Metaphors: TBD.com special

A supermarket for news
Robert Allbritton, quoted in Paul Farhi’s TBD.com making its move into the crowded market of local news, from The Washington Post

Right now, [getting local news on the Web] is like trying to buy groceries in the old country. First you went to the fishmonger, then to the baker, then the grocer and so on. And it worked until someone said, “Why don’t we create a supermarket and put it all together in one place?”

News judo
David Rothman’s TBD’s hyperlocal judo is smart and ethical: How should rivals at the Washington Post and elsewhere respond to all the linking ahead?

In judo, you can use a big guy’s weight against him, and the same applies in busi­ness, especially the news kind.

Reading the Washing ton Post story on the TBD local news startup — which will compete against the Post, AOL’s Patch local net work and the Washington Examiner — I couldn’t help but think “judo.”

Besides, in the end, the Post story today will have been just a sideshow despite its current benefits to TBD. The real judo will happen by way of a principle espoused by Jeff Jarvis, the media guru of BuzzMachine fame—in essence, Do what you do best and link to the rest. TBD’s own news staff is tiny, with just a dozen or so actual reporters and a small band of editors. So, to try to compensate, TBD will be regularly linking not just to the Post but also to the Examiner and Patch, which has drawn more than a few dollops of money from America Online.

Tom Sawyer as newsboy
Mark Potts’ Why TBD is Important

As it develops, I think TBD is going to prove a model for other local efforts around the country. It understands something very fundamental, something that once upon a time, a group of us referred to it as the Tom Sawyer strategy: when you’re working with limited resources, use them to the maximum–and turn to the rest of the Web for help with filling in the blanks.

A Coal-mine canary for news
Jack Mirkinson’s TBD.com: A First Day Look, from the Huffington Post

Why is so much attention being paid to a local news site? Well, TBD is something of a canary in the coal mine. The news industry is desperately searching around for new journalistic and business models, and local news has been seized upon as a potential savior. Local, so the thinking goes, is where the money’s at — where you can offer people something they can’t get anywhere else. This explains the rise in so-called “hyperlocal” coverage, which hones in with intensive zeal on the day-to-day happenings in neighborhoods and regions.

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