More sites: Aggregators, news systems, minis

By Michele McLellan on April 7, 2010 0 Comments Ideas

Michele's List: Promising local news sites

This site list was last updated in June 2010. The list led to the establishment of Block by Block, a network of community news sites. Michele's List has been incorporated into the Block by Block website and updates are posted there.

Aggregators curate links and headlines from other sources. While curation provides a valuable service, our study is focused on sites that originate news.

  • Windy Citizen is Brad Flora's aggregation site that pulls together a mix of offbeat news and serious political debate in Chicago. Topics: Politics, local government, schools, transportation. Revenue: Advertising. About Windy Citizen.
  • Outside.in aggregates micro local content. This post by Mathew Ingram that describes Outside.in and contrasts it with Patch, AOL's local news system that creates highly local original content.

Local news systems  - These are highly local, low cost sites created with a regional or national template, often by a corporation. In taking the temperature of the news ecosystem, it is important to note that corporations are interested in micro local news and the local advertising they may draw. What do they know that established news organizations don't? We're not studying these systems in depth but we may include some of their sites on the Micro local list.

  • Gothamist LLC runs community news sites in 11 of some of the world's largest cities (such as New YorkLos AngelesWashington, D.C., and London, among others). Topics: Local news, arts, food. Revenue: Advertising.
  • OnMilwaukee.com is a daily online magazine and city guide for arts and entertainment in the Milwaukee area. Topics: Arts, entertainment, dining, marketplace, family, sports, politics. Revenue: Advertising. About OnMilwaukee.com
  • Patch, owned by America Online, is a newcomer to micro local with with sites in the Northeast, and very big expansion plans. Here's Ken Doctor's take on Patch.
  • NEWCommunity Impact operates eight local news sites (with companion monthly print publications) in central and southwest Texas. Founded in 2005 with three employees, the company now has more than 60 on staff. Topics: Local News. Revenue: Advertising, print subscriptions. About Community Impact.

To be added: Patch, YourHub, Metblogs

Mini sites typically are run by one or two people. They tend to be idiosyncratic in the selection of stories they cover and not highly aggressive in finding revenue.

  • 15211.org covers Pittsburg's Mt. Washington neighborhood. Topics: Local government, zoning, business, crime, events. About 15211.org.
  • Anacortes Now is a community news site that covers the Anacortes, Wash. The site encourages citizens to contribute reporting. Topics: Local news, politics, government, events. About Anacortes Now.
  • Boise Guardian is a local watchdog blog in Boise, Idaho, that mixes news and opinion; the editor is David R. Frazier. Topics: Local politics and policy. Revenue: Donations. About Boise Guardian.
  • The Cambridge Civic Journal covers local government in Cambridge, Mass. Topics: City council, local schools, civic events.
  • Coastsider is a community-produced news site covering San Mateo County in California. Topics: Local news, events, local government. Revenue: Advertising. About Coastsider.
  • Coconut Grove Grapevine. is a low-key local blog site for Coconut Grove, Florida by Editor/Publisher Tom Falco. Topics: Civic events, weather, business specials. Revenue: Advertising.
  • Frederick Maryland Online is a low key blog. Topics: Local events. Revenue: Advertising. About FMO.
  • Hamtramck Star, created by Steven and Hillary Cherry, covers local news in Hamtramck, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. Topics: Government, politics, education, lifestyle. About Hamtramck Star.
  • The McHenry County Blog, operated by retired state representative Cal Skinner, covers McHenry County, Ill. Topics: Politics, government, local news. About The Henry County Blog.
  • Metropolis is a site that is focused on providing in-depth coverage of local issues in and around Philadelphia. About Metropolis. See the post about Metropolis from inothernews.us.
  • Northfield Citizens Onlineis a citizen-run local news site in Minnesota. Topics: Civic issues, local events, weather. Revenue: Seeking sponsorships.About Northfield Citizens Online
  • The Restonian covers Reston, Va. In 2009, Washingtonian Magazine's Blogger Beat said the Restonian was "like a localized version of the Daily Show." Topics: Local news, politics, government, crime, real estate. Revenue: Google AdSense. 
  • The Sanatoga PostThe Limerick Post, and The Pottstown Post, all run by veteran journalist Joe Zolmeck, cover small communities in Montgomery County, Pa. Topics: Local news, politics, education. 
  • SkokieNet in Illinois is operated by the Skokie public library and invites users to contribute stories, photos and calendar listings. Topics: A wide range of local news and events. Revenue: Not clear beyond public library support.
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