Harnessing Blogs for Local

Ahmed Farooq keeps encouraging me to write about local blogs or blog networks and local. The announcement that WordPress’s parent gained a B round of $29 million (covered in the WSJ and NY Times) has prompted me to do that.

Blogs have made it easy for lots of people to create content and are website alternatives for many (including me). There is lots and lots of content on blogs now, some of it is locally inflected. Outside.in is trying to capture and organize that content by neighborhood. Placeblogger is engaged in a similar project.

The thing that distinguishes a blog from a conventional website is the regular updating aspect.

Blogs represent the “long tail” of local to some degree; they also contain knowledge, information and recommendations that are otherwise difficult to find. And they offer targeted advertising opportunities. One might also see blog networks (Six Apart, WordPress, Blogger) as social networks of sorts, although the connections among bloggers are not well established. I encouraged Yahoo! to buy Six Apart or WordPress some time ago.

All this means that there’s lots of opportunity for growth and development of blog (ad) networks and the integration of blog content into local sites and so on. The NY Times is explicitly thinking along these lines and was an investor in WordPress parent Automatic’s second round. They also bought BlogRunner and now feature posts on the NY Times site in various locations.

Other newspapers are aggregating or hosting local blog content and most are thinking about doing doing so to enrich their sites. And, for its part, Topix has become a blogging platform with an emphasis on local content.

When it comes to local, blogs reflect the “voice of the community” and bring eccentricity, vitality and content otherwise unavailable to other publishers and platforms.

5 Responses to “Harnessing Blogs for Local”

  1. Tiago Dória Weblog » Blog Archive » The New York Times investe no WordPress Says:

    […] talvez não seja nada disso, aquisições podem estar à caminho. De um jeito ou de outro, o NYT já vê os blogs como […]

  2. WordPress recebe investimento do The New York Times « Art & Design Says:

    […] talvez não seja nada disso, aquisições podem estar à caminho. De um jeito ou de outro, o NYT já vê os blogs como negócio […]

  3. Mid-Week Round-Up for 23 Jan 08 - misc interesting, cool bits & pieces « A Fuller View Says:

    […] report from the NYT. Great news. I love WordPress! Related to this is a post by Greg Sterling – Harnessing Blogs for Local – this one has got me thinking about new micro-publishing mash-up business ideas… More on […]

  4. WebDF.com.br » The New York Times investe no WordPress Says:

    […] talvez não seja nada disso, aquisições podem estar a caminho. De um jeito ou de outro, o NYT já vê os blogs como negócio […]

  5. Dave Mastio Says:

    I hope you’ll check out blognetnews.com for another take on local and blogging.

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