Patch, the hyperlocal website from AOL, is totally off-putting.

Media criticism.
June 28 2011 6:42 PM


Why I find AOL's Patch sites so off-putting.

(Continued from Page 1)

Almost a year ago, the Poynter Institute's Rick Edmonds expressed why hyperlocal sites don't engage him: News consumers, he posits, tend to like "big stories," the earthquake, shootings, bombings, floods, political scandals, and economic upheavals that fill our daily newspapers and cable-news channels. "I have a hard time, though, recalling a neighborhood story I wish I had known about right away," Edmonds writes.

That's something nobody ever says about their Facebook feed.

Addendum, June 29: I wrote a sequel to this piece.


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*Correction, June 28, 2011: The original version of this piece misspelled Bruce Schneier's last name. (Return to corrected sentence.) 

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at