GateHouse’s online-only project in Batavia, New York

On May 1, we launched a project in Batavia, NY to work out how to build an online-only, local news business. We wanted to go to a town where we didn’t have a newspaper so that we could have the freedom to experiment without concerns about disrupting one of our own publications.  We picked Batavia because it’s a neat, vibrant town; it’s close to our home office; and the daily newspaper there was doing nothing on the web.  Scott Karp has been aware of the project almost from its inception and after a couple of regional bloggers uncovered it as a GHS project, Scott nudged me about doing a post himself.  Here’s his post.

The Fighting 29th did an earlier post about the site. Rochester Turning also picked up on it.

The site is still very young, still under development (we’re working on a new design and adding additional features as we speak), but the local reception has been pleasantly strong so far.

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  • http://timwindsor.com/2008/09/08/a-new-verb-to-batavian/ A new verb: To Batavian — Zero Percent Idle

    [...] GateHouse’s Howard Owen says on his own blog: We picked Batavia because it’s a neat, vibrant town; it’s close to our home office; and the [...]

  • http://www.digidave.org Digidave

    Seems like a great idea Howard. Good luck (hope the Daily News doesn’t throw a fit).

    Rock on.
    David

  • http://www.timwindsor.com Tim Windsor

    This is brilliant! Good luck. I’m convinced that smaller markets are where the action is.

    I’m amazed the local competition has done nothing to respond.

    Tim

  • jhack

    Why should the competition respond? It’s free advertising for them.
    Look here.
    http://thebatavian.com/blogs/philipanselmo/news-roundup-youth-football-kicks-season
    At the bottom, The Batavian is encouraging its readers to subscribe to the newspaper it is allegedly competing with.
    This is nothing a blog. Tony does a better job of covering Kansas City, Mo. here. http://www.tonyskansascity.com/
    Randy does a better job of covering Joplin and Missouri here http://rturner229.blogspot.com/.
    Hope you guys didn’t spend too much money on this project.

  • http://www.howardowens.com/ Howard Owens

    Once again, jhack, you do an absolutely brilliant job of not getting it. Good job.

  • http://pundit.blogpeoria.com/2008/09/09/media-gatehouse-goes-online-only/ Media: GateHouse Media goes online-only | Peoria Pundit

    [...] to GateHouse Media — and to their online guru, Howard Owens — for seeing the Internet as something other than a way to promote content available on [...]

  • http://www.tamark.ca/students/2008/09/09/the-word-for-the-day/ Notes from a Teacher: Mark on Media » The word for the day…

    [...] I’ll have more to say on this, and some related matters, later. Meanwhile, to get caught up, go read Doug Fisher, Scott Karp, Jason Kristufek and Howard Owens. [...]

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com/2008/12/22/when-did-gatehouse-become-clueless/ BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » When did Gatehouse become cluel

    [...] million) – local media company. It is, for example, going into competitors’ markets to compete with them online with hyperlocal blogs. So I just can’t wait to hear their explanation and [...]

  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/01/howard-owens-they-would-probably-win-on-that-one/ Howard Owens: “They would probably win on that one” » Nieman

    [...] the fair-use doctrine in American courts if the material is seen as newsworthy. And Owens, just a few months earlier, had launched The Batavian, a widely hailed online-only news site competing with an upstate New [...]