Local news publishers typically know many of their community restaurateurs on a first-name basis, and are regular diners at the establishments. But they can’t offer the precise targeting capability of Facebook, whose services are, in most cases, fully automated — greatly lowering their cost.
In December 2005, West Seattle Blog was a “personal project” with no news or advertising. A major windstorm that struck West Seattle and King County in December 2006 changed all that, and in the nearly 10 years since, WSB has become a highly regarded inspiration for independent digital community sites.
Audience analytics firms Parse.ly aims to give community news sites the same kind of in-depth information that platforms like Facebook provide about how users are responding – and not responding – to content. The company aims to help editors and reporters make decisions that can go right to the bottom line, leading to higher revenue.
Steven Jack, who was regional editor for eight Patch sites before leaving in the first round of layoffs, did what many of his terminated colleagues did — he started his own independent site. In less than a year, he has captured 31,000 unique visitors for his Only Oswego, which more than equals the town’s population…