A new initiative by Associated Northcliffe Digital aimed at small towns in the southwest will introduce 50 hyperlocal sites where community members can write and upload content. The sites are targeted at towns with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants who don't yet have an online news portal to call their own.
Twenty-three of the sites have already launched, including those for Bideford and Redland, while the rest will be up and running by the end of the summer.
With a community manager at the helm to organize and produce content, each site will consist of news stories and discussion groups under the tag line "Your place. Your people." Bideford's page, for example, currently features an article on the opening of a new skate ramp and a profile of two teenagers and their locavore fish and chips cart.
To highlight local enterprises, the sites also feature business directories. The hope is that these portals will become a prime destination for local advertisers.
The UK has seen an inundation of hyperlocal sites in recent months, with the Yorkshire Evening Post and KM Group starting up a slew of new ventures last month and Newsquest rolling out its own community pages in the West Midlands in April.
On the other side of the Atlantic, The New York Times blog the Local invites community members to contribute through its "virtual assignment desk," giving readers the opportunity to write up local board meetings and other topics of interest.
Source: Brand Republic