Washington Post Goes Hyperlocal

The Washington Post has rolled out LoudonExtra.com in an attempt to get hyperlocal.

In their announcement, they note:

Key to the hyperlocal strategy of The Post and many other papers are searchable databases. Anecdotal evidence indicates that they attract considerable viewers. In December, Gannett Co.’s Asbury Park (N.J.) Press dumped three huge public-record databases onto its Web site: local property sales and ownership, and state employees’ salaries. By May, the paper had added searchable databases for local crime, school test scores, state deaths and public school employees.

But when I go to the Asbury Park Press, I don’t see those databases. I really think the key to hyperlocal journalism is map based views of these databases (maybe Asbury has them, but I can’t find them).

(BTW, The Washington post has been scooped by Fortius One, in finding some strange pattern to the DC Madam Scandal.)

Here in San Antonio, local government maintains foreclosures and crime, while the Texas Education Agency maintains boundaries as well as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandated school report cards. However, the San Antonio Express-News’ website shows none of this information. With a good user interface, these datasets could quickly hyperlocalize a newspaper.

Token rant: who’s idea was it to have two Harris middle schools in San Antonio – one in NEISD, the other in San Antonio ISD? Whoever it was, they should be put in detention hall. I googled for Harris and went to the wrong one. My son missed his basketball game.

1 comment so far

  1. Steven Citron-Pousty on

    The funny part is that this is exactly what people are talking about here at Mashup University. You could use something like Kapow to scrape the sites and then re-export as a feed. There are several talks about taking non-feed data and making it into a feed.

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