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Small Biz Survival

July 9, 2013 in Community, Resources

What can you expect to read here? Articles by and for small business people in rural areas and small towns. You face some special challenges in a small town small business, including:

  • Pressure from competitors in bigger cities
  • Pressure from competitors online, world wide
  • Scarce, or variable quality, resources to assist you locally
  • Tight labor supply, and a graying workforce
  • Lack of skills in your workforce
  • Isolation from your industry peers

But for each challenge, there is also opportunity:

  • The online market opens the world to you
  • Involvement in your community is your way to fight against decline
  • Land is usually cheap, compared to growing areas
  • Regulatory burdens tend to be lower than in well-developed regions
  • A little payroll usually goes a long way
  • Work ethic is usually high.”
    Source: Small Biz Survival

SuBMoJour – Sustainable Business Models for Journalism

June 1, 2012 in Resources, Revenue

New forms of content production and social interaction have significantly changed the media landscape and people´s communication behaviour. The overlap between traditional mass media forms and diverse modes of user generated content is expanding. This has provoked a wave of research and speculation about the future of possible new modes and models for journalism. At the same time, the business models of traditional media companies are going through profound transformations. Old ways of making business don´t necessarily work anymore, and new, sustainable models are badly needed.

SuBmoJour project will be realized in two phases. The first phase consists of planning and building the database. The database will present business models that are profitable, or are soon becoming profitable. The database will serve as a tool of research and development, as an open innovation database and as a how-to quide about creating revenue models for publications.

In the second phase, we will study with in-depth case studies the economical and social conditions of journalism in order to understand what the context of these business models is.
The project will carry out case studies in the USA, Europe and Japan. The work concentrates on three interrelated themes, 1) business models and production concepts, 2) work processes, and 3) journalistic identities.

SuBmoJour is a collaboration project of three universities, USC Annenberg, J-School of Waseda University and Journalism Research and Development Centre at Tampere University.” Source: SuBMoJour

JA Interview: CJR’s Michael Meyer and Street Fight co-founder David Hirschman on technology and revenue for publishers

May 16, 2012 in Blog, Revenue, Technology

Journalism Accelerator

The JA’s most recent forum explored how collaboration could increase revenue for publishers. This JA interview, below, opens a discussion about innovation; how publishers are responding to rapid technological developments that often focus on commerce over content, and what role innovation plays in bringing bucks to journalism. For two perspectives, we asked Street Fight co-founder David Hirschman and Columbia Journalism Review staff writer Michael Meyer to share their insights. We spoke via Skype late last week, as David was finalizing the agenda for Street Fight Summit West, his organization’s California iteration of its annual New York conference, and Michael was adding startup #267 to the CJR’s Guide to Online News Startups. Read the rest of this entry →

Sustaining Hyperlocal News: An Approach to Studying Local Business Markets

February 24, 2012 in Experiments, Resources, Revenue

The ‘money problem’ for news organizations has remained unsolved for decades, and even more so for hyperlocal news organizations. Though our latest how-to guide, “Sustaining Hyperlocal News,” attempts to show and encourage hyperlocal publishers to conduct proper research and explore multiple revenue opportunities, it is by no means an ultimate solution…

It’s really like learning to ride a bicycle – I can write a comprehensive book about riding a bicycle… I can go into details about the physics of momentum, the mechanics of human brain and the function of balance. But at the end of the day, reading this book simply won’t guarantee success when you pedal away for the very first time. In fact, I bet you will fall several times before you get it right.

With that said, I think there is an aspect to this money problem that is similar to riding a bicycle. You can read our cookbook many times over, but when it’s time for you to make that sales pitch, you need to be a skilled salesperson and not an academic (this is why in our cookbook, we also recommend hiring a full-time salesperson).

There is definitely an artistic aspect to the process of creating revenue, just like writing the content is an art in itself. There are few guides that touch on the technical part of writing, but you will ultimately develop your own unique tone and style. In the same manner, I believe that you will develop relationships with your hyperlocal audience and business owners over time in your own unique way.” Source: Local Fourth

Block by Block

February 24, 2012 in Community, Experiments, Resources

Block by Block is a network for online pioneers who are creating sustainable models to provide community, neighborhood and local niche news.

With support from The Patterson Foundation, Block by Block is working with publishers and editors of independent local start ups, both for-profit and nonprofit. We want to help them share what they are learning and what they are struggling with, and to provide resources such as community management, training, mentoring and networking.” Source: Block by Block

Niche Perspective: Publisher forum February 29th examines revenue, collaboration and syndication

February 23, 2012 in Blog, Community, Craft, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

On Wednesday, February 29th, Day Two of the JA forum on sustainable journalism highlights the practice of niche publishing, one name for specializing in a particular subject matter or a certain type of reporting. Their experiences reflect many common issues local publishers know well.

This is a forum for publishers, businesspeople, and others interested in increasing the revenue of digital news sites. It’s a moderated online conversation, designed as “call and response” – we’ll hear two publishers’ stories, add reflections from a couple of business experts, and invite you to jump in.  Read the rest of this entry →

Local Perspective: Publisher forum February 28th explores news, revenue and place

February 22, 2012 in Blog, Community, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

On Tuesday, February 28th, Day One of the JA forum on sustainable journalism kicks off with the stories of two local news sites. The publishers have experienced different successes and challenges, but share at least one goal: build a product that serves the community and pays for itself.

We’re bringing together a balance of publishers and business experts to trade information and knowledge about increasing the revenue of digital news sites. The forum is an online conversation designed as “call and response” – we’ll hear stories of a few publishers then invite other people with relevant experience to share insights, offer suggestions and challenge assumptions.  Read the rest of this entry →

Michele McLellan’s List of Hyperlocal News Sites

December 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Experiments, Resources

[T]he Knight Digital Media Center’s Michele McLellan — also a fellow at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute — has a mind-blowingly thorough taxonomy of local news organizations across the country. This is definitely a post you’ll want to save for future reference.” Source: Nieman Lab

“As a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2009, Michele McLellan created a list of promising local news sites. She also developed broad categories for classifying what is emerging on the local news landscape … Among those categories, Block by Block activities are designed with four site types in mind: Community, Local aggregator, Micro local and Local niche. In addition, Michele created criteria for the list that are designed to identify sites that are working on all three legs of the sustainability stool: Content, community engagement and revenue.” Source: Block by Block



As a



fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2009, Michele McLellan created a list of promising local news sites. She also developed broad categories for classifying what is emerging on the local news landscape

Among those categories, Block by Block activities are designed with four site types in mind: Community, Local aggregator, Micro local and Local niche.
In addition, Michele created criteria for the list that are designed to identify sites that are working on all three legs of the sustainability stool: Content, community engagement and revenue. (SOURCE:

Local Yokel Media

November 23, 2011 in Community, Resources, Revenue

Local Yokel Media is the industry’s first hyperlocal online ad marketplace. What is hyperlocal? We aggregate the audiences of online media sites where your customers and prospects live and work. Most of them are only a walk or a short car ride from shopping in your store. Our job is to help you get them there; the first time, and every time until they are loyal customers. We make it incredibly simple for advertisers by providing the tools to build and place highly effective ads that reach prospects and customers.

We are building a network of publishers that reach deeply into local neighborhoods and so are trusted and frequently visited as perfect sources for hyperlocal news and alerts such as school closings, potential traffic problems and power outages. They cover the school sports your big regional paper doesn’t and list upcoming events that are so local they don’t make it onto the big media sites. They are our partners and we will help them earn higher online ad revenue and sell more of their ad impressions than ever before. Plus, we give them lots of controls so there are no surprises. Just more revenue.
The veteran media and marketing executives behind Local Yokel Media have over four decades of digital media experience from renowned internet companies like DoubleClick, AOL, Yahoo, iVillage and Quigo. We all have deep expertise in creating high performance ads, targeting, ad serving and platform development. Our mission is simple…make local online advertising work better for local publishers and local advertisers.” Source: Local Yokel Media

Street Fight: Inside the Business of Hyperlocal

November 11, 2011 in Distribution, Experiments, Resources, Revenue, Technology

Street Fight is a media, events, and research company focused on the business of hyperlocal: location-centric services, locally-targeted daily deals efforts, and more traditional “hyperlocal” news and information sites and networks…We aim to be a central resource for ideas about sustainable business models for the hyperlocal news, information and advertising efforts. We will celebrate those who are making it happen — whether at a sexy startup, an old-school media or advertising company or a blog with a passionate scope no bigger than a few-block radius — and we will provide case studies and wisdom from those on the front lines.

In fact, it’s a question that has already been put to us. As we were working behind the scenes to build the site, we began participating in the Twitterverse, connecting with and learning about the range of individuals and companies who live and breathe hyperlocal. Not long before launch, this tweet came through from @westseattleblog: “hmm will @streetfightmag actually be relevant to our business or just another focus on big corp (or tech-heavy) efforts to be #hyperlocal.”

No doubt others will ask as well as they review our site and our Twitter feed, which are in fact more heavily weighted toward the companies grabbing the headlines across the tech and media landscape right now. And here’s our answer: We intend to cover the breadth of the industry as best we can, and we’d love to hear from all corners of the market to help us do so. If you’ve got questions, comments, or ideas about the site, please email co-founders Laura Rich and David Hirschman

Take a look around, poke at the site, and let us know what you think. Here’s a little guide:

  • Street Fight Daily – Essential news of the day published on the site and directly to your inbox (sign up for the newsletter here)
  • Interviews – Hear directly from the leaders in hyperlocal in our up-close Q&As, as well as local business owners
  • Commentary – Views and guest posts from staff and industry voices to give shape to news developments and ideas
  • Street Smart Moves – The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy, each week” Source: Streetfight