A network of free content providers was a boon for Huffington Post, and now Arianna Huffington is hoping it will do the same for the Patch.com websites through a little feature called “Local Voices.” Whatever your take on the unpaid blogger controversy, you have to admire Arianna’s gift for spin:
Today we launch a great new chapter for Patch.com, the national network of hyperlocal sites currently covering community life in 800 towns across America. It’s a vision that will utilize every possible resource to ensure accurate, relevant, and comprehensive coverage of your town: our ever-expanding network of Patch editors and reporters; aggregation of any news affecting your community; and cross-posting and amplifying the work of local bloggers who are already doing great work, providing them an even more powerful platform for expressing their views.
Hyperlocal Patch sites will likely draw a different sort of blogger than the national platform of the Huffington Post. So while the formula may be the same, the end result — and any ensuing controversy — should be quite different.