A New Direction for Patch?

Patch.com, AOL’s golden child, is still expanding quickly, working hard to spend its parent company’s 50 million investment this year. At last count, Patch has about eighty sites throughout California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Each site is run by a single paid editor, writing out of the front seat of the car with a company-provided laptop, camera, smartphone and police scanner, like a cross between Edward R. Murrow and Inspector Gadget.

Patch’s “About Us” section still says that, in choosing future Patch locales, they will look for communities of 15-100k population that are drastically underserved by media.” Click on the “Jobs” page and choose from over 500 towns waiting to be fitted with a new Patch editor, from Wildwood, Missouri to Nauguatuck, Connecticut.

As of Thursday, though, Patch has also begun hiring editors to head new sites in the decidedly not underserved Brooklyn communities of Fort Greene-Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, and Park Slope. Personally, I was under the impression that Park Slope, Brooklyn already had a newspaper: it’s called The New York Times. But maybe this is just a smart move on AOL’s part, to try to snag some lucrative advertisers of strollers, yoga, and boutique baby clothes?

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner