Three hyperlocal things to read this week, 5th March 2013

March 5th, 2013 by Glyn Mottershead in Hyperlocal | no comments

With hyperlocal forums on the rise, will they replace or complement local news?

This is the question asked by Daniela Gerson over at Online Journalism Review. Her article, which has a US focus, follows on from the recent announcement by the US social network Nextdoor that it had secured $21.6 million in new funding.

Alongside academic studies on neighbourhood – and civic participation – she also cites some examples of useful successful models which have tried to crack the same online community engagement question.

Her not surprising conclusion is that “Nextdoor and other forums can play a crucial part in a healthy news ecosystem, but they work best when tailored to local needs and in conjunction with other news coverage.”  Forums alone, it would seem, won’t cut it. In the US this is where people discus the news, but they go elsewhere to find out what’s happening first. [READ MORE]

 

Hyperlocal Voices: Paul Smith, HU17.net

This is the latest in an irregular series that I produce for the Online Journalism Blog, which features interviews with hyperlocal practitioners. Paul Smith is an interesting key to talk to. He’s been running his site for over five years, full time, and enjoys 140k online visitors a month.

hu17

Paul also publishes a weekly magazine, which shows how things can grow from small beginnings:

“At the time there was a developer, Barratts, who were building some flats, they sponsored the back page for £80pw for a long period of time which provided enough revenue to keep it going and attract other advertisers both on and offline. Without them I do not think that the magazine would still be going, I do not even think they realise, what to them would be a small amount of money, has influenced and changed our community so much in a positive way.”  [READ MORE]

 

Online readership soars for most regional news sites

Hold the Front page reports that: “Almost every regional newspaper website in the UK recorded increases in online readership during the final six months of 2012”.

The article also features a useful table showing the ABC multi-platform figures for daily visitor figures.

This is South Wales saw the fastest growth at more than 50% whilst the site with the biggest traffic, with over 100,000 daily readers is Manchester Evening News.  [READ MORE]

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