There is a new player in the HoCo loco news scene. Patch, a hyper local news website backed by AOL, now has three "patches" up and running in HoCo; Ellicott City, Columbia, and Savage-Guilford.
AOL describes Patch as a hyper loco news site "run by one professional local editor who, along with freelances, provides quality original news and information to its community."
They have targeted "communities of 15-100k population that are drastically underserved by media and would benefit by having access to local news and information about government, schools and business. These could be inner-city neighborhoods or distinct towns."
I wouldn't exactly characterize HoCo as "drastically under served by media." It's more likely that they were attracted by our awesome demographics. Consider that the inaugural Patch communities were all in New Jersey and Connecticut, suburbs of one of the largest media markets in the country. There are no Patch sites in West Virginia or Kansas. According to this report by Joseph Tartakoff in The Guardian "Patch is selecting towns to expand to based in part on a 59-variable algorithm that takes into account factors like the average household income of a town, how often citizens vote, and how the local public high school ranks."
"Once in town, Patch will vigorously target local businesses by courting them to "buy banner ads and also letting them set up their own business listings, which they can convert into ads."
The company plans to have 500 Patches up and running by the end of this year which is a huge increase from only 12 just a year ago.
The inaugural Columbia Patch home page includes a video clip of Mary Kay Sigaty at the HoCo Chamber Candidate Forum this week. The Savage Guilford Patch features Dennis Schrader and Jen Terrassa at the same forum. HoCo Risings hip makes a cameo appearance.
All in all Patch is the real deal and a welcome addition to those of us insatiable for more HoCo loco content.
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