What is going on with Patch anyway?

Has Patch gone too generic? Can it be saved? Or at least made more interesting?

In only a short time Patch has made itself an important fixture in our community. It has provided local news, crime reports, summaries of council meetings, public forums, and other information of urgency and interest to Albany residents.

But of interest perhaps to no one else. And that's the point. When Patch started, it was mostly about us, and we liked that and participated. Now, as a result of AOL corporate policy I assume, Patch is a smattering of us and more of everybody else. 

I like our neighbors, our state, and our nation, but I can read about them anywhere and everywhere. I'm selfishly interested in Albany and our people and our comings and goings. California teachers, Barbara Lee, New Year's resolutions. Yeah, OK, a local angle maybe, but are these distinctly Albany enough?

As Patch goes more generic, it reflects us less. I find myself skipping over most of the discussions now: they are either of general (not local) interest, or are dominated by people who couldn't find Solano Avenue on a map. And now it seems the local editors are being thinned out and made to cover wider and wider areas, producing less coverage that is strictly local.

AOL can do what it wants with its franchise. But if they expect us to stick around, and click their ads. Patch needs to engage us at street level.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rusty Cohn January 08, 2013 at 05:10 PM
We Miss Emily, but Berkeleyside is only a click away. Berkeley is still part of my "hood". I do find I scan the patch, and find little of interest these days. Albany Patch used to be fantastic before Emily left.
Robert Smith January 08, 2013 at 05:31 PM
The bloggers are the only thing we have left. If more people write more interesting blogs about local issues and events, then at least we'll have some content. At this point I would even read one of those nonsensical Bon-Vivant blogs about the Yuckish.
Alan Eckert January 08, 2013 at 05:38 PM
I support this up to a certain point. If there were a lot of bloggers doing the work for free, then that is free ad revenue for AOL. Granted, they are providing the platform, but that is a cookie-cutter just like every other Patch that doesn't cost them any extra. Additionally, we would have an opportunity to have less-biased reporting on particular events regarding city workings. That being said, I would still love to see a level of engagement from the community in addition to what the paid editors do.
Rusty Cohn January 08, 2013 at 05:42 PM
In the past there used to be excellent articles written by a U.C. Berkeley student in another Albany e-paper who moved back to China. It would be nice if up and coming journalists were encouraged to write local interest articles for the Patch.
B January 09, 2013 at 07:17 PM
I agree with this comment whole-heartedly.


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