Hyperlocal news aggregator EveryBlock is making its first big move since being purchased by MSNBC.com over the summer: Visitors to the site will now be able to write up announcements of their own, which will show up along with EveryBlock’s existing automated blurbs which are pulled from local municipal sources and news sites. EveryBlock says that users will be able to post nearly anything — from “eyewitness news” to reports of missing pets.
It seems as though there could be lots of room for abuse (Why buy an ad on EveryBlock when you could just post a message?) but it should add some original content to a site which because of its dependence on automated aggregation lacks personality and often offers an incomplete view of local news (See my critique here).
The local message board space is one that other companies are also trying to get into; in September, Yahoo rolled out local message boards across Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Local.
One announcement we’re still waiting on from MSNBC.com: When the news site will incorporate EveryBlocks’ feeds in its local news sections. In August, MSNBC.com president Charles Tillinghast told us that EveryBlock feeds would be added to the local news section of MSNBC.com “probably in the next few months” — but at least in Seattle they are not showing up. We’ve put in an inquiry and will update this post when we learn more.