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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator_Hawks, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Gator_Hawks

    Gator_Hawks Member

    How does Patch make money?

    I've seen some Patch.com sites with no ads.
  2. Simon

    Simon Active Member

    We have more threads about Patch than how to keep a basketball box score now. Sidelines or press box?
  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    What do you know, college kid??!!!???
  4. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Most don't have any ads yet. For most sites, the idea is to build up an audience and critical mass first to sell ads, as opposed to trying to sell them with the promise of building up an audience. At the very least, the 500+ sites is probably appealing to national advertisers, although there is an emphasis on local ads vs. national. It has gotten about $50 million from AOL, meaning there isn't immediate pressure to make a profit.

    I only know the general parameters of all this though, since I'm on the editorial side as opposed advertising. I don't do any ad sales, contrary to blogger reports. (My site: narragansett.patch.com )
  5. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    Forget the ads, I don't understand how Patch has an audience.

    The only, ONLY mention I've ever seen of Patch is in media industry mentions. This board, Poynter, Media Bistro, ONA, etc.

    I've never seen an advertisement for Patch, online or off. I've never heard any non-journos talking about Patch. Nada, nothing. And I live in a metro area with 4-5 Patch sites, so surely I'd come across a mention aimed at civilians.
  6. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    The numbers for my site that I can see suggest I'm doing pretty well. Is it as well as the two weekly newspapers in my coverage area? Probably not just yet. And of course, if you're near a metro area Turtle, it means you're nowhere near me, and our situations aren't really comparable at all. My town only has about 16,000 people, you can drive from one end to the other in 20 minutes, and it has just one high, middle and elementary school.

    But the word of mouth I've gotten back has been positive enough that I feel like the idea will work long-term. I can say that their whole thinking and efforts are a heck of a lot better organized than some of the newspapers I've worked with, who's online plans worked much like the Underpants Gnomes. "Step one, put all our news on the Internet. Step two... And step three, profit!"
  7. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    The success of individual Patch sites is going to depend on Web hits.

    And that's going to depend on the ability of the Patch editors to market themselves well, use social networking to their advantage and create excellent content day after day.

    Some of the editors definitely have the drive and motivation to do this. Most of them don't. Crappy, poorly-written community news is just going to plummet into the gaping, black hole of boring Internet content that nobody reads.

    I certainly wish them luck. I want to see this succeed.
  8. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    I can tell you that Patch is absolutely freaking out the people who manage its dead-tree competition.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I covered a high school football game recently where another reporter went up to the coach and said "Hi, John. I'm so-and-so from Patch.com." The coach, walking in stride with me, stops and looks at the other reporter, who I know previously as a pretty good guy.

    "From who?" he asked.

    "Patch.com," the reporter replied.

    "Never heard of it," the coach said.

    I'm assuming it's happened on several occasions, and this time, you could tell the reporter was just tired of it.

    "Yeah, nobody has yet," he said, and kind of sulked a little bit.

    I felt bad, because I know he's taking a risk as the one starting up this site, and he's been out in the community to try to get the name out there and been busting his tail. But he just seemed so down, it was tough to see.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Plus, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've heard, journalists who work for Patch are basically working ungodly hours. Putting in 70 hour workweeks will depress any one.
  11. CRR13

    CRR13 Member

    I agree. Where I live, you'll see the Patch editor handing out stuff with the Patch logo.
  12. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    I work about 40 to 50 hours a week. I think the 70 to 80 hour horror stories are more with 1) young kids who want to do EVERYTHING in a pretty big town and 2) people not used to or not comfortable managing people. The job is similar to being the city editor of a small daily paper in most areas; when I hear that 80-hour figure, I cringe at the kind of control freak it's probably describing. Besides, it's not uncommon to run into those martyrs at normal newspapers either. You know, the ones who don't ever claim overtime and thus screw over everyone else.

    Zebra, that's definitely the number one thing I run into. I'm about a month in, and now I'm not so much met with blank stares. It's gone from "What's that?" to "I've heard of that." It's not a job for the shy or coy, but then again, neither is journalism anyway.
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