Peter Preston ‘cool’ on hyperlocal

Peter Preston’s column in The Observer today (below for convenience and here) mentions the new ‘Local People’ network from Associated Northcliffe Digital in rather less than glowing terms.  I always thought of him as pretty enthusiastic about hyperlocal iniatitives from the regional press. 


Small earthquake in Bideford

Shaun and Sean, both 19, have just bought themselves a mobile fish and chip van. Which was a main story on, one of the Daily Mail group’s 50 hyperlocal websites for the south-west. Over at, a couple of tourists got pulled out of the river eight days ago when their dinghy capsized.

Can you have a hyperlocal news site without anything you could call news on it, just local bits and blogs about the weather and links to butchers, bakers and estate agents? If you want Bideford news, go to the North Devon Gazette and find at least 97 chunks of it (including “North Devon Rotarians in conference with Archbishop Tutu and UN Secretary-General”). These are early days, but you can’t help noticing how little traffic flickers across these sites, and how inconsequential much of it feels.


Posted on July 5, 2009, in Hyperlocal, Talk about Local. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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