Matt McGee at Hyperlocal Blogger unearths this gem:
Community newspapers throughout the country consider personalized “hometown” news stories about local residents as “must-publish” content, but more than 50% of it continues to live in print only and not online.
But for Matt, every community newspaper’s cloud has a silver lining for those who want to get some local traffic:
There’s a door open and if the newspaper isn’t standing there, someone else should walk right in and provide the online hyperlocal news and information that people want.
That includes you, Mr./Ms. SMB website.
6 Response Comments
Interesting notes here. I have tried and given up on three “online newspapers”
If only there was an easy way to publish news fast
Great poing for SMBs though
This is definitely a wide open niche left by newspapers.
I feel sympathy for the traditional newspaper companies – forced to cut back on the very reporters who could provide more local stuff – and also so woefully behind the times with their online development, making it challenging to get the stories actually pubbed online.
I approached several local reporters in my home City about an online newspaper and some form of joint venture – they all pooped on the idea YET their newspaper has a reported circulation of 35,000 in a City of 300,000 + suburbs and villages
The newspaper is getting thinner and filled with crappy “court stories”
What a powerful post for someone who takes action on it!
I guess many people are afraid to focus locally for fear they’ll lose their global market. You’ve got me thinking now as to how to combine local and global on my own blog/site so as to add value.
By the way I might as well tell you how I found your blog. You showed up in the google search results for ‘Make a Local Website’ as a person in my ‘social circle’ – it says were’ connected via twitter and so it pulled up the results based on that.
Good of you to point this out but the problem is that no one on the individual level, perhaps save a few shining stars, can make this work. I’m doing some work for one of the biggest players right now and even now they’re starting off with a “loss” model because they have the big bucks to “write-off.”
Eventually, they’ll be selling advertising but they claim its going to go back into the community. Just how much remains uknown.
Anyways, congrats on seeing the keyword potential. 😉
Yes. Very true. On the other hand, in the community where I worked as a small town paper journalist, there has emerged an online-only competitor. Plus, the big metro paper (Houston Chronicle) has stepped up its coverage of surrounding suburbs in a BIG way, and now has its own, online-only site competing in the community as well. Not to mention a small but regular group of partisan bloggers. So these little papers comfortable in the knowledge they can “never be replaced” need to start thinking about their own survival. Not to mention growth opportunities. There truly is a mentality at least at some small papers that they can never be replaced because of the unique content they provide (who else covers our community? they say) and that online can be treated as an afterthought to the print product.