My friend Tim Bishop points me to some reality checks today, suggesting that the Washington Post’s much-touted experiment in hyperlocal web publishing has lost its leader and perhaps its way. Rob Curley is one of the newspaper industry’s new media and I have lauded in this blog about 10 months ago. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that Curley has taken five associates with him to Las Vegas where he and his condotierri will build a working hyperlocal site — not like the large and costly flop they are leaving behind in suburban Virginia. WSJ writer Russell Adams concludes his article by saying:
As he decamps with five colleagues to take on an Internet venture for the Las Vegas Sun, Mr. Curley acknowledges he didn’t get out into the community enough. “I was the one who was supposed to know we should be talking to Rotary Club meetings every day,” Mr. Curley said. “I dropped the ball. I won’t drop it in Vegas, dude.
Wow, that’s great work when you can get it!
Meanwhile, iconolanistic blogger Scott Karp writes that the Washington Post’s front web page proves of no use in helping him decide whether or not thunderstorms in suburban Virginia would snarl traffic or cause office closures. But, as Karp blogs, he must use a search engine to find the map, posted by the local power company, of downed trees and other obstructions. People want news they can use. But newspapers give them all the news that editors think is fit to print.
Oh, well, this won’t happen in Las Vegas now that Rob Curley’s crew has arrived. For one thing thunderstorms are rare in the Las Vegas desert and other than the occasional decorative palm, there are no trees.