Buzz.mn – Star Tribune’s New Online Community Tool

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (subscription required) has a new online community tool called Buzz.mn. The community lets users share blog posts, events, and photos about the Twin Cities and their neighborhoods.

This is a step above what some online newspapers have been doing by trying to increase readership and retention. Greg Sterling from Screenwerk points out how some are trying to improve this, but not necessarily in the right way.

One thing that buzz.mn is doing is promoting user-generated media, letting their own users post their own content. It’s most likely moderated heavily, and only relevant community information will be allowed (this is a good thing).

Hopefully they will be able to monitize from it. They do have contextual ads, although they are spammy-looking ones like this:

spammy-looking ads

Since it’s a local community, hopefully they will consider relevant local ads instead. More on that here.

It’s no secret that many newspapers struggle with other Web channels that can take away their advertising revenues. According to a Yahoo Finance press release, newspapers attract high-spending Internet users (that’s another post on its own). Just make it easy for users to buy, and they’ll advertise with you.

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3 Responses to Buzz.mn – Star Tribune’s New Online Community Tool

  1. DG says:

    You might want to take a look at http://outside.in/

    It’s a step in (what I believe) to be the right direction for local search. Too often ‘Local Search’ appears to be nothing more than a list of advertisers. Nothing local but the zip codes. Bringing some local flavor and local conversation into the mix seems to foster that sense of community that a simple SERP just can’t provide.

    I stumbled across outside.in a few days ago and it was the first time I recall getting excited about local search in a long time.

  2. […] I’ve given my 2 cents from time to time. I love the idea of user-generated content in online newspapers, and I hate spammy contextual advertising within compelling news articles. […]

  3. carol wheeldin warren says:

    Hello,
    Trying to contact Jim Lileks, editor, who wrote a tribute article on AURELIA WHEELDIN, on 9/19/08.
    AURELIA was my second cousin, and I am in need of any info concerning her
    life.
    CANNOT figure out why my sign in attempt was not successful.
    Thank you,
    carol wheeldin warren.

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