Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oakland Local Live!

Oakland Local went live yesterday (well, about 16 hours ago). It was founded by Susan Mernit, who was an early advisor to my startup and a prominent tech blogger. Susan made her mark in technology and media as an executive during the early years of Netscape and AOL, and her recent position as a Senior Director at Yahoo!.

Oakland Local has a New Voices grant from J-Lab, funded by The Knight Foundation, as seed money. Her new venture is riding a trend of where the future of media is going: local and hyperlocal. The question is how will it be sustained and in what form? Oakland Local is taking the nonprofit route which is an avenue that some people believe is the only way for local news to survive. I'm not certain of this, but it will be great to watch Oakland Local develop and become a model for many to consider. More from their website and Susan:

Oakland Local is an independent, non-profit community news and information hub, connecting community and news. Our site combines original investigative and feature reporting with community news and information about Oakland non-profit organizations, community groups and engaged citizens.

"Oakland Local is launching in partnership with 35 local nonprofit, neighborhood & community organizations—we combine postings of their news and information with blogging and with reported stories from a top quality news team (Susan Mernit, Amy Gahran, Kamika Dunlap, Kwan Booth, Ryan Van Lenning and others). We are media partners & collaborators with Spot.us, Newsdesk.org, The Center for Investigative Reporting, New America Media, Endless Canvas, Youth Rising, Youth Radio and Youth Outlook as well. Our site offers forums, a directory of 320 local nonprofits and a blog directory of 180 active local bloggers as well."

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