October 02, 2006

Original Reporting II: Starting Small

Part of the difficulty of original blogosphere reporting is that it has a distribution problem. It is hard work, even for small stories, compared to just spouting off about events or philosophy. You have to actually get dressed, go out and do some research, for one thing. And such small items are usually a local story. In a 10,000 person community, there might be 3,000 blog readers there but only a dozen who regularly read a particular blog produced locally and those dozen may be only a small fraction of that particular blogs readership.

What is needed is a way for local blog stories to be linked/distributed so that one can make a virtual "local news" section carrying all the blogospheric content of your neighborhood/town/city/county/state without having to root through a lot of blogs who might only occasionally provide a local angle to their writing.

It's not that hard to conceive of such a system. Posts get tagged and pinged, a central database is updated and people who want to read about news affecting 10543 and surrounding zip codes goes to a news.google.com type aggregator page that contains just that information.

Once you have an outlet (and perhaps revenue sharing?) the incentive to provide local news increases. Blogging becomes, at least sometimes, geographically oriented with people looking to local voices about local issues. The newspaper loses another of its reasons for being because local news becomes something the locals can create.

Posted by TMLutas at October 2, 2006 03:37 PM