Washington Post’s LoudounExtra.com “Experiment” Is Over
The Washington Post just announced that it’s shutting down LoudounExtra.com this week. The Post said that the “experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model” and that it would move all of the content to the Loudoun community page on WashingtonPost.com.
LoudounExtra.com was the Washington Post’s attempt at hyperlocal journalism. The site provided some great, relevant content with great editors, writers and contributors on staff and in the field. But the site never quite found its niche.
It almost seems like LoudounExtra.com was trying to be everything to everyone. It wasn’t quite an online newspaper web site nor was it quite a hyperlocal blog site. It talked about “this”, which had to do with Loudoun, but it talked about “that” and everything that had to do with Loudoun. That, I believe, was its downfall.
With the fall of LoudounExtra.com, other online news sites and local newspapers, hyperlocal blogs, forums and good old fashioned word-of-mouth will grow as the way local information is processed, shared and discussed.
The thing about blogs, forums and word-of-mouth is that they allow for a two-way conversation/discussion between 2 (or 200) people rather than a one-way “here is today’s news – read it and come back tomorrow for tomorrow’s news” style. And those two-way conversations and discussions take a “one or two topic only” approach rather than a “here’s something about everything” approach.
Nothing against newspapers and their online sites (I read a lot of them daily), but, at the local level, focused conversation and discussion is where it’s at. But maybe that’s just me…
It was a good run for LoudounExtra.com and sorry it had to come to an end for all those involved. I hope that the new platform provides different (and hopefully better) opportunities for the staff and contributors.