Hyperlocal papers have been serving communities in the physical world, but with the presence of the Internet, new communities are being formed. One group has decided that the online community needs its own newspaper: in September 2010, Nicholas White, Nova Spivack, and Josh Jones-Dilworth founded the Daily Dot. Editor Owen Thomas might have announced the site on April Fools' Day, but it's no prank.
What exactly will it entail? According to the site, "The Daily Dot gives a voice to the Web's communities. We report on the most important and relevant topics from within, applying tried-and-true principles drawn from community newspapers to the growing cultures of the Internet, and allow our audience to read the Dot across multiple platforms, where they live, online."
Before the publication's launch, it will be distributing email newsletters to update readers on its progress. Through the newsletters, it will tell the trials and tribulations of forming the paper while also showing the editorial voice. Interested readers can sign up on the website.
In order to gain reader support and trust, the publication plans on being completely transparent. It will update them on everything the paper is doing, from hiring to how they gather news, Thomas told Poynter.
Readers shouldn't expect to know much about the site until they receive the newsletter. When GigaOM's Mathew Ingram interviewed Thomas, the writer described him as "frustratingly vague" on what the site will do. This could perhaps be that it's still changing and being developed. As Thomas said, "[T]he road map [for the future of the publication] hasn't really been defined yet." The group still has lofty goals. Thomas said in an email, "Over time the newsletter will turn into a series of community assets which will turn into a destination site which will turn into, we hope, the next great media brand."
The founders all have an eclectic mixture of experience. Thomas was an editor for VentureBeat and Valleywag. White was VP of audience development for Sandusky Newspapers. Spivack has already been a part of several technology start ups, including EarthWeb, Twine.com, and Live Matrix. Jones-Dilworth is a PR consultant.
Out-of-work journalists can rejoice: the group is still expanding. It invites both professional journalists and online enthusiasts to apply.