Back in the last decade we created a community photo-sharing platform called Spotted. The original idea was borrowed from a simple, successful content/marketing program at Cox Interactive Media, where I was executive editor at the turn of the century. We sent someone with a digital camera to an event with instructions to turn around and shoot the spectators, and hand out business cards. The resulting slideshows were huge traffic generators.
News alerts, headline pushes, weekly digests, Daily Deals ... most of us running news organizations use email marketing to get the word out and drive website traffic. It's cheap, it's easy, and it addresses the Web's greatest weakness -- that it's a pull medium, not a push-delivery medium.
Another day, another smooth-talking dotcom entrepreneur with big ambitions runs aground trying to build a national hyperlocal site, or network, or something. Jeff Jarvis has studied the matter and concludes: