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Hurdles, rewards for neighborhood blogs
Updated 8:35 pm, Monday, February 11, 2013
Big media companies trying to cash in on hyper-local news – information that’s sometimes specific down to a couple of intersections in a big city – have not found the endeavor very profitable.
But, despite navigating the same economic concerns, myriad hyper-local blogs run by citizen journalists are thriving in San Francisco – though mostly as labors of love, where the bottom line is not the primary concern.
In just the past week, two big, locally focused digital sites reported bad news.
On Thursday, EveryBlock, a network of neighborhood blogs owned by NBC, shut its doors. The site had received a grant from the Knight Foundation, an organization that promotes innovation in media. After EveryBlock’s closure, NBC acknowledged that it was tough to make money.
Patch does not have a network in San Francisco, but it does in South San Francisco and the East Bay. That may be at least partly because of the neighborhood blogs that already exist.
The city’s 35 or 40 neighborhoods form a diverse tapestry that reflects the city. And many of them have a citizen journalist or three taking it upon themselves to capture the hyper-local news, events and general zeitgeist, without expecting it to be a paying proposition