After spending a few months in Bonn, I’ve noticed that “hyperlocal” sites, especially in English do not really exist here. The city of Bonn offers some information both in English and German, and the Bonn English Network offers information from time to time. Rhine Online offers more information, but focusing in Cologne. Having been used to sites like EveryBlock and FreeWilliamsburg I have been craving for more information since I’ve been here.
As you can notice from stories in newspapers NY Times about hyperlocal news sites,
there is a growing movement of blogs/sites helping people find out what’s happening in their communities. I think these sites, contrary to the ones I’ve found in Bonn so far, must be comprehensive enough to include relevant news, reviews of local businesses, and a decent schedule of local entertainment and events (including
accurate schedules for movies not dubbed to German).
In Bonn, I think that a localized site may even produce enough revenue to pay for its costs and potentially hire part-time staff to profesionalize the work. However, it may also take a lot of work. Based on limited research, I found that according to Mark Potts, CEO and co-founder of GrowthSpur.com, “it takes a year or two to get critical mass on a local site.”
I’ll keep looking into this and keep posting on the subject…