Anthony De Rosa knows New York, and New York knows him. He was once called “the undisputed king of Tumblr” by The New York Times for his SoupSoup blog, and NBC New York named his Twitter feed one of its “20 To Follow” for news about the city.
So when his friend Richard Blakeley told him he was frustrated by local news sites and wanted to do something different – something where New Yorkers would determine what was news – De Rosa tells FishbowlNY that he was all in. This was the beginning of Neighborhoodr.com.
“His [Blakeley’s] idea was to crowd-source the content from any neighborhood by making it user submitted,” says De Rosa. “He designed the look of the site and I put together the user interface and coding. We originally launched with 40 or so neighborhoods in NYC which eventually grew to 60 because of demand.”
Yesterday Neighborhoodr expanded to 25 new cities, and plans to grow even larger are already in the works. This success is due mostly to the fact that Neighborhoodr has little relation to traditional hyper local news outlets, explains De Rosa.
“Patch is bleeding money, they think if you spend enough you can breath life into a long dead top down newspaper model. Even with the amount of money they’re spending the people writing for them can’t live off that small a stipend. We spread the work out amongst the entire community and the updates are frictionless. Anyone can submit content and there’s a ton of content a click away for us to share. It allows us to get all the way down to the neighborhood level in even the smallest town without having to reinvent the wheel.”
De Rosa says New York was the perfect place to launch the site because of how eclectic each neighborhood can be. Park Slope’s Neighborhoodr might have 20 posts about strollers, while Williamsburg’s could post about Crif Dog’s new location (you’ve probably never been there).
Because this is the city that never sleeps, De Rosa laments that keeping up with all the local news and media happenings can be quite intense. “It can seem like there’s always something breaking somewhere, so even in those times, you have to be disciplined enough to walk away and get out amongst the living.”
Sound advice. Maybe we should share that on Neighborhoodr?