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Get Hyper-Local: Building Community City by City

In this UGCX panel, leaders in local explain changes in the journalistic landscape that affect both content and advertising

1. Highlights (2:22)

Table of Contents

  1. Highlights (2:22) 2:22 FREE!
  2. What Makes Local Interesting? (12:49) 12:49 FREE!
    Carmen introduces the idea of hyper-local, and each panelist takes two minutes to describe his or her project. Ben talks about the success of "community contribution" plus staff contribution on Sacramento Press. Mark explains, describes how the broadening of the definition of "content" has changed hyper-local, and talks about how advertising dollars are beginning to move from offline to online. Chris begins by stating that people are most interested in news about their location. Aggregation is interesting, but adding comments is what made Topix really interesting, he explains. And local ads are much more effective than national ads.
  3. Advertising and Investment (17:13) 17:13 FREE!
    Miriam describes the process that brought Yelp to life: to grow a community, you need capital, time, and energy, and every town is different. Carmen asks Ben: What was your process in starting Sacramento Press? To Mark and Chris: What's the connection between content and advertising on your sites? Who is investing in hyper-local? What can your sites teach the old media companies?
  4. The Future of Writing and Editing (13:15) 13:15 FREE!
    Miriam talks about how Yelp gets contributors; people get a lot from the site, and want to give back. Carmen asks: What advice do you have for writers and editors who are out of work? Stay in touch with the money; understanding the business model makes a difference. The inch-wide, mile-deep model is working for some. Chris provides interesting perspective on the future of writing and editing. Can an algorithm do the job of an editor?
  5. Questions and Answers (10:44) 10:44 FREE!
    Audience flows to editorial voice, Mark says. So the editorial role is increasingly important, but it's changing. Questions from the audience: How does hyper-local connect with activism? Is there dissonance between what we hear about local journalism and what's represented on this panel? How do you solicit content from your users? What are the incentives for participation?

Video Details

As the print newspaper industry continues to shift, you might ask: where will I find the local news and information if my news source shuts down? The web, of course. Media organizations are increasingly aggregating content and links from bloggers, reporters, and local sources, to develop niche content and reach a targeted audience. The hyper-local trend focuses on the neighborhood, on the city, on the region; and builds community by providing a forum for conversation about the issues that matter most. This panel is moderated by Carmen Scheidel (Director, Education, Events, Multimedia for and features Ben Ifeld (Co-founder, Sacramento Press), Mark Josephson (CEO,, Chris Tolles (CEO, Topix), and Miriam Warren (Director of Marketing,

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