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.

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 […]

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 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…

Street Fight Daily: TaskRabbit Confirms Layoffs, Charting A Future for Local News

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technologyTaskRabbit Confirms Layoffs As It Realigns To Focus On Mobile And Enterprise (TechCrunch)… Charting a Locally Owned, For-Profit Future for Community News (Nieman Journalism Lab)… Why Investors Who Got Burned By Groupon Might Still Snap Up An IPO From RetailMeNot (Quartz)…

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.”

Street Fight Daily: SMBs Skeptical of Social, Crowdfunding Hyperlocal

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.Survey: 61% of SMBs Say No ROI from Social (Screenwerk)… How Joey Coleman Crowdfunded His Work as a Hyperlocal Reporter (GigaOm)… Facebook Is Said to Hire Apple Maps Executive Amid Mobile Push (Bloomberg)…

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…

Street Fight Daily: Highlight Takes Two, Digital First Announces Curation Team

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.Highlight 1.2 Solves Some of the App’s Problems, but Big Questions Remain (The Verge)… Digital First Announces Curation Team (10,000 Words)… Twitter Offers Location Targeted Advertisements (CNET)…

Street Fight Daily: Foursquare Redesigns, $15M for Indiegogo

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology...

Foursquare Gets A New Look: Redesign Makes Checking In Stickier And More Social (TechCrunch)…

Kickstarter Competitor Indiegogo Raises $15M (BetaBeat)…

In Scare for Newspapers, Digital Ad Growth Stalls (Reuters)…

Street Fight Daily: Groupon Buys FeeFighters, Howard Owens on Paywalls

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

Groupon Acquires FeeFighters, the BillShrink for Business Services (TechCrunch)…

Paywalls Create Opportunities for Local News Entrepreneurs (howardowens.com)…

You Say ‘SoLoMo,’ I Say, ‘I Hate My Life’ (TechCrunch)…

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…

Street Fight Daily: 12.22.11

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

DealFind Launches Its Version Of Groupon Now: ‘Everyday Deals’ (TechCrunch)…
AOL Shareholder: Patch Will Lose ‘As Much As $150M in 2011’ (Business Insider)…
The Power of Foursquare (TechCrunch)…

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…