What The Hell Is Patch?

| December 27, 2010 | 3 Comments

No doubt you have seen them popping up all over. And you may have wondered what these new websites called “Patch” are all about.

We have received several emails about this new “competitor”; most of them were asking if they were a “threat”. The answer is an emphatic “NO!” First of all, competition is healthy, it keeps everyone on their toes and allows everyone to grow. And secondly, while we do have some overlap, we have two different models–at least for now.

The Patch sites are backed by gobs and gobs of AOL money (note to AOL, if you are interested in tossing some AOL money into an acquisition, please send us a DM on Twitter–@eyeonannapolis) and are considered a hyper local news site. If you are looking for news and events in your specific neighborhood, Patch will likely have it covered. Patch spent most of last year luring editors, reporters and columnists from local papers to run individual Patches. If you are a Capital subscriber, you will see many familiar names. These local editors live in the neighborhood and work from their homes so they are available to run to a fire, a sporting event, or a community celebration.

Eye On Annapolis does a bit of that as well; and there will be overlap just as there is with The Capital, other blogs, and other media. But, Eye On Annapolis  is more of a ‘hit and run’ news and event site. If you want your news quick and clean we are a great choice–call it the Cliff’s Notes of Anne Arundel County news. But if you are interested in more focused, neighborhood news, check out your friendly Patch site! While we cover ALL of Anne Arundel County, the Patch sites are pretty much restricted to their own neighborhoods.

The world of new media (Web 2.0, blogging, social media, etc.) is a different breed of media than it was even four years ago. Unfortunately, many of the traditionalists are playing a frantic game of catch up. Some newspapers, magazines, and television stations do not see the benefit of working together; and consider anyone that overlaps their coverage to be an enemy. It is unfortunate that we live along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the traditionalists don’t understand that a rising tide raises all boats. For example, last week, we got news of a tasing in Edgewater. We reported what we knew first and informed our audience of the facts. As the story developed, the local Patch was on the scene and we linked to them. For those who were interested in more details and a photo or two, we referred them to the Edgewater Patch.

Some other things that set us apart are that (for now) we offer more commentary and opinion and of course we have The Bar Bitch and Seth Perry! We also have a deal with WBAL-TV to provide regional news every morning at 9:05am, and will start up our coverage of the Bowie Baysox again once baseball season rolls around. With our coverage of the entire county, we have a much larger  audience and we can help the individual Patches. And with their in depth coverage of neighborhood issues, they can help us. We all win!

We are thrilled to partner with Patch when we can. We either know or have introduced ourselves to all of the Anne Arundel County Patch sites and have linked to most (if not all) of them and welcome them to do the same! We look forward to working together and sharing the news and events that you want to hear.

So, go and explore and check out what they have to offer. But don’t leave us; because we have some surprises up our sleeves for 2011!

Right now, there are ten the local Patches and when we met with their Regional Editor, she indicated that no more were planned for the county. Here are links to each neighborhood site along with the names of their editors. If you leave a comment on their site, make sure you tell them we send our regards!

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Category: BLOG NOTES, OPINION

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.