News Goes Local 2.0 - Nook.com.au
By Martin Kelly, Search Engine Room
Leader Newspapers, the Victorian community publication arm of News Limited, has started a Melbourne local search site with a Web 2.0 twist - Nook.com.au – that squarely targets young people moving from print media.
The site, created by Feedcorp, has been live for a week or so and will officially launch early in the New Year with, ironically, print support.
Feedcorp is also behind the Aussie blog search engine, Gnoos.com.au. Co-founder Ben Barren said Nook.com.au mixes elements of the booming social search sector with local search.
The site allows users to create identities and blog/write about good local restaurants, films they hate, a dud tradesman and everything in between … content that is then searchable by the community.
Leader Editor-In-Chief Mark Gardy said: “We hope Nook will resonate with web-savvy younger readers that might otherwise have been moving away from traditional paper-based newspapers.
Nook.com.au follows the unveiling of another Web 2.0 News Limited community search site, Whereilive.com.au, three months ago by Quest Newspapers.
Whereilive.com.au focuses on southeast Queensland and allows people to create communities based on post codes – ie people living in a specific area populate that section of the site.
Nook.com.au is different in that it embraces all of Melbourne rather than being suburb or postcode specific.
But while the sites differ in style, there are strong similarities in terms of approach – principally that they are a web-based community bulletin board featuring discussion, recommendations and feedback.
These sites are a new take on the Web 1.0 local advertising-based search sites such as TrueLocal.com.au (News), Yellow (Sensis) and Mylocal.com.au (PBL) – albeit with some key differences.
For a start, nook.com.au is not taking advertising – for now.
“We’ve made a conscious decision to run the site without advertising,” said Trevor Lewis, Production Editor, Leader Newspapers.
“We are taking a softly, softly approach to see if there is an interest in this type of user-content run site.”
And if there is, advertising will surely follow.
The project brief was to create a dynamic online community network that provides people with the ability to share their experiences of local life and they ways they can live it better.
“Blogs play an important role in the website,” said one of the site moderators Nathaniel Bane. “But there are also tools for people to post reviews, referrals, put questions, and tailor their own website.”
New and popular entries are elevated to the top page – with preference given to items that are geographically nearby to each user.
Gardy concluded: “Younger readers want a more personalized form of media and are often looking to their peers for credibility.
“Weblogs are playing an ever-increasing role in the media landscape, and Nook positions us at the hub of this social interaction.”
“Ultimately the true shape of the project will depend upon its members.
“As more and more content is added, the site will develop a distinct personality -- one which we hope will retain a strong local feel”.
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