free markets, free culture

Think global, act hyperlocal:

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Seen in NYC:

(Twitpic posted by Jack Cheng)

This is when an open-source GPS system could come in handy… especially if you’ve ever tried the steamed pork buns at Momofuku.

(Do you think star chef David Chang uses Google Latitude?)

This outdoor ad promotes a beta website for “Locals Only” — NBC’s attempt at hyperlocalism for the true NYC insider. It’s a familiar tune: big media giant attempts to be smaller, friendlier to the consumer, now that the consumer has many more options than the old giants of broadcast television.

John Wallace, president of NBC Local Media, confirmed:

“Our goal was to create a new type of user experience that’s less an extension of our TV stations and more of an online destination for the latest local news, information and entertainment. These sites are about putting consumers first and giving them the content they’re looking for from the best available sources.”

(link to press release here)

In the same release, Brian Buchwald, Senior Vice President of NBC Local Integrated Media, defines the target audience as Social Capitalists: “people who loved their cities, embrace change and have a huge appetite for local news and information.” It’s less a demographic than “a state of mind,” according to Buchwald, which I’m sure frustrates marketers who can’t run quant research on “states of mind” as accurately as they can demographics.

NBC joins the hyperlocal-experimenting ranks of the New York Times, who recently started “The Local”, a blog with a beat that’s only interesting to residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, in Brooklyn. NYT’s attempt at a hyperlocal blog is criticized by some who see it as a useless intrusion of a big brand into a space already populated by grassroots residents of those neighborhoods.

I see it as a place where I can potentially see news about block-specific events that would never make any other news, but would satisfy my morbid curiosities about why there were two accidents two days in a row on the intersection in front of my apartment, for example. (Edith, I hope you’re not reading my blog, I don’t know where that runon sentence came from!)

The stuff of hyperlocal blogs: selling illegal turtles on Flatbush and Fulton.
(story and photo here)

I’m reminded of small-town newspaper clippings — from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama — sent to me as charmingly anecdotal jokes, reminders of what is “news” in small towns.


Written by @hellopanelo

April 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm

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