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Local News Puzzle


Companies have been trying to crack the local news puzzle for years now and we're not talking about little internet start-ups...big companies like Yahoo and Google.  Needless to say, the latest variant of internet giants via social media also have plans on how to put those pieces together in their future aspirations to be everything to everyone.  No one's quite figured it out and we're not claiming the role of giant slayer but we thing there's a way to at least put together the outside pieces of that puzzle.  Always start with the outside pieces, right?

You might not be too different from me in you daily information update online.  Let me walk you through how I get my daily dose.  Yahoo is my home page only because it has been over 10 years now.  I've changed browsers, email hosts, and the like but I just don't really want to change my home page and maybe that's because it does pretty much everything I want.  I already have Google for my search bar so I'm good there.  When I pull up the screen everyday, I get the general blocks of things I'm interested.  There's the general headlines, international news, internet news, music news, and the like.  Yahoo let's you add modules by category which I did about 5 years ago and for the most part, they fit the bill....enough to where I don't feel like changing.  There's something missing though and maybe Yahoo has a module that I haven't added but it's the local news.

Yahoo has been trying to become the local information hub for years now.  You can see in rows into this space with some of their local reviews for restaurants, etc which I will stumble upon but it has become integral to how I use Yahoo.  Google also will test local results in their searches and then pull it but it's never felt like an integral part of their offering.   I could always go to our local newspaper and although I will end up there now and then, I don't seem to back for months at a time.  Yahoo has tried partnering with local newspaper online content as well but if I won't go back to the actual newspapers online content (as can probably be echoed by online newspaper's data everywhere except for maybe LA and New York), why would I want it through Yahoo.   

You could argue that this is just due to my specific preferences and quirks and I might agree with you except for one thing.  The newspapers online aren't attracting viewers and the big boys (Googles and Yahoos of the world) aren't building the local content into the offering more aggressively or integrally.  This leads me to believe that indeed, most of you are like me.  This isn't to say that I don't want local content.  I just haven't found the right venue for it through a  Part of this is the inability to find the local news that I'm interested in and part of it is a general bottleneck and lack of freshness of the content provided.  I might want to know who won that local high school game last night but I would rather know it last night than today.  I'm on to other things.  The old method of delivering local news feels stale and selective (by someone else who has different interests than I do).  Bring in the Zipper ap.

First of all, it's immediate.  When news happens and gets uploaded from someone else, it's available right away.  It's interactive.  I can comment, annotate, confirm or deny information right away.  I can even add my 2 cents which makes the local news thread come to life.  It evolves and I'm adding a little snippet of DNA.  It's on my phone which I'm on all day (and night) long.  I don't need a browser and I don't have to wait.  This day and age, to ask anything more than this seems ridiculous or at best antiquated.  The Zipper app will go through its own evolution as people require and create new uses but we might have just pieced together the border pieces of the local news puzzle.  Now, for the tricky stuff in the middle.

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