AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong dreamed of building a national platform for hyper-local journalism, but after spending more than $300 million and six years, the company has finally thrown in the towel and sold the unit off
AOL maintains that its Patch hyper-local news venture is not shutting down, but it has clearly failed to meet the promise of CEO Tim Armstrong’s vision — because the model it was built on was the wrong approach to the problem
Patch, the networks of sites that was supposed to bring local news to every community in the country, is set to shrink significantly. This reveals – again – why the business for local news business online doesn’t work.
Ping4 wants to become to use its hyper-local geo-fencing technology to build a finely tunable emergency alerts system for any public safety agency.
Ori Allon, a two-time entrepreneur who sold his previous companies to Google and Twitter, is back now with a third startup called Urban Compass. The details are scarce but it will be a local, human-powered service that relies on algorithms to mobilize workers.
Everyone likes the idea of a thriving website sustained by a community of local readers. But too often “local” has been the stuff of journalistic ideals rather than real-world business plans. Real estate blog, Curbed, appears to be bucking this trend. How?
The Knight Foundation says it wants to help reinvent local and community-level media through the Center for Civic Media at MIT — the non-profit entity just announced new funding for the center, and a new director in online media pioneer and long-time Harvard University fellow Ethan Zuckerman.
Hyper-local site EveryBlock started out as an automated news aggregator, pulling in feeds based on specific locations. But founder Adrian Holovaty says he has realized that data is nothing without human interaction, and so the site has relaunched with more of a focus on community.
AOL has agreed to acquire Outside.in, a hyper-local news aggregator, for substantially less than investors put into the company. Like many other experiments in hyper-local news, it failed to connect with the communities it was supposed to be serving, and that is the kiss of death.
The dismantling of Washington-based local news site TBD has some arguing that such local online-media ventures are doomed to failure, but others maintain that the site’s demise was a result of corporate infighting, and says nothing about the strength of the original concept.