First Posted: 7/7/2011 11:50:26 AM | Last Updated: 7/7/2011 11:54:38 AM
This article may seem a little self-serving, but what the heck, it’s my website, I can say whatever I like. That’s a little bit of the point here. In my continual search for what competitors are doing, I ran across an article about Patch http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/robert/201107/1989/
Now you may not have heard of Patch, but it is a hyperlocal network of news sites, like OurTown, of which Cincipulse is the local site, except that it does not have an active site in Cincinnati. And there is one other slight difference, Patch is owned by internet giant, AOL, who is pouring massive amounts of money into Patch.
According to the article’s author, Robert Niles, “Patch is the news industry’s problem, not its solution.” By employing a “top down” solution instead of a “bottom up” approach that can be accomplished economically through the Internet, Patch is spending a whole lot of money on something that is not economically feasible.
A hyperlocal news site cannot be economically run by a corporate office in New York, or Los Angeles or anywhere else. It is local and needs to be operated, as the name suggests, locally. Local news is not a “one size fits all business”. All towns are different. Some towns are built around their local sports team, others are all about tourism, etc. Only the people on the street in that town can determine what their local site needs to look like. The cookie cutter approach won’t work and throwing big money at the problem probably won’t work either. The local site for Las Vegas would be vastly different from the one in DuBuque.
With my OurTown site, I control what news goes on the site. My site can be as successful as I have the time and the energy to make it. Patch does pay a salary to its Local Editors, which OurTown does not. I have to admit that salary does sound pretty good. But I am an entrepreneur, with OurTown, I run my own business. 80% of the profits I generate are mine and as long as I don’t defame any one, print obscene materials or tread on the rights of others, I run my own business.
Local news is not dead. We all want to hear what happens in our own neighborhood. I hope you will all help me to gather news about Cincinnati and send it to me for publication. Cincipulse is an on-line community newspaper, driven by the community and curated by me your Local Editor. I hope to hear from all of you.