Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why Small is the New Big: Hyperlocal Sites

My life is continuing to spin faster than I can handle, and posting to Ghost Word keeps getting left to the end. In recent weeks, my freelance journalism has picked up. I have written some stories for the Bay Area section of the New York Times, as well as a book review for the Los Angeles Times. After blogging so much for so long, it’s nice to be writing for newspapers again.

That said, I am very excited about a new project. In recent weeks I have been writing for a new hyper-local website called Berkeleyside. It’s a website devoted to all things Berkeley, from the lofty (Berkeley’s growing role as a leader in green energy technology) to the simple (the yummy cupcakes at CupKates, a roving cupcake truck.) I am working on Berkeleyside with Lance Knobel and Tracey Taylor, two veteran journalists who have worked both in the U.K. and the U.S, and others.

 As newspapers lay off staff and have difficulty covering local news, hyper-local sites are springing up to fill the void. The Bay Area has dozens of sites covering everything from riding the Muni to Alameda to the Mission District of San Francisco. It’s interesting, then, that Berkeleyside is the only hyperlocal site in town. Others may have avoided Berkeley because there are two newspapers covering news here, The Daily Planet and The Daily Californian.

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