‘Newsonomics’ Author Ken Doctor: ‘The Play Is for Tablets’

Media industry analyst and consultant Ken Doctor has been watching the local news space for decades, long before “hyperlocal” was coined. He spent 21 years at Knight Ridder, where he first observed that consumers are willing to pay for local content — and contends that they are doing so even now, as they pick up their local paper. Doctor, an analyst for Outsell, a global research and advisory firm, and for his own firm, Content Bridges, frequently appears at conferences about the transformation of the news industry, and writes regular columns both on his own Newsonomics blog and for Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab. He is non-plussed by hyperlocal efforts like EveryBlock and Topix but sees potential in AOL’s Patch…

Topix CEO Chris Tolles: Community Over Content

When hyperlocal news and community site Topix was founded in 2004, the company’s plan was to take all the local news out there and aggregate it into niche news Web pages around hundreds of thousands of topics. The site’s algorithm sorted through 50,000 news sources and created feeds around all kinds of subjects, creating niche content aggregation. But in 2007, the company shifted gears after finding what it thought was an even more compelling product: harnessing the flood of user-generated commentary and debate around their topic areas. Street Fight spoke with CEO Chris Tolles about how hyperlocal has evolved, Patch’s place in the pack, and how journalism is actually just a means to an end…