Listeners of the World,
If you haven't heard (which I would find it hard to believe at this point) the internet giant known as AOL has created its own hyper local news site named Patch.com! Many people have been talking about and learning about the new site over the past year as it has tried to move across the US. Below is some of what we have learned!
Patch functions in similar ways to OurTown with having a local editor from each area being in charge of the individual site. But, Patch is very different in the way that local editors are paid a base pay and do not get anything for the local ads. They also are spending about 30 million a quarter to run the site itself! Both sites promote communities on a very local platform and are setup for people to contribute articles, photos, events, etc. And both sites focus in on local stories and businesses.
Many people have tried to look at Patch and come up a business plan that makes sense or lets them turn a profit.........and many have failed to do so. I have heard from current Patch editors and former employees that there seems to be a lot of confusion/waste in the process and do not believe that Patch will be a success. Also, many articles have been written about Patch.....calling it un-newsworthy.....waste of money......flawed business plan and so on. They have not been too nice to Patch even though it seems like the site has been gaining a lot of attention!
Even with all of this we see Patch as a big competitor and are shaping our new site to be able to overcome this giant! We will have different features and focuses from what Patch is doing, which we think will win in the end.
Many say it will fail, and they think it's the future. Only time will tell, and only you will decided!
Your OurTown Superhero,