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paidContent: AOL hyperlocal network Patch plans 400 new sites

paidContent reports today that AOL’s hyperlocal venture Patch could become the biggest new employer of full-time journalists in the US, with plans to add hundreds more sites by the end of the year.

According to the media site, Patch’s president Warren Webster told them the company plans to add 400 new hyperlocal sites to its network of 100 so far, doubling its current advertised state coverage.

Webster says that Patch is selecting towns to expand to based in part on a 59-variable algorithm that takes into account factors like the average household income of a town, how often citizens vote, and how the local public high school ranks; the company is then talking to local residents to ensure that targeted areas have other less quantifiable characteristics like a “vibrant business community” and “walkable Main Street”. Patch hires one professional reporter to cover each community; each “cluster” of sites also has an ad manager who is the “feet in the street” selling ads.

See the full post here…

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