Monday, 11 May 2009

Local media websites nothing new in SE1

What's new about local community websites? The editor of the London-SE1 community website told the JEE Camp 09 "unconference " in Birmingham on Friday how the site had been around for 11 years.
James Hatts said the site has outlasted glossy South London lifestyle magazines built on the property boom and reporters from the local press who have moved on to other jobs.
He said of local reporters who cover the SE1 patch: "Beat reporters last about 18 months, they are constantly learning and as soon as they've learnt they've moved on to a national or the trade press."
London-SE1 puts out a free email every Monday with local news and a guide to local events which more than 6,000 local residents and people working in the area have signed up for. There is also a free monthly printed what's on guide to local events in SE1 and a discussion forum.
Income comes from a combination of ads via the Google ad service, local jobs, and booking links to events and restaurants.
Hatts said it was important for local web sites to have "authenticity and a sense of place". He believes that London-SE1 is yet to exploit its full advertising potential although it does "pay its way".
Hatts has shown local online sites can be done but it requires a huge commitment from those involved and it is not a way to get rich quick.

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