NBC shut down its hyperlocal news site EveryBlock -- a data-driven platform that let users search for news based on where they live -- because the site wasn't doing well as a business.
EveryBlock, once heralded as an innovative approach to media, said its final good-bye to its users in a blog post on the now dark site:
It's no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there's an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been … Read more
Monday's news that MSNBC acquired EveryBlock, a "hyperlocal" news service just a few months after AOL acquired a competing service, Patch, had me thinking about all the start-ups that are vying for your attention by targeting your neighborhood. Of course, many of these sites don't work with every neighborhood, so your mileage will vary.
Regardless, I thought that with the EveryBlock acquisition, it was time to take a look at those services providing a hyperlocal experience.Go hyper
EveryBlock EveryBlock, which was just acquired by MSNBC, features some outstanding hyperlocal features. The site provides local news, crime reports, and other information at the block level.
Currently, EveryBlock works with a handful of cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Miami. It would have been nice to find information on more areas around the U.S., but it wasn't so bad. The site does a great job of finding local information, including lost and found lists, building permits, and other information that might be useful to someone living in a particular location. EveryBlock is a great site. I just wish it supported more cities. (Click here for our full review of EveryBlock.)
Outside.in Outside.in is one of the nicest resources in this roundup. It finds out what's happening in (at last count) 35,312 neighborhoods around the U.S. and delivers it to people in those areas.
When you first get to the site, Outside.in asks you to input a ZIP code. From there, it finds local news, discussions (it has a message board for each neighborhood), and establishments for you to check out. I was happy to see that both small suburbs and major metro areas were included in the list of neighborhoods on Outside.in. And since all of the information is constantly updated, it was a great way to find out what's going in my area.… Read more
MSNBC Interactive News, a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal, announced Monday that it has acquired EveryBlock, a start-up that provides hyperlocal news down to the block level. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
EveryBlock received its funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It also won that organization's Knight News Challenge, which awards start-ups that have the most innovative media ideas. When it won that award in 2007, the Knight Foundation required EveryBlock to make its code freely available to the public. Its code is available now on the company's site. … Read more
As noted on the O'Reilly Radar, EveryBlock, a Web service that "crawls local data sources, aggregates the data, then surfaces (it) geographically" to enable you to see things like local police and traffic reports, has decided to completely open-source its Web site under the terms of the grant that funded its development.
That's great, right? Everyone benefits when everything is free, right?
Well, maybe not. You see, there's this silly thing called money that the EveryBlock employees would like to ensure they have to do things like "pay bills," "buy food," … Read more
EveryBlock is in the hyper-niche news business.
Don't be misled by the name. EveryBlock doesn't endeavor to tell users what's happening on every block--just their blocks. Users can key in their ZIP codes or street addresses and EveryBlock tells them what's happening in their immediate area. They can learn about local crimes, which businesses have filed for liquor licenses, or whether any nearby streets are closed for construction.
Someone pilfer your laptop? EveryBlock links to lost-and-found Craigslist postings in your area.
EveryBlock offers the kind of information that typically isn't covered in a metropolitan or … Read more
I've covered a few interesting sites that collate information that people living in neighborhoods could use (see reviews of Zillow Community Pages and StreetAdvisor). None of them, so far, has replaced for me my local neighborhood paper (The Noe Valley Voice). The paper, of course, is limited. It's old news, it's not social, and it's not interactive. But it is relevant.
The new Everyblock does a really good job of collecting neighborhood information from existing sources. It does not appear that its founders are trying to create a new Yelp or a new Craigslist. Instead, smartly, … Read more