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Fwix was a local news and information aggregator and search service.
The site was launched in August 2008 by Darian Shirazi with data from about 25 cities in the United States and Canada. It now serves more than 200 cities, including in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. The company is based in San Francisco and has 13 employees. It raised $2.75 million in initial funding in 2008.
Fwix automatically aggregates posts from local media sites, blogs, and review sites, similar to the hyperlocal site Outside.In. It indexes location based on a system that searches online text for mentions of locations.
The site includes a social media toolbar that allows users to share story after they’ve clicked through to an outside site.
Fwix’s revenue comes primarily from paid search and customized news packages. In 2009, it launched AdWire, a revenue-sharing advertising system for local bloggers. The shift was a move to better compete for advertising dollars and web searchers against AOL‘s Patch.
Fwix expanded its scope in mid-2010 to include status updates, events, weather, ad listings, reviews and concerts in addition to news, and launched a local search feature for that content in July 2010.
Fwix has released an API allowing other companies to integrate its news stream into their sites and apps. It has a partnership with The New York Times Co. to put its news feeds on each of the company’s newspaper websites.
In 2009, Fwix launched an iPhone app that allows users to submit automatically geotagged posts, photos and videos to its local feeds.
Video: 2010 video interview with Darian Shirazi
OpenFile was a user-driven local news site based in Toronto, with affiliates in five other Canadian cities, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, and Vancouver, and Halifax. OpenFile was founded by Canadian journalist Wilf Dinnick in May 2010. The site relied on users to direct its news coverage, inviting them to start a “file” (the site’s founders chose the term to…