GigaOM had an article on a new local service called “Nextdoor” and it compared it to Patch.
Having run a community site for five years ending more than a year ago, I feel that I have a pretty good sense of this space at least for a community of about 25,000 people.
The challenge is monetization. While everyone proclaims local advertising dollars are sitting there waiting to be targeted to their local market – it doesn’t work.
The other challenge is content. Who is going to drive the new, relevant content? Patch has gone the route of local editors and then sharing content within a region and not distinguishing which content comes from which region. This article doesn’t address who will manage a community in Nextdoor.
Neither creating barriers to participation or being open, address these two issues and as a result neither will ultimately be successful.