Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 145: Bethesda Patch – Community News Blog

Since the start of this year, I have begun frequenting blog sites.  Surprised?  Probably not.  But the bigger question is, have you?  Blog sites are far more than on-line diaries.  Many blog sites have become forums for important news, corporate announcements, political information, public opinion and some are just plain fun.  The focus of Bethesda365.com is to serve as a resource for people relocating to Bethesda and for locals looking for the inside track on Bethesda’s businesses, community events, historic places and fun things to do and see in our town.

Their Logo

But one of the blog sites that has truly caught my attention lately is Bethesda Patch.  Bethesda Patch is a local news-based blogging platform with an Editor, Erin Donaghue, and a team of freelancers and other staff.  You can check out their About Us page for details. But what I did not realize until recently is that Bethesda Patch is one of hundreds of “Patch sites” (roughly 800 to-date) in several states throughout the country and is owned by AOL Inc.  In fact there are 52 Patch sites currently in Maryland alone!  Their goal is to place professional journalists in smaller towns, particularly those towns underserved by local media, and encourage community participation in the blog site so that it serves as a forum for up-to-date news, events and information.

The community-specific local Patch sites provide visitors with an opportunity to comment on articles, post events, advertise and share photos and announcements.  The concept is an interesting one.  While I still tend to turn to news channels, newspapers and other traditional resources for the latest events in the world, the Patch site has become a nice resource for local information.

Love the tuft of grass in the logo

In an April 27, 2011 news article by Federica Cherubini of editorsweblog.org, she states that AOL’s Patch hopes to recruit 8000 bloggers in upcoming days.  The article further states, “Local editors will reach out to community members, including frequent commenters, to get them to contribute their views and there will also be a way for people to suggest their own articles”, paidContent wrote. As the community members won’t be paid, their contributions will be distinguished from Patch’s editors’ articles by different graphics.”

In his article, Analyzing Patch and the need for hyperlocal news, Blogger Brian Manzullo writes that he appreciates the fact that Patch emphasizes small community news and that the sites have a “goal of being an engagement hub, not just a news source.”

If you want to get “Patched In” as they say to our local Bethesda site, you can sign up to receive updates and breaking news via e-mail.  I encourage you to check it out and see for yourself what the hubbub is all about.  Just don’t forget to stop by yours truly, Bethesda365.com every once in a while too!       ~Amy

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