While it’s easy to spot the news outlets that, desperate to survive in the new media ecosystem, stray outside their local focus and engage in an obvious grab for page views, others have realized they must expand their concept of business operations and provide the communities they serve something of value.
And blogging about whatever’s hot in Google Trends isn’t it — that’s just playing a short-sighted and pointless numbers game. Sure, a site may see a spike in traffic because a blogger made sure to put up a post about whatever was most popular in Google search that day. But to what end? How long until advertisers see the stats for themselves and discover that they aren’t getting the click-throughs those misleading numbers promised, that all those eyeballs were a just an ephemeral occurrence?
WestSeattleBlog.com tries to build a relationship with local businesses by providing free seminars. Men’s Health offers an iPhone app that users can purchase in order to buy its Workouts. While the The Seattle Courant didn’t have the capital to make good on its ambitious vision, its business strategy is worth filing away for future reference: