Let’s do a bit of counting here. I just visited the Wicked Evil Waltham site (aka Boston.com’s hyperlocal Waltham site) and I would say basically 98 percent of their content is from GateHouse. I looked under their schools section, and ALL of it was GateHouse stuff, except under the local college news section.
Now, to me, that just looks bad. Also, I’m not sure if Waltham has any local blogs that Boston.com can link to, but that might help them look less like they’re just reposting GateHouse’s stuff.
Similar thing on the Needham site. Dan Kennedy (who linked to me, yay) also wonders along a similar vein of thought:
In a community where Boston.com can put together a page featuring a decent amount of Globe content and links to local, independent bloggers, a few links to other papers’ Web sites strike me as fine. That’s why I think the Newton site is promising.
But what do Kempf and company plan to do in a community like, say, Danvers, worldwide headquarters for Media Nation? We have two papers covering our town: GateHouse’s Danvers Herald and CNHI’s Salem News. Both do quite a nice job. But there are no local bloggers in Danvers whom I’m aware of. And it’s not very often that Globe North does a Danvers-specific story.
Would Boston.com really put together a hyperlocal page consisting of almost nothing but links to the Danvers Herald and the Salem News?
I think the answer to this is a resounding YES. Just look at the Waltham page and Needham pages. Newton was a good starting point because it has a very wired and active group of residents, many who blog, etc. I understand that the latest two Wicked Evil sites are just starting up, but how long will it take for the Globe to write some original content of its own?