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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tribune: Hyperlocal website EveryBlock to be resurrected

EveryBlock.com
This was crossposted to The Sixth Ward late Wednesday night. Then as we go into early Thursday morning EveryBlock is now live! As a result there will be some changes to this place!

We wrote about them last month and as it turns out its return will come much sooner than at least I had thought. They were coming just had little idea when.
EveryBlock, the hyperlocal website shut down last February amid financial losses, is returning from internet limbo.

Comcast, which had seemingly pulled the plug on the neighborhood news site for good, is relaunching it Thursday in Chicago, hoping to reconnect with its users and revive its fortunes in the challenging hyperlocal space.

For nearly a year, the Chicago-based site has offered a static apology/eulogy to former users and the curious alike: “We’re sorry to report that EveryBlock has closed its doors.” Soon it will be crackling with blurbs about restaurant closings, building break-ins and community events, sating the need to know on a block-by-block basis, ending what executives are now calling a “hiatus.”

“It was extremely popular,” said Comcast spokesman Jack Segal.

“Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and each neighborhood is unique, and people want to know what is happening down the street.”

The site’s resurrection comes six years to the date of EveryBlock’s original launch, a propitious coincidence, according to Comcast executives.

Naperville native Adrian Holovaty founded EveryBlock in 2007 with the help of a $1.1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation designed to encourage the development of digital news. The website went live in January 2008 in Chicago, San Francisco and New York, eventually expanding to 19 markets.
Interesting ownership history in this article. EveryBlock was a startup and began I believe as the website ChicagoCrime.org. In 2009 the site was acquired by NBC Universal and overseen by their property MSNBC.com and then ultimately NBCNews.com until finally that division shut EveryBlock down last February. Now Comcast - who owns all NBC properties - will now operate the site.

BTW, click the link to their website under the EveryBlock logo now it's to a teaser page. The last time I visited that site when it was initially announced that the site will be revived, there was still the noticed that the site was shut down.

In any event I look forward to bring back the Blotter page to this blog which contained the nifty EveryBlock widget. Hopefully they will consider bringing that tool back and it was much better than having a simple feed in the sidebar. In a post on their official blog where they initially introduced the widget there is a page for widget control which doesn't appear much different than the tease page, but hopefully that means the widget is back!

Hat-tip Curbed Chicago!

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