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 e-mail 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.”