Ex-NYC Deputy Mayor: Hyperlocals Should Help Citizens ‘March on City Hall’

Journalism and community are rapidly converging in the hyperlocal space. But the big missing piece is meaningful participation by local government. Mayors, city and town managers and other local public officials may have Twitter accounts or Facebook pages, but too often they’re used for carefully managed image messages–not for joining citizens in serious problem solving. Stephen […]

Who Will Eat the Hyperlocal Donut?

In big, dense metro areas, dailies are struggling but will likely survive. Or, savvy hyperlocals will be able to capitalize on urban density to maintain coverage and still run viable businesses. In the rural areas, where newspapers are still the only game in town, local media continues to do pretty well and hold their own. But gaps are starting to show in the zone between the cities and the sticks…

Case Study: Tracking the Success of an Online Ad

For Richard Stromberg, owner of Chicago Photography Classes, hyperlocal news sites and blogs have taken the place of traditional print publications. To track the effectiveness of his online ads, he uses printable coupons that new clients are encouraged to bring to class for discounted rates...

Denver Post Unveils ‘New’ YourHub. But Is It New Enough?

Six years ago YourHub was major media’s first big foray into hyperlocal. It was the answer to newspapers desperately looking to replace shrinking print  revenues with digital gold. But digital gold, like the real stuff, is not easy to find. What happened in Denver is a sobering case study about metro newspapers and hyperlocal publishing.

A ‘Community Service Model’ for Hyperlocal

When merchants and civic organizations produce content for local publications, they develop their brand, engage their community and, as a result, market themselves. This new hyperlocal model would serve the business, nonprofit and civic sectors by providing the free open source media they need to deliver news and promote their agendas inside the community. Call it the community service media model…

Relying on Facebook When Google+ is Rising Looks Risky

Over the past year, an awful lot of small businesses and hyperlocal media players have bet the farm on Facebook, ditching traditional standalone websites and go all-in on a Facebook presence. I wonder whether they are reconsidering that decision now that Google+ is on the rise.

Case Study: Ads on Hyperlocal Blogs Reach Local Customers

As the owner of Urban Ashes, a home furnishings company in Michigan that uses salvaged wood from local yards, parks and urban areas, Paul Hickman believes strongly in supporting local businesses and causes. This carries over to the way he markets his business: Hickman regularly advertises on hyperlocal news sites like The Ann Arbor Chronicle to connect with residents who are well-educated and want to support local enterprises like his.

Why Hyperlocals Are Making Anonymity Obsolete

I don’t ordinarily read anonymous comments, but “patriotmommy” stopped my browsing eyes recently on Patch’s Reston, Va., site. I was reading an upbeat story about graduation at the high school where my two daughters were educated. The article noted that South Lakes High produced a “record number” of International Baccalaureate candidates this year. At the […]

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.

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.

Google+ is Part of Something Bigger — Much Bigger

The much-ballyhooed launch this week of Google+, a social network that was created to go up against Facebook, has drawn tons of media attention. What most pundits seemed to miss in the all the noise is that Google is smartly positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for multiple facets of local advertising, all sold through its automated self-service sales machine. What’s more, they should all feed off each other…

Local News Isn’t Local Enough for Meporter’s Andy Leff

Meporter, a citizen journalism platform for mobile phones that was launched in May, combines the check-in function of Foursquare with crowdsourcing and old-fashioned reporting. Using the app, journalists of all stripes can check in to a location or an event and then share their on-the-fly news report with the world at large…

B-Town Blog’s Schaefer: Hyperlocal Means Being ‘On the Ground’

Scott Schaefer is the founder, publisher and editor of B-Town Blog, in Burien, Wash., which was named the best hyperlocal news Web site by the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Chapter. B-Town Blog, one of six hyperlocal content sites operated by Schaefer’s LOL Dudez, aims to “report news from a ‘location-based’ perspective.” Schaefer recently spoke to Street Fight about how that “location-based” principle guides everything the site does.

AirRun’s ‘Runners’ Perform Your Tasks

The field of radius-based, phone-centric, hyperlocal services is getting more crowded. I won’t venture to list all the players for fear of leaving some out — “pop,” there’s another one. A few, however, are drawing particular attention in the race to gain enough scale and nomadic-market penetration to deliver on the promise that when a user wants something, someone will be there to deliver it…

Memo From Patch EIC: More Articles = More UVs

In an email to regional editors last week obtained by Street Fight, Brian Farnham, the editor-in-chief of AOL’s Patch network of hyperlocal sites, suggested that the sites should increase unique visitors by upping post production, and touted an experiment at 14 Florida sites where increased posting resulted in more uniques. …

Five Elements of a Successful Hyperlocal Site

There are numerous places where local content producers can get advice about how to find the right groove with readers. Some have created guides to those businesses who have executed well, or “7 Habits” lists for successful hyperlocal sites. The folks at J-Lab did their own in-depth investigation into “what works” in hyperlocal journalism and came up with this, while a journalist across the pond takes a diplomatic view when considering hyperlocal content/news sites…

An Engaged Audience Is Key to Hyperlocal Success

The true value of a hyperlocal site is its audience, but eyeballs alone aren’t enough. To create a thriving hyperlocal site today, an editor needs to attract and hold the attention of an engaged readership. Even more importantly, to sustain a hyperlocal site with limited resources, that audience needs to play an active role in providing and responding to its content.

My Green Lake’s Duncan: Hyperlocal Means Shop Local

SeattleSeattle is one of the hotspots of hyperlocal blogs. Its West Seattle Blog boasts 30,000 visitors per month. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog says it gets more than 120,000 visitors per month. My Green Lake is another Seattle blog, with about 16,000 visitors each month, twice the population of the neighborhood it serves, notes its founder, Amy Duncan. Duncan, a former librarian, started the site in 2009 and runs it as a for-profit business currently featuring more than twenty neighborhood-based display ads and participating in three city-wide advertising networks.

Recently, Duncan, who manages both editorial and advertising at My Green Lake, answered a few questions by email...