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AOL goes where boston.com fears to tread

AOL's Patch hyperlocal network is advertising jobs for editors of new sites in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown and the South End, as well as all of Boston, according to postings on the AOL corporate site.

The incursion is a full scale attack on, well, almost nobody, since boston.com has yet to set up a single Your Town hyperlocal site in the city it's named for. The South End News does have a longstanding site, unlike the Back Bay Courant, which doesn't get this InterWebs thing.

In addition to these jobs, Patch is also advertising for editors in the sort of suburban towns now the domain of GateHouse Media's Wicked Local sites. And it's advertising for a Boston-specific ad director.

Lost Remote takes a look at Patch's massive expansion in metro areas across the country.

NOTE: AOL uses some furshlugginer token system to keep you from bookmarking specific job postings. If you want to see where Patch is hiring locally, go to the AOL careers page, click on Search Openings, then select Patch as the brand and United States - Massachusetts - Boston as the location.

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Comments

Years ago, Microsoft tried to create a network of locally-focused sites called Sidewalk.com. They didn't stick with it long enough before selling the project off to Citysearch.com.

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Patch is really going after the Wicked Locals and Your Towns of the world more than the main boston.com site. If you take a look at their current sites, they look and read a lot like a typical Wicked Local site, if less well written - a column of news along with local calendar listings and some miscellaneous stuff I bet nobody really reads (why bother putting up a two-paragraph listing for the town director of youth services?), but which might help convince Google you're an "authority" on the neighborhood.

I have absolutely no doubt there is a market for such hyperlocal sites in Boston, which the Globe has more or less ignored online - especially when you consider there are lots of businesses out there that could benefit from citywide or multi-neighborhood advertising (JP restaurants certainly have a potential market in Roslindale, for example), at costs a lot lower than what the Globe might charge them.

Whether Patch succeeds against Wicked Local, which has years of experience and relationships with the local businesses in their towns - or even the weekly-paper sites in Boston (such as the South End News) - is another matter.

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Beacon Hill, the Back Bay, and Charlestown have their own local weeklies (such as they are, which isn't much). Their web presence is a step above the Metro's. I don't see any newcomer posing a threat to the South End News, but the Times/Sun/Bridge are basically asking for someone from somewhere else to come in and be more relevant.

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Appreciate the link. Thanks for reading LR!

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Go to Indeed.com and search for "patch"-- pretty much gets everything.

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