A number of Chicago suburbs are severed by the Patch, ambitious effort to provide local news via the Internet and a bold experiment by AOL.
Might the experiment have failed?
Here’s an analysis by Forbes:
It’s said that success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. Yet AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, although prepared to put Patch up for adoption, provided he can maintain visitation rights, can’t quite bring himself to put the hyperlocal news network in a basket and shove it off down the river.
Here’s a related story in the New York Times:
Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over.
I’ve been a fan of my local Patch and have admired the enthusiasm and talent of its young and aspiring staff. Yet, I must confess, I haven’t taken the kinds of actions (checking out the ads?) that the enterprise needs to successfully “monetize” the project.
Still, I’m glad they made the effort, and wish them the best of luck. This whole enterprise that we used to call journalism will have to take many twists and turns before it finds (if it ever does) the most workable business plan.
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