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Links 1 through 10 of 20 by Dave Earley tagged community

"you are going to get better engagement if you can connect with local people who are interested in their community. [...]. The more local engaged followers you have, the more successful your efforts at crowdsourcing, content distribution and local conversation."

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The prospect of better reaching readers — and advertisers — in a community encourage the Philadelphia Media Network to experiment with curation and open story budgets. [...] But a strip at the top of Neighbors Main Line is another example of the push toward transparency — see The Guardian opening up its news budgets, or The Register Citizen Open Newsroom Project. The strip every day alerts readers to “What We’re Working On,” three brief descriptions of what the reporters are working along with contact information.

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While none of the sites profiled has developed a clear business model yet, some of the key ingredients needed for success are becoming increasingly apparent:

1. A business development strategy and capacity to execute it.
2. A high level of audience focus and innovative approaches to build community engagement.
3. Technological capacity to support and track engagement.

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Community engagement = News orgs make top priority to listen, to join, lead & enable conversation to elevate journalism.
I’ll elaborate on some key words there: Priority, Listen, Join, Lead, Conversation, Journalism.

These are the primary techniques of community engagement, as I see them (in the coming weeks, I will blog about each separately): Social media, Blog networks, Crowdsourcing, Breaking news, Engaging through stories and community events, Curation and aggregation, Content submitted by users, Make content engaging, Voting, Contests, Comments, Face to face, Schools, Community Groups, Feedback.

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EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty is asked what separates his site’s mission from other major players like Patch.

Just look at the two sites, and the difference will smack you in the face.
Patch is essentially like a local newspaper website – it is heavily oriented around staff-produced articles and “static” content like business directories. It’s trying to do a lot of different things, much of it not necessarily very well.
EveryBlock is much, much more focused. You tell us which places you’re interested in following (your block, your work neighborhood, whatever), and we give you a simple timeline of what’s happened in those areas recently

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guest post from Nicholas White, the CEO of The Daily Dot, a new startup in community journalism. White leaves a long lineage of newspaper men and women in his family to join digital media and explains why.
Six months ago, I quit my family's 179-year-old newspaper company. I left not because newspapers are crumbling -- though they are -- but because the very thing that has made the old industry so fragile offers hope for the future of journalism.
I quit to start an entirely new newspaper: an experiment in media called The Daily Dot.

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And much of that community-level affirmation, he believes, comes from the fact that the redesigned site fills an important niche — the rich space between database and social network. [...] A couple weeks ago, Holovaty himself posted a comment:

Just heard word from my wife that there’s some “major police/fire” action on Rockwell, south of Wilson, on the east side of the street. Anybody know what’s up?

Soon, Holovaty had his answer: There’d been a shooting, but not of the violent variety. A TV pilot had been filming in the area. So: “Filming a tv show,” one neighbor replied. Another provided a link to the PDF of the filming notice he’d been sent informing him and his immediate neighbors of the filming. Another shared that he’d seen a CBS-branded car carrier parked in a lot nearby. And another wrote simply to thank the others for their contributions. In all, five people actively contributed to the conversation. And among them, there were ten expressions of gratitude.

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Here Potts speaks with Street Fight about which companies are closest to solving the hyperlocal conundrum, how daily deals companies are changing the equation, and whether it’s really viable to do small-scale news with professional journalists.
Are there any other lessons you learned about hyperlocal sites from your experience at Backfence?
Well, two things. One is I think you need to tap into community passion. The passion that people have about their community. They want a contributor who’s passionate about the community covering the community. The other thing that everyone underestimates is how hard it is to market these things. How hard it is to get the word out that you exist. I think there’s a real, “If you build it, they will come” mentality, and it doesn’t work that way. Letting the community know that you’re there for them is a long, patient, and somewhat-expensive process.

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To be sure, many local news startups have failed. That has led to fears that there is no business model for local news online. [...]
Instead, my work studying the emerging landscape and my ongoing survey of new sites suggests two other trends. First, local sites are beginning to learn the importance of focusing as much on financial sustainability and revenues as on news creation. Second, they are learning, much as traditional news organizations are, that they need multiple revenue streams, not just one or two, to sustain themselves. [...]
A draft of the study points to the challenges that journalism-focused organizations face. Among key findings are two things that online local news sites must do to succeed:
* Define target audiences.
* Diversify expense and revenue models.
[...]
Ben Ilfeld, publisher of the Sacramento Press, says two thirds of its site revenue comes from helping local businesses use social media and the other third comes from advertising.

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From January 2010:
Know what you're doing online. Embrace community organizing; create value for a community... and only you will find a community that will value you.

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