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Summary:

Meanwhile, as bigger portals continue to buy local sites (Patch, EveryBlock), newspapers continue to close them: latest example is Washingto…

LoudounExtra

Meanwhile, as bigger portals continue to buy local sites (Patch, EveryBlock), newspapers continue to close them: latest example is Washington Post (NYSE: WPO), which is closing its only standalone local site LoudonExtra, two years after the hyperlocal site launched. The rationale from the company, as told to Loudoun Independent, by a WaPo spokesperson: “We found that our experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model.”

The site will be turned off in September and all the content will be migrated to the main WaPo site. The site was launched in 2007, but failed to gain any traction, partly because the interactive execs who worked on the site and effort left soon after, resulting in no attention/promotion from the main site, and partly because WaPo’s still struggling to define its way with its online strategy. The other planned hyperlocal site Fairfaxextra.com never materialized.

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  1. As a DC native who understands the metro area, it's hard for me to understand calling a site with a focus as broad as an entire county "hyperlocal". WaPo (or someone) needs to break those sites down by zip code or individual neighborhood…thoughts anyone?

  2. As someone who understands a little about community journalism, let me take a guess: Most of the "hyperlocal" information they expected unpaid citizen correspondents turned out to be spotty in arrival, or didn't arrive at all, and much of it required at least a fair amount of editing to render it grammatically correct and cogent. The few regular contributors were happy to offer their thoughts or pass along unsubstantiated reports, but didn't have the time, expertise or interest in nailing much that would qualify as a read-worthy news story. Submitted photos tended to be the group "yearbook" style, grip-and-grins and pets.
    It's one thing to say you're going to run school lunch menus and Little League scores (or whatever); another entirely to actually round this stuff up and put it in the system.
    There's a reason it's called "work."

    It's one thing to say

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