Can Long-Tail E-Books Give New Life to Old News?

Hyperlocal news sites often publish revealing stories about what makes their communities tick or that capture the uniqueness of their character. Can those stories – which routinely disappear into archives – find new life as e-books?

Media Surveys Give Hyperlocals Short Shrift

What’s needed is a survey that’s as thorough as Pew’s but which is confined to those communities with at least one credible independent site as well as a network site — like a Patch or Main Street Connect outlet — and at least one “legacy” (newspaper or local TV) site…

Hyperlocals Diverge on How to Mine Rich Lode of Digital Ads

Even though digital advertising is estimated to grow 40% by 2015, according to Pew, the research center said few major sites were capturing any share of this new cornucopia. If that’s the story with bigger sites, what, I wondered, was happening among the more than 3,000 hyperlocal news sites, which, by my estimate, reach 25 million people — a big chunk of the consumer market that advertisers covet…

For Growing Hyperlocals, Investing in Better Tech May Beat Staffing Up

Technology that exploits social media can lead to better content and more engaged users, and can open the way to new advertisers and sponsorship. It is also less expensive than hiring new reporters and editors to bolster your lineup…

Jane Stevens: The ‘Revolution’ of Social Media and Local News

We know that news is being transformed by social media — the Facebook or Twitter effect, for short — but do we really understand that what’s happening, especially at the local level, can be, and maybe should be, a revolution? I borrow that potent description from journalist Jane Stevens, whom I recently caught up with to talk about how social media is transforming local…

Westchester’s Hyperlocal News Market Is a Four-Sided Shootout

Prestigious, affluent Westchester County, just north of New York City, is on the verge of becoming a hyperlocal version of the Gunfight at OK Corral – squared. Within months, four major-media companies will be competing community by community for dominance in this prized media market…

Social Media for Hyperlocals: How to Turbo-Charge Engagement

It’s not enough for hyperlocals to simply post articles to their Facebook page or just tweet them out, say a number of engagement-conscious publishers and editors. Sites need to really understand how social media can propel their brands — and ultimately help the bottom line…

Battle in Seattle: ‘Indie’ West Seattle Blog vs. Corporate KOMO

West Seattle has two major hyperlocal news sites, and they represent 180-degree-opposed forces in online community news: independent sites that entrepreneurs fund from their wallets, and big-media-financed sites that draw on millions of dollars from corporate treasuries…

Big Picture Stories Make Hyperlocals More Valuable

Hyperlocals do a great job at finding and generating news. But are enough of them putting government performance to the test? Given the amount of data available to measure performance, these stories should be resonating louder and more insistently than ever in this deep, stubborn recession…

As NYC Metros Cut Back, Hyperlocals Fill the News Hole

Lights have been going out in newsrooms of New York City’s metro newspapers for more than a decade. But while traditional newsrooms darken, new hyperlocal sites in neighborhoods throughout the city are eagerly shining light on the city’s eight million stories…

Datasphere’s Cowan on How TV Stations Are Going Hyperlocal Online

Local TV stations are going hyperlocal in a big way. While some of their initial efforts were heavy on car crashes and pet stories, the accelerating trend is toward higher-quality, more comprehensive community coverage. Datasphere’s Gary Cowan talks about the trend and its significance…

Hyperlocals and School Coverage: Where’s the Big Picture?

Hyperlocals could do a much better job covering the biggest news in their communities — the schools. What’s happening in schools is big news not just for parents but everybody hyperlocals are trying to reach. Hyperlocals should be all over the big-picture story. But from what I see, they aren’t…

How Is Citizen Journalism Playing Out Today?

Citizen journalism has propelled hundreds of hyperlocal news sites into existence. In the middle of the last decade, CitJ, particularly at the community level, was the hot topic in new media. Journalism’s thinkers saw it as a necessary and overdue reinvention of news (see Dan Gillmor, Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, among others). So how is it actually playing out today — on the ground? To find out, I asked publishers and editors who have been part of the hyperlocal phenomenon.

What Independent Hyperlocals Need for the Long Haul

The surging growth of hyperlocal news—today there are more than 3,000 sites in operation and hundreds more in various stages of formation—is being driven by independents. The media disrupters are the people who have the passion and gumption to develop and run their sites with financing from their own personal credit cards.

I’m thinking of entrepreneurs like Debbie Galant, who with $3,000 co-founded  Baristanet in the crowded media market of northern New Jersey in 2004,  expanding it to seven communities. And Scott Brodbeck who, while he was completing a master’s program, started ARLNow in  Arlington, Va., in suburban Washington D.C.

Selected Directory of Hyperlocal Publications in NYC

 PUBLICATION CATEGORY M.O. Bay Ridge Journal Neighborhood. Heavy on press releases and second-hand crime stories. Bensonhurst Bean Neighborhood. Recently created by Ned Berke, founder/editor/publisher of SheepsheadBites, site relies heavily on Huffington Post-style re-purposing of content originated by other publications. Bikeblog Specialty site. Founder Michael Green, a film maker who sees the bike as “humankind’s greatest […]

In Jefferson’s Hometown, a Hyperlocal Focuses on Digital Democracy

Brian Wheeler is executive director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, a thriving nonprofit hyperlocal in Virginia that focuses on land use and other civic issues that are key to protecting the character of the community that was the home of Thomas Jefferson. We talked to Wheeler about his unusual definition of user engagement, and how he’s working to take it to a new level…

At Chicago Summit, Local ‘Indies’ Get Down to Business

Last week’s Block by Block Community News Summit 2011 was a combination mirror and crystal ball where independent local publishers saw both what they have accomplished and what they need to do to ensure that what they created with their credit cards, sweat and tears would be around years from now…

Digital Pioneer David Cohn: Hyperlocals Need Passion AND Revenue

David Cohn, founder of Spot.us, a nonprofit pioneer in community-funded reporting, has been hired by the UC/Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to help develop a sustainable business model for hyperlocals.  He will run three Ford Foundation-funded, student-staffed  hyperlocals in the Bay Area, with the aim of making them self-supporting. As he began his new assignment, […]

Nielsen’s Undercount of News: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Social networking has become the 800-pound gorilla of the Internet. That’s what Nielsen is trumpeting in a new report. And news, it says, is a tiny mouse.

Or is it?

Nielsen’s Social Media Report says news accounts for just 2.6% of Internet use compared to 22.5% for social networking and blogs.  But that news number doesn’t hold up under examination…

Are Big Media’s Partnerships With Seattle ‘Indies’ the Future of Hyperlocal?

In the furiously expanding, highly competitive and often conflicted hyperlocal space, some pieces appear to be coming together. Just possibly, highly digital Seattle may be the birthplace for what has long eluded hyperlocal: a sustainable  business model.

I’m talking about the new partnerships between Fisher Interactive Network—the online division of multimedia Fisher Communications—and two hyperlocal “indies” in Southeast Seattle, Beacon Hill Blog and the Rainier Valley Post