Commentary | Street Fight - Part 95

Brownstoner: The End of the Open Thread

Kael Goodman

Brownstoner: The End of the Open Thread

One of the biggest challenges facing any hyperlocal publisher is the development, maintenance, and growth of audience. If you are starting from scratch, one of your first challenges is to find that core audience — the rabid readers that will check back 10 or more times a day to see what you’ve got for them next. But as a site develops, and its audience becomes more established, the questions change.

Neighborland Helps Citizens Share Ideas and Shape Their Community

Rick Robinson

Neighborland Helps Citizens Share Ideas and Shape Their Community

What if people could easily share ideas for improving their neighborhoods? That’s the simple, and in some cases disruptive, question posed by the team behind Neighborland, a beautifully designed hyperlocal tool that launched earlier this year. The site makes you feel good about where you live (if you live in New Orleans that is — the only city the site covers currently) and want to get involved in making what’s around you even better.

Delivering Local Deals: It’s All About the Data

Mike Boland

Delivering Local Deals: It’s All About the Data

It’s become clear that the two hottest areas of digital media — deals and mobile — are colliding. Mobile payments (i.e. Google Wallet) are meanwhile closing the loop on decades-old deal redemption and tracking challenges. This has led to another important variable: Data. More specifically, mobile payment technologies open the door for more comprehensive consumer purchase data, which can fold back into the equation for more targeted deal delivery…

How to Use Flipboard to Create a Killer DIY Hyperlocal Publication in 5 Minutes

Ted Mann

How to Use Flipboard to Create a Killer DIY Hyperlocal Publication in 5 Minutes

For anyone who owns an iPad, it’s no surprise that Flipboard is a breakthrough. The one-year-old application allows you to instantly turn any news site, social feed, or photo stream into a slick, tablet-optimized, ad-free magazine — a pretty neat parlor trick. Apple selected it as their app of the year and Time listed it as one of their top 50 innovations of 2010…

The Hyperlocal Journalist and the Salesperson

Michael Meyer

The Hyperlocal Journalist and the Salesperson

“I worry about the future of my profession when I see large segments of the online news industry failing to rigorously test the kinds of revenue models journalism needs to survive,” writes CJR’s Michael Meyer, who runs the News Frontier Database. “Taking our content seriously is a basic requirement, but are we taking ourselves (or even readers) seriously if we’re not wholly committed to monetizing it?”

Is TapIn the Future of Hyperlocal?

Alex Salkever

Is TapIn the Future of Hyperlocal?

To be honest, I hate writing about this startup because it was an idea I wanted to pursue myself. But over the past week I’ve been playing with TapIn, a hyperlocal news application created by Silicon Valley software startup Tackable. Available in the iTunes store, TapIn allows users to overlay a variety of pieces of information (deals, news, events) over a local interface. But what I was really interested in, more than anything, was the photo assignment engine behind Tackable.

Hyperlocal Scoreboard: Two Close Watchers Total It Up

Tom Grubisich

Hyperlocal Scoreboard: Two Close Watchers Total It Up

The Poynter Institute’s Mallary Jean Tenore and Rick Edmonds are must-reads in the digital media world. Their pieces on hyperlocal, while not numerous, have been extensively linked, tweeted and commented on. Tenore came of age in the digital era, while Edmonds entered his first newsroom when the IBM Selectric typewriter was still the standard…

Arlington Hyperlocal Picks Its Own Patch, Turns a Profit

Rick Robinson

Arlington Hyperlocal Picks Its Own Patch, Turns a Profit

Scott Brodbeck, the editor of hyperlocal ARLnow.com (Arlington, Va.), which is part of the “authentically local” movement, claims he has a steady thrum of profitable traffic, and an empathy-bordering-on-sympathy for his competition (read: Patch). I thought it would be worthwhile to dig into this apparent and positive anomaly…

Should Hyperlocals Incorporate Content From Local Merchants?

Patrick Kitano

Should Hyperlocals Incorporate Content From Local Merchants?

Today’s local merchant is learning to build a more contextual, social relationship with their customer base through social media, and it’s making the simple banner ad less effective. Simply put: business is integral to engaging the community because they have the commercial incentive to create content that builds their brand equity, directly or indirectly…

In Hyperlocal News, Mom-and-Pop Shops Will Win

Alex Salkever

In Hyperlocal News, Mom-and-Pop Shops Will Win

Economies of scale do not apply in hyperlocal news. Rather than going up with scale, CPMs not only go down—they disappear. If Gap buys an ad across a network of hyperlocal sites, the CPM will likely be lower than if a local store advertises, because the Gap can buy that region from any number of sources. Conversely, the corner grocer will pay a comparatively premium CPM when they know for sure their ads show up in the right place.

The Alternative Press: A Successful Hyperlocal in the Garden State

Tom Grubisich

The Alternative Press: A Successful Hyperlocal in the Garden State

The story of why InJersey went out has been told in so many conflicting ways it could be called “Garden State Rashomon.” I’d like to tell the story of another New Jersey hyperlocal, The Alternative Press, that is less maddening, and more optimistic. Would-be hyperlocal publishers and editors, give TAP founder and CEO Mike Shapiro five minutes of your time.

Patch-HuffPo Wants Hyperlocal Traffic? Here’s How

Rick Robinson

Patch-HuffPo Wants Hyperlocal Traffic? Here’s How

Last week I talked to a number of people about Aol’s Patch network and pointed readers to one Patch in particular that ostensibly seemed to be going for (human) form over (hyperlocal) function. It was a little unfair to single them out perhaps, especially with plenty of other examples of click-baiting to highlight, but I’m guessing I wittingly provided them just what they wanted by sort of calling them out: more pageviews, more clicks, more buzz…

What Kinds of Businesses Do Daily Deals Benefit Most?

Lynn Roulo

What Kinds of Businesses Do Daily Deals Benefit Most?

Business owners are always looking for a silver bullet — a killer feature that will bring in new customers. The recent daily deals craze has held out the promise of this kind of customer acquisition, but when is a deal feature a silver bullet, and when is it is shot in the foot?

Why Niches Are Becoming More Important for Deals

Justin Cener

Why Niches Are Becoming More Important for Deals

In the month since Groupon’s S-1 filing, there has been a lot of criticism directed at the nascent daily deals industry. Some say that the deals model is unsustainable, while others claim that running a deal can cripple a small business. But before jumping on that bandwagon, it’s important to remember that online deals are still in their infancy…

Hyperlocal Is Only as Good as Its Talent

Alex Salkever

Hyperlocal Is Only as Good as Its Talent

Ted Mann made a lot of smart points in his recent post on the lessons he learned from two years running InJersey, a network of 17 hyper-local blogs across the Garden State. There was one big, simple and very important takeaway: In a small town, having a single, passionate voice who is prolific and visible in the community can make the difference between flourishing and folding…

‘Social Journalism’: News You Can Take to the Bottom Line

Tom Grubisich

‘Social Journalism’: News You Can Take to the Bottom Line

The LJ World in Lawrence, Kan., has been a fount of innovation in digital journalism — especially in how to build and foster more and deeper community connections. Jane Stevens, the site’s director of media strategies, is herself a nonstop innovator. In 2010, she and her team launched LJ World’s WellCommons, a highly interactive site where “community and journalism work together to create a healthier Lawrence and Douglas County”…