User generated local media

Back in the day, the old way to create a “multimedia” site was to hire copy writers, photographers and web designers to build a visually interesting property. Now anybody can curate visual content, and use new media tools like PinterestInstagramTumblr and Chill.com to build their own local publications. For example, on Pinterest, cities like Centennial, Colorado can be celebrated by the handywork of a single individual:

Pinterest I love Centennial

Locals want to see videos of their neighborhoods, their events and their businesses. Brian Norgard, co-founder of Chill.com, a kind of Pinterest for social video, says: “Today’s video sharing is still predicated on the entertainment value of watching the most popular or funniest, and at Chill.com that’s been the case thus far. However, I think locally produced video, and there are tons of it out there, will start to explode, riding the wave of new mobile video apps like Viddy and Klip. And this local content will be consumed because the events and news that are captured will be more than just entertaining, it will directly affect the quality of our daily life.”

Obviously, one local amateur produced video won’t get very many views on average, but in aggregate, a extensive video portfolio about a city is a compelling watch for anybody living in that city. Here’s a search I did on Chill.com for “Santa Monica, California”; its 537 tagged videos chronicle the city as well as any tourist board.

Chill.com Santa Monica CA

In addition, we’ll start seeing new local video upload communities like HoustonsVoice.com that encourage citizens to upload their own videos down to the neighborhood level. I expect these kinds of video communities to pop up quickly in many cities by local entrepreneurs and media simply because they fill a new publishing niche that complements and extends traditional news.

Houstonsvoice.com

The upshot is the tools and services to curate and present visual media are coming of age in 2012 because more people are uploading pictures and videos with their smart phones (according to 1000 memories, 10% of all photographs in history were taken in the last 12 months). User generated media in aggregate will in time paint a far more diverse and detailed picture of a community than the coverage by paid media.

Finally, video is destined to become a mainstream media for local marketing. Showing small business in their best light requires high quality production standards, and we’ll start seeing video services that help small business create, produce and distribute their content across mobile and tablet platforms, and through local marketing channels. The real estate industry was an early adopter using video for home listings, but required a professional finish that would reflect favorably on the real estate agent’s marketing prowess. Wellcome Mat focuses on delivering t

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.