Hyperlocal: Grumpy in West Seattle
West Seattle Blog's Tracy Record takes after Patch and other cookie-cutter local sites like Datasphere (a favorite of Gannett, Fisher Communications. Landmark and Hubbard, among others) and, I assume, upstart Main Street Connect (whose founder, Carll Tucker, got roundly smacked down in the comments on that article for calling things like West Seattle Blog "hobby" sites).
Record's interview with Street Fight opens with this:
There’s something of a body of us who have achieved some measure of success; we’re actually in the black. We don’t have jobs on the side — this is our business and it does sustain us and family, and some employees, depending on who you’re talking to.And goes on from there.
And continually there are these glowing pieces about one of these mass corporate sites, your Patches or your Dataspheres, it just goes on and on completely uncritically as if they’ve already achieved both unanimous acclaim and love in their communities. And they’re allowed to get by with no traffic figures.
And so we get a little grumpy about that.
As Baristanet's Debra Galant set up the argument about a month ago in another Street Fight interview, it's the Wal-Marts of hyperlocal versus, well, the hyperlocals.
There promises to be lots more fun in this space as the locals face off against the "big boxes." What's next? Do the West Seattle Blogs and the Baristanets band together in sort of a hyperlocal IGA or ACE? (Just kidding.) But it really does set up some fascinating dynamics and questions, including the very definition of hyperlocal (is it hyperlocal just beause you say it is, or does there need to be some kind of blood test?). Fun all around.
Labels: hyperlocal journalism