fight reports that the number of unique visitors to Patch sites more than tripled from December 2010 to 2011.

“Our first towns that we launched ranked high on our methodology, and we knew that we were going to see some good growth from there. … The big question was: if we launch hundreds of these, will they all follow the same or better trajectory? And the great thing is: yes they do. So while it would be possible to launch in some great towns, and some not so great, we’re seeing generally consistent growth across all of the different Patch sites.”

Patch Media president Warren Webster

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Afternoon digest: Nov. 21, 2011

Additional news that developed Monday: In case you missed it: Evening reading:
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4 lessons for hyperlocal media from inaugural Street Fight Summit

Deals don’t mean dollars. That was a point of consensus at the inaugural Street Fight Summit in New York City Oct. 25 and 26. Over two days, the summit’s 60 presenters and panelists analyzed their adventures in the trenches of … Read more

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Advice from hyperlocal journalist: ‘It’s not worth trying to be comprehensive’

The Richard Jones Journalism Blog
Richard Jones shares 13 things he has learned since starting Saddleworth News to cover his community near Manchester, England. Several focus on how a hyperlocal site is different from a newspaper website: "You can cover the same story as many times as you like," without an editor saying "we did that last week/month/year." He also advises, "It’s not worth trying to be comprehensive," and "don’t cover the same things the local paper does, unless you can do it better." A couple other important lessons for journalists operating independently: (more...)
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New trade group for hyperlocal news sites won’t include Patch

Street Fight | Vouchification
A group of 20-some hyperlocal news publishers around the country decided at last week's Block by Block conference to form a trade group to provide business services such as liability and health insurance, sales training and revenue studies. Mike Fourcher, who runs Center Square Journal in Chicago, told Street Fight's David Hirschman that the function, members and name of the organization are still in flux, but one thing isn't: It won't include corporate networks like Patch. “They have a completely different set of needs, and we’re not interested in serving their needs,” Fourcher said. Hirschman's take on the group: "While previous incarnations of hyperlocal have focused more on journalists serving their communities than on CPMs, the launch of this group seems to further indicate that publishers are thinking about their sites as revenue-generating entities." || Related: 15 Chicago-area community news sites create an advertising network (Nieman Journalism Lab) | Michele McLellan describes ‘newspaper replacement syndrome’ and other challenges facing independent publishers (Poynter)
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McLellan describes ‘newspaper replacement syndrome’ and other challenges facing independent publishers

Reynolds Journalism Institute
Michele McLellan describes the challenges journalists face as they build independent news sites. The first stage of grief, as she calls it, is "newspaper replacement syndrome," in which people "visualize themselves creating a newspaper on the Web, ignoring the fact that this is a failed model. Instead, publishers who make it to the next stage focus early on about how to create community -- and value around the content." The other stages:
  • "Engagement stress disorder," the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything publishers must do to connect with their audiences
  • "Sales-phobia," as journalists deal with the reality that they must sell to survive
  • "Capacity conundrum," the challenge of being able to expand to take advantage of opportunities
  • Growth

Related: Hyperlocal site RiverheadLocal looks for lessons in sustainability at Block by Block summit | How to: Lisa Williams lists 10 skills independent publishers should masterFollow Twitter conversation related to the Block by Block conference.
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Hyperlocal site RiverheadLocal looks for lessons in sustainability at Block by Block summit

The theme for the homecoming parade was board games, and Denise Civiletti, the publisher of RiverheadLocal.com, moved into the street to get a shot of the senior class’ Candyland float as it rumbled along Osborn Avenue in Riverhead, N.Y.… Read more

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Memo to Patch editors: If you’re going to work that hard, why not start your own hyperlocal site?

Howard Owens
Howard Owens writes that the duties described by a Patch editor, while vast, are pretty standard for anyone running an independent news site. "But here’s the thing about the work load for Patch editors: They’re not owners. They are expected to do all of the things they would have to do if they owned their own web sites, but merely in service of building wealth for AOL shareholders. ... Patch editors should know that what they’re being asked to do on salary they could do for themselves far more successfully and with some chance of building a valuable business for themselves and their families." Owens has owned and operated The Batavian, a local news site in upstate New York near Buffalo, since 2009.
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