In his “back-of-the-envelope” analysisÂ aÂ five-person startup, drawingÂ slim paychecks supplemented byÂ stock options, couldÂ compensate contributors and still eke outÂ a thin profit on an advertising base as low as $425,000 a year.
Grubisich citesÂ market research dataÂ suggesting that’s not too much toÂ expect ofÂ aÂ hyperlocal site in an affluent area, such the Northern California communitiesÂ of Palo Alto, San Mateo and Sunnyvale that were part of the now-defunct Backfence venture.
The key, he worte, Â is to create destinations that “connect with their communities and produce content that users find generally interesting, sometimes significant and occasionally indispensable,”Â going on to say that:
“To succeed, grassroots sites need above all experienced and passionate editors collaborating with experienced and passionate citizens . . .Â Working with them, editors can help pinpoint the sometimes elusive themes that shape a community’s identity. Experienced citizens know why one neighborhood school is succeeding and another is failing or why one church or synagogue in particular has a thriving congregation, but mentoring editors can help them to be betterÂ communicators.Â . . . I propose that regular citizen contributors â€“ working, say, 40 or 50 hours a month â€“ be paid a $1,000 monthly stipend. That comes to $20 to $25 an hour â€“ not a lot, but not an insulting amount, either. If you’re a retiree, a stay-at-home mom (or dad) or somebody looking to close a household budget gap . . .”
Again the article is here, and if you go there do look down at the commentÂ of Steve CrozierÂ who offers his Dallas hyperlocal site, Lakewood-Now, as an up-and-running versionÂ of the sort of hyperlocal site that Grubisich merely postulates.