Monthly Archives: May 2007

More software, more models

The Buffalo News has signed on with YourHub.com, giving readers across the Buffalo area a chance to start blogs, post news items, and post video. YourHub started in Denver, a joint venture of Scripps Howard and Media News, with the technical work done by Indigio. Leigh Balcom, sales and operations manager in Bufalo, has been impressed, according to news articles:

“The best thing about YourHub
is that it allows people to report on things the newspaper may not,” he said.
“Events like Little League games, neighborhood events and even some issues
affecting the community.”

The Buffalo YourHub has more
than 550 registered users who have generated more than 2,000 pieces of content
since the site went live.

“I hired two online
interactive managers who go into the community and talk up the product and
encourage people to post content,” Balcom said.

There is competition. The Tribune Company devised its own software for TribLocal. And one of the more promising new businesses that is already doing the same thing is Village Soup, which started in Maine. Village Soup is doing so well, that the Knight Foundation is giving it a grant:

VillageSoup in Maine receives $885,000 to build free software to allow others to
replicate the citizen journalism and community participation site
VillageSoup.

The optimism that shines through this and the other grants is a great counterweight to some of the negativism occasionally heard at industry gatherings. Read more about the other Knight grants, to Adrian Holovaty, to a project on high-tech civic media, to computer students studying journalism, to a journalism incubator in Arizona.

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Filed under Business models, Hyper-local, User-generated content

Some Philadelphia examples

CRIME The Inquirer now has an interactive homicide map for 2007 (year to date) as a companion to the homicide map for 2006. There are shooting maps for both time periods, too (shootings 2007, year to date) (shootings 2006).
BUSINESS  The new Inquirer business news blog, PhillyInc, is updated several times a day. It includes this post on campaign donations by employer and an entry on post-graduation plans of college students, by college.

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Filed under DataBank, Weblogs

Lecture site not making a profit, for now

One of the Lecture List volunteers answered:

Hi there, unfortunately not, the Lecture List is, in its current state, a loss-making venture.

The site is suported by two volunteers, Billy Clark and Dug Falby with ad hoc help from a small team of supporters.

We do it because we think the sevice is a valuable asset to our common cultural life.

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Filed under Business models

Listings — Using lectures in the UK as an example

There is a site set up for users (and organizers) to list every public lecture in the United Kingdom. The Lecture List. As DonkeyOnTheEdge describes it: "Anyone can post their events to the site regardless of size or funding. The
service is free and entirely self-service. It’s a completely open system but the
content is moderated."
Here’s how the Lecture List describes itself:

It’s very simple, costs nothing, and once your free account is set up you’ll
have total control over publishing your talks.

The site is searchable by date, speaker, region, organising institution and
topic. Users can also sign up to receive regular email messages about events in
particular parts of the country, on particular topics or by particular speakers.

For example, this shows there is a lecture Friday on American politics at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, notes the length (two hours) and that it is free. There is a link to a map that shows where the institute is in London. Can this be duplicated in any city? Is the limited cost matched by enough revenue from Google Ad Sense?

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Filed under User-generated content