As we’re working toward creating Grand Rapids’ first 4 Neighborhood News Bureaus, some of our industry’s biggest names are getting into the hyper-local game as well.

Today, the New York Times launched ‘The Local’.   ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’ is now using bloggers to try to win over the people who live in the Fort Greene and Clinton hill areas of New York City.

For those of you who missed it, Google’s Tim Armstrong is funding several news ‘Patches‘ in New Jersey.   And, from Seattle to, soon, Grand Rapids, citizens are deciding they can also cover their community.

While I wrote about Patch before, to me, the New York Times getting into the hyper-local game shows just how much the big boys see this as an opportunity (if you doubt that, read the Q&A in the first link).

I think many of us waited a bit too long, giving Google, Yahoo! and dozens of smaller companies an early heads start.  I also don’t think any company will succeed doing this alone.  As we’ve said at any NNB planning meeting, this will not succeed if only a select few run it.  It has to be what the people want and what they think is news.  (For more detail on the Grand Rapids effort, check this page out.)

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