As user-generated content and social media continue to grow in prevalence and influence, The San Diego Union-Tribune is taking the term "citizen journalism" to a new level in San Diego with the introduction of sdBackyard.com.
SAN DIEGO (Business Wire EON) April 22, 2008 -- As user-generated content and social media continue to grow in prevalence and influence, The San Diego Union-Tribune is taking the term "citizen journalism" to a new level in San Diego with the introduction of sdBackyard.com.
"friends," community members and groups, with features such as the ability to upload stories, photos, videos and blogs - all with an emphasis on hyper-local content, some of which will be reverse-published in community-based publications. Users will also be able to find, rate and review stories, content and businesses.
"sdBackyard.com embraces the growing trends of user-generated content, social networking, citizen journalism and social media by giving users the tools to create and share content online, with the added benefit of reverse publishing some content into a print product," said George Bonaros, marketing director for the Union-Tribune. "It's the best of both worlds and utilizes our expertise in publishing, while demonstrating our evolution from a newspaper company into a multimedia company."
Bonaros also said consumers have an ever-increasing demand for social networking, social media and hyper-local content. Because of the demand for hyper-local content, the site asks users to register according to geographic location within the county. This information is used to offer stories, groups, businesses and more that are tailored to the user's location. At any time, users can also search for content from other areas of the county.
"The unique geographic targeting allows small businesses, nonprofit organizations, clubs and other community groups opportunities to promote themselves in print and online," said Bonaros. "From the local Little League to PTAs, Kiwanis Clubs, library reading programs and more, sdBackyard.com – through the use of consumer-generated media tools that also provide social networking value – is an interactive venue for branding and exposure, and to promote local events from bake sales and car washes to fundraisers and galas."
Weekly print publications, built off the user-generated content created and the online social networking tools, will be distributed on Fridays through a combination of home-delivery, packaged with the Union-Tribune, and free distribution at select retail outlets. The first print zone (consisting of Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway and Scripps Ranch) will be launched in June, with the launch of two additional print zones toward the end of 2008. Additional print zones may be launched at any time, pending the amount of content generated and interest received within specific communities.
The Union-Tribune Publishing Co., established in 1868, is San Diego County's leading local media company, with products reaching more than 60 percent of all San Diegans each week. The San Diego Union-Tribune, serving San Diego County, has Late Week circulation of 333,917, with more than 759,000 readers; Sunday circulation is 394,248, with readership of more than 935,000. The newspaper's Web site, SignOnSanDiego.com, is the leading online source for local news, entertainment information and classifieds in San Diego, with more than 35 million page views and 2.5 million unique users in a typical month. Other products include Enlace, the weekly Spanish-language news publication with the largest distribution in San Diego County, and Today's Local News, which distributes more than 70,000 copies in north San Diego County.