March 04, 2011

Patch's business model may not have come to your community yet, but it has become quite active in the suburbs around Minneapolis and St. Paul, even reaching into western Wisconsin.

From conversations with Patch editors, we have learned the company's efforts at developing hyperlocal online news sites seem quite deliberate. Not every community is bound to be Patched. Besides obvious elements such as population and potential for advertising revenue, Patch also considers the degree of community engagement before deciding to open a site.

Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider is skeptical about the company's chances.

"The only way Patch wins," he writes, "is if it can prove that local, geographically-pinpointed traffic is more valuable than national, broad-based traffic – by several multiples."

Has Patch set up shop in your community? If so, how is it doing?

1 comment:

Bill Reader said...

Andris poses an excellent question for COMJIG members and I hope those who have sites near them will crowd-source for us here.

There is no Patch site near me, so I can only offer observations from reading Patch sites from other places. Many of them seem to be truly produced by local people with a good sense of their communities. I blogged about Patch last summer and suggested its model did seem to be more oriented toward community-focused journalism than top-down or centralized (or both) attempts. In another blog post, I noted how Patch could be a viable competitor to existing community media, but one not encumbered by the overhead of producing legacy formats (newspapers or airwave broadcasts).

Those are just my observations. I hope others will share theirs on this site. Thanks, Andris, for posing an important question to the COMJIG membership. -- Bill R.