Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend reading: Can hyperlocal work?

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
Here's the latest installment of things worth reading:

"Hyperlocal Heartbreak: Why Haven't Neighborhood News Technologies Worked Out?" (ReadWriteWeb): With Aol's deal to acquire neighborhood news aggregator as a backdrop, author Marshall Kirkpatrick tries to figure out why various attempts to develop sites in this niche have yet to work. Is it an idea ahead of its time? Don't enough people care about what's happening down the street? Is the revenue model too elusive? "I care about what's happening in the neighborhood around me," he writes, "and I want to see the fabulous new technologies of open government data, online news syndication, social networking and data mining all put to service to fulfill hyperlocal news wishes and dreams I didn't even know I had yet."

"Q&A: Jim Brady on the Death of TBD" (Columbia Journalism Review): Brady was one of the brains behind TBD, the online-only local news site in Washington, D.C., that saw the rug pulled out from under it by parent Allbritton Communications just six months after launch. Here he offers an extended post-mortem on the rise and fall of the site, which he says has been wrongly characterized as a hyperlocal effort.

Musical interlude.

"Memo to Newspapers: Incremental Change Is Not Helping" (GigaOM): Check out the graphic in this post by Mathew Ingram, which originally accompanied an analysis by Frederic Filloux of the disruptive changes now facing traditional media. It shows how rapidly print advertising revenue has declined -- with the Washington Post as a model -- vs. the slow rise in online revenue: there's no intersection of the lines as "digital pennies" are no match for "print dollars." For the Post, it means in real terms the loss of $5 in print revenue for every $1 gained in online revenue.

"Journal Register's Localized Video News Strategy Is Driving Profitability: CEO John Paton" (Beet.TV): In a video interview, Journal Register Co.'s John Paton explains the technology his "digital first, print last" company uses to get video to the web quickly -- including eliminating the bottleneck (emphasis added) of central editing.

Bonus reads:

"A Day in the Life of a Liveblogger" (MobileCrunch): This is a delightful, insightful tale of live-blogging, as one reporter psyches himself and syncs his mobile "office" to cover the folderol of new tech-product releases.

"So Long Again, Chicago Daily News" (Reflections of a Newsosaur): Newsosaur Alan Mutter reminisces about the 1978 closing of the afternoon paper in Chicago. "But this isn't just ancient history," he offers. "It is a valuable reminder to today's media companies of what happens when you run out of readers, revenues and ideas all at the same time."

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