Report authored by me in 2012 for the UK Innovation Agency NESTA to kickstart their Destination Local initiative: http://www.nesta.org.uk/project/destination-local and cross published here from: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/here-and-now-uk-hyperlocal-media-today - much of this document remains highly relevant today.
"This review offers an insight into hyperlocal media and the extent of hyperlocal activity in the UK.
The volume and usage of professional and citizen-produced hyperlocal media is increasing. Technology has made it easier to both create and consume hyperlocal content.
However, the sector also faces a number of challenges, including funding, sustainability and visibility.
Hyperlocal practitioners are addressing these questions with varying degrees of success, but this learning is seldom shared in a systematic fashion.
If we want to support hyperlocal media, we should not seek to create ‘cookie cutter’ templates, but to give a platform to the creativity and innovation already taking place, so that everyone can benefit.
Hyperlocal media is defined as offering an online news or content service pertaining to a small community such as a town, village or single postcode.
Over the last few years, the UK has seen many launches of online local media services that attempt to deliver hyperlocal content. But traditional media providers have found it hard to adjust their high-cost models to a sufficiently local area.
Meanwhile, hyperlocal bloggers find it difficult to develop a critical mass of audience and to define the right business models to grow their offers into more sustainable services. Little evidence is publicly available on the success or failure of these services.
This review offers an insight into a diverse, creative and emerging sector. To our knowledge, this is the first time that such a comprehensive review has been undertaken. We hope that this review will encourage an appetite for a greater understanding of hyperlocal media from both industry and policymakers."