The Hyperlocal Hoax: Where's the Holy Grail?
Over the last decade, so called "Hyperlocal" websites, apps and services have been "the next big thing." Now quick: Name one super-successful company in that space. Now name ten in the graveyard.This isn't to say that we don't believe in the power of digital to bring more and better news and commerce to neighborhoods. We'll gather some of the best minds in (and outside) of the industry -- those who have gotten closer than most -- and have a nothing's sacred discussion of how a megacorp or a network of plucky locals can actually build the Next Big Thing.
Lisa Williams runs Placeblogger, the largest searchable index of local weblogs. She's also a fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she focuses on the future of news and civic engagement
Mark Briggs is the author of Entrepreneurial Journalism, Journalism Next (2009) and Journalism 2.0 (2007). He is co-founder of Serra Media and a Ford Fellow of Entrepreneurial Journalism at The Poynter Institute and currently the director of digital media at KING Broadcasting in Seattle.
Mike Orren is a new media junkie who started his career doing manual newspaper pasteup with an exacto and glue. His consultancy, Just Be Amazing, works with media companies, retailers and nonprofits to tap into the strengths in what they do best. Clients include CBS, Examiner.com, The Ferguson Road Initiative and SourceMedia, MobileMum and a B2B news startup launching in March. He is the founder of Pegasus News, which he led from launch through two acquisitions. Pegasus News is the nation's largest single-market pureplay news and entertainment site and was an early pioneer in the hyperlocal space. Mike has also been Publisher of American Lawyer Media's Texas books and newspapers and was Associate Publisher / General Manager of D Magazine during its 1990's relaunch. Mike is a music snob, a gadget geek, a sailor and an improviser-in-training. His first book, on Texas' Prison Entrepreneurship Program, will be released in late 2012.
Shawn P. Williams is the founder of DallasSouthBlog.com (now ShawnPWilliams.com) which was a credentialed blog at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He is currently publisher and editor of DallasSouthNews.org. He was recognized by the Austin-American Statesman with a Texas Social Media Award in 2010 as one of the state's Top 25 users of social media.
He is a guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News and has provided monthly commentary for WFAA Channel 8’s Inside Texas Politics.
In 2011, Shawn became a member of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute of Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida
Shawn released his first book "Blogging While Black" in November of 2011.