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Patch – Hyper-Local Community News and Information
NY-based Patch is a new service that launched earlier this week providing a hyper-local community site. The community sites include news, events and other information related to a location. Patch launched with three towns in New Jersey: Millburn, South Orange and Maplewood.
The company describes the service as, "Simply put, Patch is a new way to find out about, and participate in, what’s going on near you. We’re a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities."
Merchant profile pages, like this one about a new bagel shop, provide a good amount of information about the merchant. The pages also display a map with other businesses near the one you are currently viewing. I’d like to see Patch incorporate reviews from other sources when reviews aren’t available on Patch. This way readers have no reason to visit any other local review sites and will remain longer on the Patch site.
Patch appears to be advertising supported and they note that a percentage of their ads will go to non-profit organizations.
About 20 people work at Patch, mostly from a media and search background and Jeff Jarvis is one of the people on the Patch Editorial Advisory Board. It appears that the Patch community editors are on Twitter and are actively seeking local feedback.
I guess you can think of Patch as a start page for your town or city. I like the idea of starting in smaller towns and then building to the larger cities.