Fascinating piece at Nieman Lab by Dan Kennedy, assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University and author of The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age. It’s all about The Batavian, a hyper-local news site in Batavia, New York.
Per the illustration above, The Batavian has something close to the “infinite scroll” Marissa Mayer toyed with recently on the front page of Yahoo. And as you scroll, and scroll, and scroll down through The Batavian, there’s a crazy quilt of local representin’. From Kennedy’s article:
There are a lot of ads — more than 140, every single one of them on the home page, a practice that publisher Howard Owens believes is more effective than rotating them in and out. There are ads for funeral homes and pizza shops. For accountants and tattoo parlors. For auto repair centers and ice cream stands. For bars and baseball (the minor-league Batavia Muckdogs).
The Batavian has been up and running since 2008 and provides enough yearly income to keep Owens, his wife and two additional part-time workers gainfully employed. Maybe a key thing for Patch to look at here is the population of Batavia: 15,000! In other words, they key may really lie in the words hyper-local.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
This Patch Site is Hyper-Fictitious