AOP: Hyper-local sites have to be news driven – Washington Post Interactive chief on the failure of some sites

Hyper-local sites have to be driven by news the chief executive of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive told the AOP conference.

“Some of the hyper-local sites that have failed, in my view, there isn’t any hard data there, there is just people commenting or talking to each other,” Caroline Little told delegates.

“If it’s not structured around something that is changing then it may as well be on Facebook or email or something else. We need to provide something to make it interesting.”

Speaking about the databases and Google Maps mash-ups that drive the Post’s Loudoun hyper-local site, she added:

“Publishing news is important to people locally, even if it’s a crime database, what happened last night on what street, people want to know that.

“We also have local bloggers who live in the community. But I believe without that local news piece, which is fresh and updated constantly, you’re just not going to build habit locally.”

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