Friday, December 02, 2011

Patch Birthday

Nazareth's Patch turned one yesterday, happy birthday. I know some readers who have used the site because I see their name there;-) but I'm sure others have little to no idea what Patch is. So I'll tell you a bit about it, give some opinion, and share a post from NOC's day 1 back in 2006.

Well, Patch is like NOC. Actually, it is kind of exactly like what I thought could be accomplished when I first thought of it. NewsOverCoffee was going to be the brand, and communities across the country that didn't have daily newspaper coverage focused on them would post about local events. Ideally, there would be many contributors including those from groups and organizations. For this reason, it is called NewsOverCoffee: Nazareth Edition.

What I learned was that most people don't want to contribute, they just want to find out what is going on, and for as much as the local markets were touted as being untapped, the reality was most local businesses for a variety of reasons, weren't interested. As such, there isn't much of a business model for placeblogging. 

I've written about Patch quite a bit on my personal blog. Patch is owned by AOL, and AOL is currently subsidizing the site as there are both technical and human costs, specifically, each local area has a paid editor and there are freelance fees paid. I know at least for this area, it is unsustainable.

I was surprised to see three local ads today on Patch. Mostly I've seen national ads delivered locally. Patch organizes itself around a 'community' which appears to be a very loose definition and then some content is shared amongst sites. I looked at the 13 day period from November 20 to December 1 and the site published on averager four posts per day. In reviewing these posts 58% are specific to Nazareth and 42% are general or regional but not specifically about the NASD area. Long and short, readers won't be left hanging when I close show on 12/31/11, there will continue to be sources of local information.

March 26, 2006 was my relaunch and on that day I made a few posts including this: "How To Use NewsOverCoffee". It has changed quite a bit from then, but with daily publications focused online and so many people connected socially, maybe the need is going away for placeblogs as people can ask, share, and get the answers they are looking for. What do you think?

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

No comments: