Why DNAinfo’s Shuttering Isn’t a Reflection on the Hyperlocal Digital Opportunity

The shuttering of these sites was a failure of a business, not a failure of opportunity. The opportunity is there. A multi-billion dollar opportunity. It just needs the right model and good execution to grasp it.

Hyperlocal Pioneer Howard Owens Sees New Mobile App as Key to Scaling Beyond His ‘Batavian’

Eight and a half years after launching his hyperlocal news site The Batavian, in upstate New York, Howard Owens is looking at growing his base company, Album Corp., beyond Batavia to multiple locations. His plan for expansion is driven by a homemade mobile app that he’s experimenting with for the site.

Street Fight Daily: Airbnb’s Next Mega-Round, Samsung Debuts Mobile Payments

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…Airbnb Is Raising A Monster Round At A $20B Valuation (TechCrunch)… Samsung Actually Stands A Fighting Chance In Mobile Payments (Quartz)… Uber Discloses Data Breach That May Have Affected 50,000 Drivers (GigaOm)…

Community Publishers Mixed on Borrell Prescription for Content

Gordon Borrell minced no words in Street Fight recently when he talked about content and audience in the revenue-hot digital space that his new annual local media report pinpoints. He said: “It’s so much not about readers. It’s so much more about consumers. So those folks who are trying to develop hyperlocal sites around good […]

Grading Street Fight’s 2014 Predictions

At the end of each year, Street Fight invites staffers, friends, and luminaries from the industry to share their predictions for what’s in store for the coming year. Today, we take a look back at some of the predictions for 2014 to see who nailed it and who missed the boat…

Will 2015 Be Breakthrough Year for Community News?

We saw some promising signs of local news sites getting their mojo in 2014. But is it a lasting, growing trend? To get a peek over the horizon, we went to top experts in community news — publishers, editors and others who are involved in producing, analyzing and critiquing it…

How Community Involvement Can Pay Off for Local Publishers

Commuter traffic tie-ups and convenience store holdups can’t be the heart of a community news product. “Duty” coverage is still part of many sites’ content menu, but, by itself, it can’t build a solid relationship with community. The trick is to empower users “to take action to improve their communities”…

Hyperlocal Execs’ 2014 Predictions (Part One): Moz, Foursquare, Booker

As we have for the past couple of years, Street Fight recently asked a number of hyperlocal luminaries to weigh in with their predictions for where local is headed in 2014. We’ll be running their responses in two installments, today and tomorrow…

Hyperlocal Publishing: Who Stumbled, Who Was Nimble and What’s Next?

The big story in hyperlocal publishing this year was the fall of corporate hyperlocal pureplays like Patch, and Everyblock — big bets that failed to reach sustainability. And so as we look to the New Year, a persistent question once again emerges for community news: when will publishers find a digital model that works?

Should Hyperlocal Publishers Accept Barter Deals?

Most of the better known hyperlocal sites we contacted told us they didn’t do trade or barter, and they didn’t want to talk about it on the record. In Dallas, hyperlocal pioneer Mike Orren said people don’t talk about it because they don’t want to attract the attention of auditors, or they don’t want competitors to know that they’ll do barter. He agreed, however, that trade is “absolutely viable” for independents…

Hyperlocal Sustainability (Round 2): Upbeat ‘Indies’ Say They’re Winning

Following up on my column from last week, here are more unvarnished thoughts from “indie” hyperlocal editors and publishers I’ve been talking to about sustainability (a word, by the way, that sets the teeth of some of these entrepreneurial journalists on edge)…

Howard Owens on What It Takes to Sustain a Hyperlocal News Site

“If there’s any clear message, it’s what I’ve been saying for the past four or five years: Starting and running a local news site is hard work,” says the Batavian editor and publisher. “You need a good model, a solid plan, the ability to work long hours and handle multiple disciplines and stick with it for years and years with no promise of ever striking it rich. If you can do that, you’re on the right track.”

Sizing the Industry: Who Gets Counted as ‘Hyperlocal?’

Since we launched Street Fight in April of last year, one question has come up again and again that we don’t have a very good answer for: “How many hyperlocal news sites are currently operating in the U.S. — and is that number growing? And if it’s growing, how fast is it growing?”

Will ‘Breaking Promos’ Help Hyperlocals Bring New Customers to SMBs?

SMBs have been flocking to social sites like Facebook, where they can set up neat pages about their products and service. That’s fine, says Scott Karp, but “the only customers they reach are existing ones.” To solve this, his service Breaking Promos lets SMBs create pages on a social site that runs within the pages of hyperlocal news sites….

Getting Local Online Ad Dollars to Flow Into Hyperlocal News

Hyperlocal news sites are turning up everywhere, but advertisers aren’t following them nearly as fast. “Advertisers don’t want to be around local news,” Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, told Street Fight. I went to several people building business models around hyperlocal news to find out how they are planning to turn the tables on Borrell’s assessment…

Can Local Publishers Successfully Charge for Online?

The key for small-to-medium-sized legacy publishers online is keeping it local. The New York Times has unmatched quality, The Wall Street Journal has unmatched business insight and analysis, and the Concord Monitors and The Tulsa Worlds of the industry must have unmatched local content. If so, newspaper paywalls, at least in the short term, might be more than just a “Band-Aid on a bullet wound.”

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…

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…

Street Fight Daily: 12.06.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups...

Foursquare Hits 15 Million Users (BetaBeat)

Gowalla Versus Foursquare: Why Pretty Doesn’t Always Win (TechCrunch)
Newsday to Hire 25 in Hyperlocal Digital Expansion (Poynter)

Owens, Tucker Spar Over Indies’ Profitability

Last week, The Batavian’s Howard Owens penned a post on his personal blog about why independent hyperlocal sites were better positioned to be profitable long-term than scaled hyperlocal networks. Main Street Connect’s Carll Tucker, who believes that he has come upon a scalable formula for hyperlocal profitability, responded to Owens’ post last week, setting off a lively debate in the posts’ comments section over whether indies or scaled networks really have the upper hand when it comes to profitability…