VillageSoup: A Community Host Model At Work

Anderson, Richard M.
December 2007
Nieman Reports;Winter2007, Vol. 61 Issue 4, p68
The article presents a first person account of the operations of VillageSoup.com, a hyperlocal news Web site which has provided coverage of Waldo and Knox Counties, Maine since 1998. The focus is on the business model for the Web site. The fundamental market opportunity was for a means of providing up-to-date information to an area served by newspapers which publish on a weekly basis. The Web site has attracted local businesses by encouraging them to use it as a place to provide the sorts of information they offer customers at their place of business, restaurant menus, etc. Local small businesses are thus spared the expense of creating and maintaining their own Web sites. The Internet advertising model employed by large newspaper Web sites is seen as insufficient. Only businesses functioning on the global scale of Google can prosper off the low rates of Internet advertising.


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