Patch is a “hyper-local” news site that delivers professionally written and edited news, photos and videos for nearly 500 small US cities, towns and neighborhoods
Each locality has its own site on a sub-domain URL i.e., halfmoonbay.patch.com. The ad-supported sites are full-featured local news sources. updated frequently with the latest local news, sports, weather, photos, videos and event listings. There are also columns, classified ads, letters to the editor and a directory of local shops and services.
Patch, a startup that was aquired by AOL in 2009 for $7 million, targets mostly upper-middle class communities with a population between 15 and 100 thousand, that are under-served by traditional journalism. Each community site typically has one paid local editor/writer who creates most of the content and also buys stories from free lancers.
AOL is bullish about Patch’s potential and is sinking $50 million into it in 2010. It will hire 500 full time editors in 2010 making the largest hirer of journalists for the year. AOL hopes to make money on Patch with local advertising and has created an automated system that lets advertisers create their own ads complete with coupons and discount offers.
The mobile edition of Patch is served to detected mobile browsers. There is no separate mobile URL. It includes the full text, with photos and video of recent news articles plus the events listings and local business directory and a news archive search.
Ratings: Content Usability
Front page size: 50 KB
Mobile Link: patch.com