I just spoke to Outside.in CEO Mark Josephson about the CNN investment and second funding round. He told me that it really came out of an “organic” business development discussion surrounding CNN’s use of Outside.in for publishers.
“They had the same vision,” said Josephson. “They saw the importance of all the new content creators and the aggregation model.” He added, “We’ve been able to prove that people care about what’s close to home. They see the value of that model.”
Josephson credited founder Steven Johnson with the vision that he’s now executing. He also told me that Outside.in is driving traffic “over seven figures” in free clicks to local content creators.
After he said that it occurred to me what Outside.in was turning into: a hub that manages the flow of traffic and content between larger publishers and local bloggers and others who are generating the content “on the ground.”
Accordingly Outside.in is building a “hyper-local” content ecosystem. As I tried to argue, hyper-local is not itself the answer to traditional media woes but it is a critical component of a larger news or content strategy and Outside.in has positioned itself in the center of that proposition.