Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hyper-local hero

Photo by Bob Christy/Kent State

Rob Curley
has gotten a lot of good press for his success at newspaper websites, but none better than the profile now online at Fast Company. Here's a typical observation:

... then along comes Curley, unburdened by pieties about "how we've always done it." Unlike previous ink-stained generations, he and his mostly young charges practice journalism with software code, video, podcasts, audio, slide shows, blogs--whatever works. Multimedia storytelling comes as naturally to him as satire did to Mencken. Likewise, interactivity: The notion of a newspaper as a conversation rather than a lecture doesn't strike fear in Curley, the way it does some newspaper purists. It's exciting, full of promise.

And although that may seem a little super-heated, there is much to like about the way Curley approaches the business of employing digital tools to extend the work newspapers do. Importantly, one clear focus is on satsfying the information needs of audiences, not just doing what we've always done in different forms. I liked this explanation from Curley:

"Most people still think of a newspaper Web site as a digital version of what went on the press last night, but that's a small part of what we do," Curley says. "I want a site to be so cool and important to people that they talk about it the way you talk about having a great park where you live. It's a local amenity."

–Howard Weaver


  1. Curley's work is impressive and there's a lot we can take from it. We're trying to find a feature or several features to bring locals to the Web site every day. The form of choice now is blogs, but it will take new forms soon. I think we're seeing "fun" on the Web site that isn't happening in the paper and we have to run with it.

  2. Anonymous6:54 AM