Hyperlocal Web Sites Deliver News

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But according to the New York Times, they deliver news without delivering news.

The Grey Lady also thinks these sites are an untapped market.

Of course, like traditional media, the hyperlocal sites have to find a way to bring in sufficient revenue to support their business. And so far, they have had only limited success selling ads. Some have shouldered the cost of fielding a sales force to reach mom-and-pop businesses that may know nothing about online advertising.

One problem is that the number of readers for each neighborhood-focused news page is inherently small. “When you slice further and further down, you get smaller and smaller audiences,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst who has followed the hyperlocal market for a decade. “Advertisers want that kind of targeting, but they also want to reach more people, so there’s a paradox.”

Still, said Peter Krasilovsky, a program director at the Kelsey Group, which studies local media, many small businesses have never advertised outside the local Yellow Pages and are an untapped online ad market whose worth his firm expects to double to $32 billion by 2013.

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