The August 22 post on New Tampa Patch by Skylar Hedstrom is only ten words long. Although it does manage to properly embed a recent video pitch to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong from local startup UNATION, the fact that the “article” contains no additional commentary or quick interview quote from the nearby Tampa firm reinforces just how hyper-challenged the AOL network remains.*

UNATION has been beta testing its own hyper-local product for the past two years. In late October, the company will officially launch its free event listing service. As the the site grows, UNATION hopes to convince users to add premium services and draw in like-minded advertisers.

“Last spring, we were at the AOL offices in New York,” UNATION co-founder and chief strategy officer George Beardsley tells FishbowlNY. “We weren’t ready to show them anything, as we were still in alpha testing at that point. The topic of Patch did not come up.”

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