AOL’s Patch network of hyperlocal blogs, which has suggested that a number of initiatives are coming to increase community engagement with its sites, has hired well-respected Brooklyn hyperlocal blogger Liena Zagare to lead the effort. Zagare will have the title of national community editor and tells us she will be in charge of “everything that has to do with making people want to come back to the sites.” Those efforts include a new initiative Patch announced earlier this week to get community members to regularly contribute their own posts to Patch sites.
Zagare, along with her husband Ben Smith of Politico, founded a network of Brooklyn hyperlocal blogs, which now include the Ditmas Park Blog, Kensington Prospect, The Windsor Terrace Blog, the Midwood Blog, and the Flatbush Blog. The sites have a loyal following, which includes some well-known NYT reporters, and the largest site in the network, the Ditmas Park Blog, attracts about 40,000 unique visitors a month. As for the future of the network, Zagare said that “we’re negotiating what is going to happen to them,” saying that for now they’ll stay as is and “they’re not tomorrow going to become Patch.”