Friday, April 11, 2008

OurTown Hopes to Claim Hyperlocal News Market With 70,000 Websites

Many startups such as Local Edition and Backyard Post are attempting to claim the "hyperlocal" news market. OurTown is the newest player, which boasts 70,000 hyperlocal websites across the country. George Blake, former editor and 20 year veteran of the Cincinnati Enquirer is now chief news officer for OurTown.

Blake believes that the best definition of "hard news" is the news "most important to your readers." Thus, editors must discover what people want to read and respond accordingly: if people want local entertainment and activities, provide a community calendar, if people want school, church, kids sports news, provide links to their specific-interest site. There will also be chat rooms for people to discuss local issues, according to Blake. He hopes that this very local content will distinguish OurTown from bigger local sites such as Yelp.

"You want to know about the local festival 10 minutes from your home, not the one 50 miles away," said Blake. " When you go to your OurTown website, you will read stories about places and people you recognize in your community." [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

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