What is hyper-local? News that is close to us, yes?
Well ok then, but what exactly is ‘local’? One thing’s for sure: It’s geographic.
And by God, isn’t that boring? I don’t want hyper-local news unless it’s interesting. But then what is interesting? We shouldn’t assume people find news interesting just because it is near to them.
This is all obvious, of course. But you wouldn’t think it when you read about all the hyper-local sites that seem to be springing up all over the place with the intention of forcing down news ‘closer to you’ down our guts.
Instead, we should be harnessing all the Web 2.0 power into hyper-personal.
Hyper-personal is the people I know, the teams I support, the musicians I like. It’s more of the news I’m interested in, and less of the news that I’m not. It’s the bloggers that post from the other side of the world — but are still relevant to me. It’s a news agenda that I can tailor to my needs and my needs alone. Do I want to follow the twists and turns of Zimbabwe politics? Yes please. Do I want to know each detail of the McCann case? No thanks. Do I want to know the current status of Amy Winehouse’s beehive? Maybe.
Do I want those decisions to be made by anyone else that isn’t me?
I don’t want hyper-local. I want hyper-personal. And it’s up to newspapers to take social-networking’s lead and give me what I need.
Hyper-local and hyper-personal both mean news that is close to you. But hyper-personal looks beyond geography, and in doing so, finds stories that really are close to us.