This portal site draws on professionally produced content from GateHouse Media’s dailies and weeklies in Massachusetts and blends it with citizen content and a comprehensive local search engine. Although the full citizen journalism model has not yet been extended to all of GateHouse’s Massachusetts web sites, “Wicked Local Search” is available from all 100-plus sites.
The search site has traditional elements, including banner advertising, but has taken traditional classifieds - real estate, auto and jobs - and reframed them as searches, not classifieds. The searches aggregate results based on keywords by combining news, classifieds, newspaper ad content and other content into one search results page. Said Anne Eisenmenger, vice president of audience development for GateHouse Media New England: “By aggregating not only our own content but also content from many other sources relevant to each community, we’re aiming to produce sites that can serve as a one-stop online resource for living in any one of our communities.”
For Wicked Local, the challenge is to convince local advertisers that consumers want local search, and that the model will lead users to advertisers’ products.
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