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By adamg - 4/28/15 - 5:42 pm

You may have heard how police in Baltimore announced a "credible threat" by gangs to attack officers. Seems they put a bulletin to that effect up on a network used by police departments across the country. Patch, the former AOL hyperlocal network, immediately posted stories on its sites across eastern Massachusetts with headlines blaring:

'Credible threat' warning issued that gangs might target [name of town] police

For example,

'Credible threat' warning issued that gangs might target Medford police


By adamg - 2/20/14 - 9:57 am

The Boston Business Journal reports the hemorrhaging hyperlocal network has rehired the Framingham Patch editor it laid off along with most of its other editors a few weeks ago.

Ed. note: Over the past couple of weeks, I've unsubscribed from all the Boston-area Patch Twitter feeds I'd been following. Was getting annoying seeing the same exact headlines about horrible California murders from these "local" sites.

By adamg - 1/29/14 - 4:02 pm

Patch, the once promising hyperlocal network, today took a scythe to its remaining workforce, laying off hundreds of employees.

By adamg - 8/16/13 - 10:08 pm

As promised, Patch began to lay off 40% of its staff today. Gone locally, that we know of: Sara Jacobi, editor of the South End and Fenway/Kenmore Patch sites, Becca Manning, at the Charlestown and North End sites, Jake O'Donnell at Back Bay and Beacon Hill and Chris Caesar at Malden.

O'Donnell reports that he and Jacobi, at least, were told their jobs will be gone as of Oct. 15.

By adamg - 2/8/12 - 2:18 pm

Jim Romensko reports a new "chief content officer" will reduce full-time and freelance budgets and call for greater emphasis on easily churned out content:

The editorial emphasis is now on "easy, quick-hitting, cookie-cutter copy," including mandatory "Best Of" features (i.e., best coffeeshop, best burgers, etc.) that compel businesses and readers to visit and participate in the Patch directories. (Each Patch has a directory of local businesses, organizations, churches, etc.)

By adamg - 5/17/11 - 8:57 am

The hyperlocal Ariannanet, not nicotine, that is. On Red Mass. Group, Swamp Yankee finds our local Patch sites to be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, i.e., run by members of the commie Obama clone army, busily dog-whistling their liberal agenda in Little League reports and car-crash photos:

I searched the background of local editors in some communities that I know intimately, and, as I suspected, the editors are sophisticated, liberal activists.

By adamg - 4/26/11 - 3:49 pm

Forbes reports that the Huffington Patch has changed its plans for world hyperlocal domination. Instead of hiring more fulltime reporters and editors, the suits yesterday ordered Patch editors to get five to ten local bloggers to start writing by May 4. No pay, but you get keep ownership of your words (shades of Boston Now).

In Massachusetts, the directive would mean signing up between 380 and 760 bloggers for the company's current roster of 76 neighborhoods and towns.

By adamg - 1/11/11 - 7:25 am

Waltham-based Wow What Savings wants at least $5 million from AOL and its Patch subsidiary for setting up a similarly cloned group-buying site at wow.com.

In its lawsuit, originally filed in state courts but recently transferred to US District Court in Boston, Wow What Savings charges that AOL launched its site only after a meeting between Wow What Savings owner Todd Riderman and Patrick Purcell Jr., publisher of AOL's hyperlocal Patch sites in New England (Ed. note: He's Herald Publisher Patrick Purcell's son).

By adamg - 8/5/10 - 11:07 am

Dan Kennedy gets an earful from an editor at one of Patch's new Boston-area sites.

By adamg - 7/14/10 - 11:53 pm

The AOL hypermicrominisuperlocal effort is opening up sites for Jamaica Plain and the South End.

By adamg - 6/24/10 - 6:12 pm

David Ertischek, editor of GateHouse's West Roxbury and Roslindale Transcript, is leaving to become editor of Patch's soon-to-emerge West Roxbury site. He joins Neal Simpson, who stopped covering Brookline for GateHouse so he could start covering it for Patch.

Ed. note: You have to read the Transcript's story about Ertischek leaving. Seems nobody else was available to do it, so he wrote it himself.

By adamg - 6/13/10 - 10:50 pm

AOL's Patch hyperlocal network is advertising jobs for editors of new sites in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown and the South End, as well as all of Boston, according to postings on the AOL corporate site.

The incursion is a full scale attack on, well, almost nobody, since boston.com has yet to set up a single Your Town hyperlocal site in the city it's named for. The South End News does have a longstanding site, unlike the Back Bay Courant, which doesn't get this InterWebs thing.

By adamg - 4/16/10 - 8:05 am


Wicked Local

Your Town

Patch, AOL's attempt at a national network of community sites, recently went live in Needham, giving that town's online news consumers three different places to read about Peter Smulowitz and the guy charged with trying to kill his young child - whom Wicked Local says is a girl, Boston.com's Your Town says is a boy and Patch says is a child.

All three sites are very similar in what they seem to be doing: News, sports, calendar listings, information about the town (Patch helpfully notes which officials are "important officials"). In other words: Recreating a traditional weekly community newspaper, from back in the day when stuff like that was called "local" insteady of "hyperlocal." Wicked Local and Your Town have more depth at this point, having been around longer, and their writing is a lot more polished. Wicked Local is bloggier, Patch makes its employees volunteer in the town and is encouraging local folks to generate some user content (i.e., write for free), Your Town links to stuff on other sites (and has what appears to be dead forums - the most recent post was from almost two months ago).

Ultimately, of course, the question is whether even a well off town like Needham can support three full-time Web sites - are there enough advertisers who want to reach those 30,000 people?

If you live in Needham, how do you get your local news these days?

By adamg - 4/6/10 - 8:44 am

Not only does AOL's nascent Belmont site have an editor, it's hiring freelance news and sports writers (hey, anybody else old enough to remember when people like that were called "stringers?").

By adamg - 4/4/10 - 2:14 pm

Neal Simpson, who's spent the past three years covering Brookline for the Tab and Wicked Local, sent out e-mail today to announce he'll be working for Patch, which is taking on GateHouse and Globe YourTown sites in Boston's leafier suburbs. He promises Brookline Patch will be "stocked with breaking news, local info and plenty of opportunities for you to get involved."

By adamg - 3/17/10 - 10:12 am

Yes, yes, at some point I should stop linking to Patch's ads for editors and reporters to "radically reinvent community journalism," but for now I'm still fascinated by its move into GateHouse/Your Town territory, so here are the ads for AOL's efforts to cover Milton and Hingham.

By adamg - 3/10/10 - 5:25 pm

AOL's Patch is moving into Brookine - they're looking to hire somebody to shmooze local businesspeople for listings.

By adamg - 2/19/10 - 6:43 pm

Patch, the AOL rich-white-suburban news division that claims to have the resources to start hundreds of neighborhood sites this year, is moving deeper into suburban Boston - they're advertising for a Needham reporter (no doubt the folks at boston.com and Wicked Local are quivering).

By adamg - 1/21/10 - 10:45 am

Patch, which is AOL's latest effort to blow through millions of dollars hyperlocal play, is looking to bust out of its current Tri-State playpen and move into the Boston area, starting with Sudbury. They're looking to hire somebody to compile descriptions of businesses and organizations in Sudbury, which is almost as affluent as Wellesley or Concord, just a lot quieter. Says you can make $400-$1,000 a week for up to six months doing this. They think it's going to take six months to do profiles of every business on Rte.

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