Hyperlocal, the Guardian and local data
There is an excellent post on the Online Journalism Blog from Paul Bradshaw about the UK Guardians plans for local/regional information services.
If things weren’t bad enough for the regional press in Britain the idea that a national title wants a piece of their action is very unwelcome news. However I agree with Paul entirely and see this as an absolutely natural move by the Guardian based on its developing expertise in data management and distribution. I also think that his point about them becoming a hyperlocal PA is also well made and fits into one of my expectations about the need for hyperlcoal publishers to provide contextual ‘stuff’ in support of the ‘hyperlocal stuff’ – at a cost close to zero.
It also raises the very interesting point that the regional press, by and large, are and have been institutions that dealt in news first and information second. The idea that they can suddenly change course and create value from information collection, aggregation, analysis, manipulable and dissemination is actually very unlikely, but is central to the way the web works..