Thursday, February 02, 2012

A future for local news

Earlier this week I went to a very entertaining Mashup* Event, looking at the interplay between local & social.

(Mashup Event is a regular networking session in London.  Join up here.)

One of the speakers was from Northcliffe Newspapers, who now have over 135 very local news sites in the UK, under the Local People banner.  They mix news with local events, reviews and so on, and are now profitable, taking their income from ad revenue.  For example, here is the site for Nailsea, in Somerset.

It's an interesting model of the future.  If I had time I'd be tempted to set up a local site for my neighbourhood, because it frustrates me that it's so easy (for example) to find out everything about what's happening in technology in Silicon Valley, but at the same time I can't find out why the police have taped off a local street.  There's a big information disconnect!

Northcliffe are now offering franchises for new local areas; they provide training, technology, site templates etc, so franchisees just have to do the work.

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