J-lab releases study into hyper-local news success

Jan Schaffer over at J-lab has some really important insights into the real challenges of setting up and running hyper local news operations. 

They have just released, “New Voices: What Works.” an indepth study of 46 news start-ups they have funded.  Jan says that the report focuses on 10 key takeaways. They include:

  • Engagement, not just content, is key: Robust and frequent content begets more content, but it’s the engagement with users that make sites successful.
  • Sweat equity counts for a lot: Projects built on the grit and passion of the founders have created the most promising models for sustainability.
  • Community news sites are not a business yet. Income from grants, ads, events and other things falls short, in most cases, of paying staff salaries and operating expenses.
  • Demand for start-up funding is high. We had 1,433 applicants for the 55 projects that were funded.

It sounds fascinating stuff and would encourage everyone to have a look and feed back to them.  I am sure they would appreciate it.

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Posted on October 3, 2010, in Business models, Hyperlocal, Online news. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Check out PaasGO (http://paasgo.com), built on the TotalPaas (http://www.totalpaas.com) platform. PaasGO is a hyper-local social hub that uses localized social media feeds in conjunction with user engagement tools… where hyper-local information meets social networking.

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