The latest micro-media trend to get mainstream attention is town blogging. The launch of PlaceBogger earlier this month promised to aggregate local bloggers talking about their communities, and a NYT story, “Anytown, Online,” profiled start-up AmericanTowns, which offers a community publishing platform. Several firms have tried to play in this space, with mixed results. Beckfence, which also aims to replicate the town criers of old with a Web-based model, recently lost its top exec and laid off several staffers. From a media evolution point of view, this stuff is great. From a business standpoint, eh, maybe not so much. The essential problem is getting it to scale for advertisers, or alternatively, getting people to pay. But then, people don’t pay for content online, do they?
Creating a new breed of publishing moguls out of small town writers and videographers is a worthy goal. It’s just going to take some creative thinking about advertising and sponsorship.