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Summary:

Fwix, a hyperlocal newswire launching with sites for 72 cites on Monday, has raised an undisclosed first round from BlueRun Ventures. The Sa…

Fwix

Fwix, a hyperlocal newswire launching with sites for 72 cites on Monday, has raised an undisclosed first round from BlueRun Ventures. The San Francisco company was founded last November by 22-year-old CEO Darian Shirazi, a former engineer at Facebook and *eBay*. Aside from the first round, a Fwix rep said the company raised a small seed round previously. Shirazi is promising real-time local news and is adding mobile user updates, including the now-requisite iPhone app. The company claims 8 million visitors per month across its content network, while it’s been getting 400,000 uniques to its North American city sites during its beta phase.

In addition to its sites, Fwix also offers a “network of widgets,” which it is pitching to local newspapers and other publishers as a way to get its content viewed by more users. On top of that, the company says it can track local trends, identifying a city

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  1. The bottomless listing of headlines is the "easy part", whether from citizen journalism contributions, unique content acquisition technology, or from active inclusiveness of readers in the process and model. But these models and design continue to miss the point of what needs to be presented to really encourage community growth and interactive communication of relevant information PLUS the promotion of the available services and the for-profit entities. The latter should be the direction of "what's next for hyperlocal" and the investment in that effort.

    Hometowntimes.com offers 524 sites today, with the potential to reach the residents and businesses and promote real interactivity and growth.

    While all the buzz continues to be delivery of the news … these sites and efforts, while some might be compelling in their design and resources, all miss the boat as to what the communities are really seeking from a new model. Like the flyers in the Sunday paper, Hometowntimes.com endeavors to fill the gap between relevant original content local news delivery, and the revenue source to sustain engagement and the model — we pull no punches on the connection or disconnect of traditional news outlets, by publishing content delivered by its advertisers and promoting their respective value propositions to their readers and customers.

    Attention to hyper local companies that understand communities' real interest, inclusive of their town's businesses, service organizations, and community resources as "newsworthy" content, will grow and support creation, delivery, and attraction to "real news", the latter being only one part of the hyperlocal experience.

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