Topix tonight is doing something entirely logical and taking a big risk at the same time. The site, which has been a “top 25” news destination, is now effectively flipping its model and going from being a news aggregator with comments and community at the margins to a community generated local news site with wire service feeds.
It effectively creates a news blog for every zip in the United States. And Topix seeks human writers to help create and edit those local news pages.
The risky part is that strategy shift brings with it all the uncertainty and potentially uneven quality of so-called “citizen journalism.” The logical part is that this combines the site’s two great strengths and competitive differentiators (local news and community) and pushes them front and center.
This is a big bet on local and community. On the monetization front, Topix has free classifieds and AdSense.