This month marks the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Broadstreet is based in New Jersey, so this is a particularly strong memory for us.
Last year, the day before the storm, just as the winds started to pick up, we rolled out free editable ads across our East Coast publishers with an "Emergency Alert" heading. The idea was that these ads would allow publishers to stream live updates (from Twitter, Facebook, or SMS), covering the storm in real-time at the hyperlocal level.
With so many small communities to cover, Sandy was a time that local news displayed its power. In many cases, local news sites were the only authoritative source in town for up-to-date information on which stores or gas stations were open, who had power, which roads were blocked, and where you could find a few watts to charge your cell phone.
It truly demonstrates the power of local independent online news, as not only (a) the new form of an outdated print media, but (b) a platform which can deliver quality news to the public quicker than ever before.
We're happy to be a part of it all, and on this one year anniversary, happy to reaffirm our commitment to online news publishers now and in the future.