Building a National Breaking News Network like a Craigslist

Craigslist was able to build an empire of hyperlocal classified sites by supplying each city and their denizens with free classifieds. They are now building out globally with sites (in English) for most developed countries.

Craig Newmark was an early mover who could develop Craigslist branding traction in cities one by one starting with the San Francisco Bay Area.

Today, it’s tough to build a hyperlocal community without engaging the community on the ground itself. Sites like Outside.In and Topix have failed to generate community enthusiasm for most of its city sites; even the venerable Craigslist has poor adoption outside North America.

Our Breaking News Network operates differently; each city’s Breaking News site is developed by “community hub people and groups” that assist in building business models. The hubs own and manage the site, and are invested in developing community traction. In aggregate, the Breaking News Network operates like a Craigslist on a national scale. We’ll eventually cover every major market as well as cities as small as Chico, CA and Asheville, NC – here’s a list of existing cities as of June 10. We’ll be leveraging the network by adding new business models for companies and organizations who need to establish a social media reach into the community – examples include Chambers of Commerce, and media companies that can supplement their advertising business model by offering social media marketing systems.

Yesterday, our Breaking News Network was nominated Most Innovative Media Site by Inman News, a leading online real estate publication. (Thx!)

Here’s the current lineup of the Breaking News Network. Our growth rate has averaged one city per day since starting early last month:

By Cities …
By Topic …

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.