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NY Times Goes Hyperlocal

New York Times: Hey Kids, Let’s Put on a Blog! Starting today, The Local is an online news site for these communities. But if we build it right together, The Local will be something much more: a glorious if cacophonous chorus of your voices singing the song of life itself in these astoundingly varied and vibrant neighborhoods.

With your input, The Local will tell stories that matter: crime and politics and culture and civic life and everything else. Some stories will be snapshots, mere moments. Others will unfold over days or weeks or marking periods — the birth pangs of a food coop or a high school newspaper, the aftermath of a crime, and, as the unstoppable wave of local gentrification crashes into the unstoppable wave of global economic meltdown, an ever-growing tale of loss and struggle.

The Times’ move here is critically important. It’s long overdue, as such a thing would be at any newspaper, but at least it’s finally happening. I’ll be watching closely to see how this develops.

What I don’t see, so far, is any serious indication of the parallel media universe that exists outside the Times’ perception. If this “local” site doesn’t point widely to the community blogs and other media, it will simply reinforce the old-style media view of the past. I’m confident that the paper understands this.

One question, of course, is whether (a) this will make any money for the newspaper, and, if so, (b) whether the Times will share any wealth created by the community in this endeavor. Let’s wait for (a) before we worry too much about (b).

2 Comments on “NY Times Goes Hyperlocal”

  1. #1 Trading Ideas
    on Mar 6th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    The NYT certainly needs to do something, as do all newspapers, they are talking about making their online version subscription only and in the article they are asked ‘how will you make money out of this’? and they say ‘we don’t know’. My suggestion for what it’s worth is they need to team up with Google. Google is the market leader in advertising and the NYT needs a drastic solution to help them survive. (I don’t work for Google by the way).

  2. #2 Angela Connor
    on Mar 7th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    A nice call to action and clearly a good idea (ask Tracy Record of West Seattle Blog) but it’s going to take much more than a post encouraging people to send in everything but the kitchen sink. I know because I manage an online community of more than 11,000 members and depend on them for their content. Engagement is key. At t he end of the day, you need an engagement strategy. I wish them well.