Tim Armstrong, Google’s president of advertising for North America and Latin America, is underwriting a new startup called Patch, which plans to put small teams of journalists in communities all over the country to produce hyper-local news content
Patch describes itself thusly:
Simply put, Patch is a new way to find out about, and participate in, what’s going on near you.
We’re a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities.
We want to make your life better by giving you quick access to the information that’s most relevant to you. Patch makes it easy to:
* Keep up with news and events
* Look at photos and videos from around town
* Learn about local businesses
* Participate in discussions
* Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
This is an entirely old idea, one that has been tried dozens of times by dozens of startups and newspaper companies alike. Heck, I suggested exactly this in a speech to the newspaper industry back in 2000. But then again, it’s very rarely the first that wins, its usually the one with a slightly better execution who shows up at the right time. After all, Google wasn’t the first search engine, was it?
The site has this to say about Tim Armstrong’s role in the company:
Polar Capital Group, Tim Armstrong’s private investment company, is an investor in Patch. Polar invested in Patch because Tim believes that Patch should be in every community in America, and wants Patch in his town. He wants to read local news stories done by journalists, make sure that local government is transparent and accountable, see all the ways he can give back to his community, and have his town be as interesting and alive online as it is offline. Tim is also a believer in American ingenuity and knows that products like Patch will help deliver a commercially viable way for communities to support the important work of local journalists, institutions, governments, and businesses. Tim works at Google and his family lives in a Connecticut patch.
More on Polar here.