WikiCity is one of the latest to jump on the hyperlocal bandwagon, which includes traditional news sites, blogs, and hybrids. WikiCity started in late 2008, but announced itself formally this summer with local content for just more than 22,000 U.S. communities.
It’s a bit like CitySearch with its telephone-book-like listings of restaurants and businesses and similar to the now-defunct BackFence with its aim to be a user-generated hyperlocal site. Yet, when you check out WikiCity’s more robust listings, such as the one for Wahoo, Nebraska, it seems like Wikipedia.
It appears WikiCity is trying to be a bit of all these things — skimming off the best of each and amalgamating those ideas into a new hyperlocal form that readers can update on their own.
WikiCity founder and owner Pat Lazure says the aim initially was to target smaller communities, with 20,000 or fewer residents that may not have a daily newspaper serving them. To get the ball rolling, he and a partner seeded the site with business listings. That way businesses in small communities can use WikiCity as their own Web site if they don’t have one, and readers will have something to see to spur them to jump in and add their own stuff. (Or, at least, that’s the hope.)
Eventually, Lazure hopes to spread WikiCity throughout the United States and make money mainly through revenue partnerships with businesses such as travel companies and perhaps some traditional advertising.
Read the rest of the post at Nieman Journalism Lab.
Edited Dec. 23, 2009: Back Fence is closed.