Here Comes Patch


They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We’re flattered that the idea we pioneered almost five years ago has been duplicated many times and many places.
Let’s welcome the latest entrant to the fray: the well-capitalized Patch, which has just debuted sites (they call them “patches,” natch) in Maplewood and South Orange. Patch has some Google connections including Google employee Tim Armstrong, whose private investment firm Polar Capital, is an investor in Patch, and Randy Meech, Patch’s director of engineering.
The company is headquartered in New York City, and apparently has plans to scale nationally. Baristanet readers may discover an alternate universe in Patch’s Maplewood-South Orange territory, with “meditating mamas” and Park Slope refugees.
Go take a look, and tell us what we should imitate in order to flatter Patch!
UPDATE: There’s also Millburn Patch.

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  1. Okay, I went to the “Patch” web site. The operation certainly looks very professional, though launching such an advertising-dependent venture in this economic climate strikes me as dicey. Especially considering the unholy closeness the Baristas often seem to have with advertisers (let alone with certain “pals” of theirs who rate frequent mention), which may unfortunately actually be necessary as a means of getting advertising in the first place.
    And what, another plug for Jeff Jarvis? The guy isn’t mistakenly stuffed full of himself enough already? He sees himself as far more infuential in journalistic circles than he really is.
    Much of Baristanet’s success seems due to the vociferousness of many of its posters, and to their comparable willingness to come back and post time after time, to jump right into the lists of verbal combat. On topic after topic. Both South Orange and Maplewood may not prove to have that special combination, and really, only time will tell. There’s also the danger that positing a town as “special” enough to rate its own “patchy” web site only contributes to a sense of smugness and insularity.
    It also isn’t quite accurate to crow that the Baristas “pioneered” such community coverage (spotty as it is). There is a long history, for example, of community weeklies with often controversial content or at least columnists, and to dismiss these non-electronic forerunners is a mistake.
    I do think, however, that one thing is clear: neither South Orange nor Maplewood is, for better or worse, likely to ever produce someone quite like lasermikey.

  2. Ae you really taking credit for inventing local blogs?
    Looks to me like patch is another aggregator for local information which want’s to “go national”.
    I’ve seen a lot of these and they never look very good. Not enough pictures, looks boring – generic.
    The “people” make a blog.
    And for better or worse we’re stuck with you and you with us. But, in the end, your blog is truly local, has your unique voice and the unique rantings of the obstreperous “peanut gallery”.
    The result, flawed though it may be, is probably a lot more interesting.

  3. I just finished checking out this patch website. Dull. Completely void of personality. No point of view to any of these stories. Design painfully generic. My impression is that the entire venture is created by a consortium of robots. Plus, where are all the typos and grammar mistakes? The one thing I did find interesting though, was this bit of Maplewood news:
    Mayor Victor De Luca issued a press release Friday announcing that he wants to layoff 17 township employees as part of a plan to trim the budget by $1 million. Several other employees will see their hours reduced, and township offices will be closed on Fridays during the summer.

  4. What?! Where is the financial modeling? The studies? The bike racks??!!
    They’re awfully rash over there in Maplewood…

  5. cathar is very right, with:
    “Much of Baristanet’s success seems due to the vociferousness of many of its posters, and to their comparable willingness to come back and post time after time…”
    Just look at the few comments left on those other blogs…
    Once again, we rule the day!!!
    Because we are special!!!

  6. Please prof, stop with the set up, lol.
    Brings to mind the fishing trip in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo?s Nest”

  7. meh, I think Patch’s format sucks. It’s about the people running the place and do they have to creative personality draw people to the site. Patch has no personality.

  8. Maybe Carl was right about my intelligence.
    Speaking of which, where is the Plutoid running for Governor? Not even in the SL rag lately, hell of way to run a campaign or is that champagne (after he falls ?flat? on his face).
    Must be planning something big to lay low so long (low being the operative word here).

  9. Prof, cathar,roc, Ms Martta, Jerseygurl, Laserdoodle, Mellon, Statestreet, Nellie Wally, pokey, complainer et al…
    Where else ya gonna find this crew?

  10. Yesterday it’s, “we’re working on a full system upgrade… and add some more “community” to the site.” u thunk it’s a “Coinsedense +coincidence” .. and they say competition isn’t a good thing?
    Yesterdays slow news day leads to, “Improved comment functionality will be slowly added, including thresholds (think “voting”)… Ok, so traditionally “voting” means one person, one vote. But today, in the age of “The One” and his beloved ($4 Billion Baby$) ACORN, “voting” can mean many things. Tell us how you feel about this Hansi.

  11. Prof, cathar,roc, Ms Martta, Jerseygurl, Laserdoodle, Mellon, Statestreet, Nellie Wally, pokey, complainer et al…
    Nowhere, mon frere…but maybe that’s a good thing! 🙂

  12. “UPDATE: There’s also Millburn Patch.”
    Oh, that one looks terrific!
    Really, I don’t see any advertising, how will they make money?

  13. ROC. its national. If they come out #1, they will get bought out. Craigslist didnt charge for years and had no advertising.

  14. “Where do I sign up?”
    Sure. You can go directly to your local polling place and speak directly to any community activator, they have all of the necessary forms. No ID is required as long as you have a good story. In the event that the line is too long, you can go to any government building in your town. Municipal governments have been advised that they cannot turn anyone away. As a last resort, you can contact Chief of Staff Rahmbo, directly at the White House. You need to allow 4-6 weeks for delivery because Rahmbo, the WHCS, is a little busy commandeering the 2010 census and other government agencies.

  15. Wow i did not know the baristas pioneered the BLOG. Give me a break.
    Also, from what I can tell, Baristanet only covers one area. Patch seems to be a platform that will expand to any town in the world. Baristanet is not a platform.
    I think the poster who says patch is missing personality is missing the point. That would be like saying “moveable type” (the blog platform this site is on) is lacking personality.

  16. Well “patch” might be a platform but “Patch Maplewood” and “Patch South Orange” both lack personality. And, even differentiation.

  17. i agree they are pretty dull.
    Baristanet certainly doesn’t lack personality. I do admire Baristanet and rely on it for local news. I disagree with the lefty bias and the way in which they run the site/business from an operational standpoint.
    They could milk alot more profit from this site without detracting from its “charm”.
    Simply migrating to a scalable wordpress platform and replacing openads server with google’s ad manager would make the world of difference.

  18. WOW. Very insightful opinions on both the thumbs up and thumbs down side of the equation. It would be great if you guys could weigh in on my site which is currently being tweaked and really is in pre-launch. Please keep that in mind before your rip us to shreds. We are focusing in on personal development and empowerment via motivation and self awareness; inclusive of fitness and diet. Just a wake up call for all who desire such.
    Rick Doggett

  19. Local hyper search will grow into something big, however, it will be a little difficult to get it off the ground in the way that most see it. As more people increase the usage of mobile devices to point local and search for information, products and services we will see a positive impact. Only time will tell.

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