EDS. NOTE: According to an internal communication with employees, AOL (AOL) plans to expand Patch, its network of local news blogs, from 30 sites to “hundreds,” by the end of 2010.
The goal: “To be leaders in one of the most promising ‘white spaces’ on the Internet.”
Silicon Valley Insider’s Nicholas Carlson profiles the next generation of editors who will run local new blogs as the company ramps up its “hyper-local efforts”.
As far as we can tell, CEO Tim Armstrong’s plan to turn AOL into a next generation media company involves three editorial groups:
A massive group of 10,000+ freelancers who are assigned stories through Seed.com.
A mix of fulltime bloggers and high-profile old media types who will assign those stories and write for 100+ branded blogs.
Hundreds of “Patch” editors who will run local news blogs to keep tabs on small suburban communities.
It’s this last group of Patch editors that interests many of us the most. Two reasons:
These are those journalists who, by themselves, will try to replace the role newspapers played in local communities.
We’re all excited to see how AOL will earn enough money through local advertising to actually pay fulltime journalists.
AOL is hungrily hiring more Patch editors every day. But right now, there are just 20. They are mostly fresh-faced recent college graduates with little or no experience. A few are long-time newspaper vets.