Pegasus’ Orren: ‘Local Databases Key to HyperLocal’

Pegasus News, the hyperlocal site in Dallas owned by Fisher Communications, is a state-of-the-art site with local reporters and bloggers, lots of User Generated Content and a full roster of other Web 2.0 capabilities. So what’s most important for driving traffic? The local databases.

Founder Mike Orren, via an email exchange, notes that “almost all of our traffic comes to us and stays day in and out because of the databases, not the narrative (stories, blogs and video). Those things bring extra page views per visit,” he says. “But it is all about the databases – whether that’s event, or political contributions, or bands.”

Orren also takes issue with the notion of “hyperlocal” as a stand-alone business segment. “There’s a very limited universe of people who are going to seek out a separate source for neighborhood news and info,” he says.

“Now that’s an important, active and engaged group, but it’s almost never big enough to be a business. We think that in order for it to work, you’ve got to be able to get your pro football scores and figure out what to do and where to eat in the city tonight before you come home to your ‘hood or ‘burb. We call that ‘panlocal’ — where you have the broadly local and the niche local in the same place.”

3 thoughts on “Pegasus’ Orren: ‘Local Databases Key to HyperLocal’

  1. I agree that hyperlocal destinations probably won’t attract huge audiences to their home pages just to “see what’s going on,” like browsing a local newspaper. The opportunity, I think, is in pushing personalized content to RSS readers, into widgets, etc., where it can be consumed more passively. That can support a standalone business, I believe. Meanwhile I probably will get my pro football scores via someone else’s feed/widget.

  2. From personal experience I’ve seen the ‘Data Center’ initiative take off at Gannett. Being able to follow taxes, foreclosures, political fund raising and high school sports information in one location has been a draw, at least in my household. The combination of this data and local advertising will be found revenue in years to come.

    With that said, Laurence is 100% correct. We need to continue to find ways to reach our audience where they are reading- RSS, contextual widgets, Facebook apps, etc.

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