Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Let's Get Hyper(Local)!!

I have written extensively in the previous iteration of this blog about the promise -- and questions -- surrounding hyperlocal news sites. Some see them as a savior for local news as newspapers continue to slash their coverage, while other wonder how the model can make money.

So I read a post on the
PaidContent.org blog with interest. Media behemoth MSNBC has decided to dip its toe in the hyperlocal pool by buying EveryBlock, a site that uses public records to offer news in 15 cities, from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. The price paid was not revealed.

EveryBlock was created by former WashingtonPost.com reporter Adrian Holovaty, who was supported by a two-year grant from the Knight Foundation. You can read my previous post about that

Speaking of the Washington Post, it has decided to close its own effort in the hyperlocal arena, LoudonExtra, reports PaidContent.org. A spokesperson told PaidContent.org: “We found that our experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model.”

A post on FastCompany.com asks "Can Anyone Tap the $100 Billion Potential of Hyperlocal News?" The article focuses on the efforts of AOL and the
New York Times to join MSNBC in the hyperlocal pool. AOL acquired the Patch hyperlocal site (my post on that is here), while the Times is "mentoring" the community web site The Local.

So now that these three hyperlocal sites have the deep pockets of MSNBC, AOL and the New York Times, it will be interesting to see if the site can make a go at it and also make some money.

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