About Me

  • I'm CEO of Newspeg.com, a social news-sharing platform. I've spent 20 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies. You can read more about me here.

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February 27, 2009


Tish Grier

The NYTimes experiment might be worthwhile--Lisa Williams and I were talking about the Times this week, saying that it's not just a newspaper, but a media company. A *smart* media company. With a good amount of prestige to make it worthwhile for "citizens" to contribute to it. Everyone in New York reads the Times, so its hyperlocal experiment may work.

But, as for other newspapers trying the same thing? Hasn't worked all that well for some of the Advance properties (that I know of...I'm just sayin'....)

As for Patch: I'm dubious. It's a corporate model, again, trying to get citizen content. Sounds a bit similar to YourHub, which also had journalists helping community contributors. Which had mixed results.

IMO the best models for good hyperlocal coverage happen when downsized journalists who are known in their communities, start their own hyperlocals. In many ways, that's a better model than a corporate entity trying to get warm-fuzzy-hyperlocal. Hyperlocal needs people, not new platforms.

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