Patch Calls for Free Help

Did Patch jump the shark with its call for 8000 free bloggers in about 8 days?

According to a post on Forbes (which I found through this post from Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim by Frank Reed) it appears Patch is looking to add 8000 free bloggers to its ranks in about eight days and is relying on its editors to each recruit between 5 and 10.

Supporting this is an announcement I saw on the local Patch in my hometown.

Now it wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about Patch questioning its business model.

Looking to bloggers to generate content for Patch is interesting for two reasons. First, Arianna Huffington has a class action lawsuit filed against her for profiting off the sale of Huffington Post without sharing that profit with the content generators – free bloggers. Second, much like the notion that there are billions in local advertising dollars just waiting for Patch, where are they going to find these bloggers? I’d argue they either don’t exist, or they are happily blogging elsewhere and what’s in it for them to join Patch? It sure isn’t money.

I fully understand and support hyper-local, but Patch doesn’t adhere to community boundaries in a strict sense (they are very liberal in the phrase ‘area’) and yet they aren’t as comprehensive as what my local daily newspaper offers online. In short, they appear to be between the rock and hard place.

My hyper-local site: NewsOverCoffee
Patch’s hybrid: Nazareth Patch
The daily newspaper: Nazareth Region

So who will blog? It specifically notes that these are bloggers, not reporters. The difference as I understand it is that Patch pays its editors a salary and there is budget for freelancers, but the amount has been reduced for most locations.

On the About Us page, I find a long list of Contributors and Editors, but they appear to be pulled from various Patch sites throughout the Lehigh Valley, again being very liberal with the term ‘area’.

Of interest is that six editors are listed and five of those formerly worked for the other Lehigh Valley daily newspaper that has had many layoffs in recent years. There are also 33 contributors listed, again, only two that I’m aware of are actually Nazareth area residents, the rest are from throughout the LV and of those with a bio, seven worked for one daily and two for another.

I’m guessing these contributors and editors are the best candidates to blog, but they are also probably least likely to accept no fee for their service.

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