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Outside.in is a company that aggregates and maps hyperlocal news. It was purchased by AOL in March 2011, reportedly for something under $10 million, so that its technology could be merged into the local site network Patch.
The company is based in Brooklyn and was launched in 2006 by Steven Berlin Johnson, Cory Forsyth, and John Geraci around an idea that local news should be organized spatially, and first and foremost by neighborhood. It went live a year later.
Outside.in publishes no original content, but instead aggregates local articles and blog posts based on their geographical cues.
The company licenses its feeds to larger news sites such as CNN.com, NBC Local Media, The Washington Post, and McClatchy newspapers. In 2009, it launched a platform allowing publishers to create and edit their own neighborhood-level pages of aggregated news, which more than 100 media companies have used. In 2010, it announced a partnership with the Journal Register Company to create a hyperlocal news and ad portal in Philadelphia. Outside.in’s CEO, Mark Josephson, has said the site “exists to drive traffic to and support local media sites.”
Outside.in raised more than $14 million in funding as an independent company, including investment from CNN. It charges publishers to use its service, though most of its revenue comes from advertising.
Bayosphere was a short-lived user-driven local news site in San Francisco. Bayosphere was launched in 2005 by former San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor and Michael Goff and received investment funding from Mitch Kapor and the Omidyar Network. Gillmor shut the site down in January 2006, and the site was bought later that year…