As 10-Year Mark Approaches, West Seattle Blog Sticks to Profitable Basics

In December 2005, West Seattle Blog was a “personal project” with no news or advertising. A major windstorm that struck West Seattle and King County in December 2006 changed all that, and in the nearly 10 years since, WSB has become a highly regarded inspiration for independent digital community sites.

‘Indie’ Hyperlocals Share Their Secrets to Sustainability

“Content remains king. So long as you don’t lose sight of that, much of the rest falls into place,” said Sheepshead Bites editor and publisher Ned Berke. “But, content doesn’t pay the bills, so we’re always looking at ways to improve the services we offer to merchant partners and other revenue opportunities…”

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)…

Can Long-Tail E-Books Give New Life to Old News?

Hyperlocal news sites often publish revealing stories about what makes their communities tick or that capture the uniqueness of their character. Can those stories – which routinely disappear into archives – find new life as e-books?

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…

Battle in Seattle: ‘Indie’ West Seattle Blog vs. Corporate KOMO

West Seattle has two major hyperlocal news sites, and they represent 180-degree-opposed forces in online community news: independent sites that entrepreneurs fund from their wallets, and big-media-financed sites that draw on millions of dollars from corporate treasuries…

WSB’s Tracy Record: You Can’t Do Hyperlocal on a Template

When West Seattle Blog launched, the site didn’t carry any ads — not even Google Adsense ads which co-founder Tracy Record thought were “ugly and cluttery.” At the time, the site was more of a passion project than a business. But when they finally got advertising two years later, Record says it didn’t take very long before she and her partner were turning a profit: “It was rather rapid in terms of people embracing us and we were in the black in the first year.” …

Patch Takes a Page From Arianna’s Playbook

AOL is bringing Arianna Huffington’s freebie content strategy to its Patch network of hyperlocals. Patch Editor-in-Chief Brian Farnham has tasked his 800+ editors each with recruiting five to 10 local bloggers to contribute unpaid content for their respective sites…