Davis Patch



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Davis Patch is a local news site associated with Aol and The Huffington Post presenting what they call "hyperlocal journalism," events, blogs, videos and more. It aspires to be a hub of local news and information in Davis. Tons of the content is delivered on Facebook and Twitter.

As of October 15, 2013, Davis Patch no longer has an editor or any local staff. Aol [WWW]laid off more than 400 Patch employees in August, so the company now has [WWW]three types of sites: Staffed, Lightly Staffed, and Unstaffed. Davis and all other Sacramento-area sites are now unstaffed. They'll only receive content from Patch headquarters and posts by users.

Former editor, JustinCox22, was a pretty friendly guy—and a good resource if you have a question about Davis you want answered. ([WWW]He departed in June of 2013, but the site will get a new editor in the near future). For example, when a wiki user e-mailed him after questions came up on the wiki about protesters against Mori Seiki over I-80, he did some investigation, wrote up a story, and [WWW]added the info to the wiki within a day. It's funny how sometimes one man gives the entire staff of The Davis Enterprise a run for their money in covering timely news.

The website consists of a full-time editor and a team of paid freelancers who produce the news content. That is supplemented by unpaid bloggers and commenters. The model (which is for profit) is similar to the Huffington Post's use of unpaid volunteers which has [WWW]been criticized in the past for publishing content written by professional writers who are not paid. The news ranges from university coverage and [WWW]city government to [WWW]arts and [WWW]entertainment. Stories are often told through [WWW]videos. Davis Patch articles have been known to reference and [WWW]link to the wiki. Davis Patch also has [WWW]business listings which are fairly thorough in their basic information but haven't yet been fleshed out with many reviews and opinions. Business owners/managers can [WWW]claim their listing and play a partial admin role on their page.

Weather: The site also has a nifty little drop-down weather indicator up at the top of the screen. Interestingly, it appears to get its weather from the [WWW]El Macero weather station, which is technically not in Davis (south of S. El Macero Dr., outside the Mace Ranch Country Club), rather than one located in Davis itself. In the summer it often reads a couple of degrees cooler than the other two stations in Davis (corner of Glacier and Olympia, and somewhere around Mace and Cowell).

$100K to Davis Schools:Davis Patch gave $100,000 to the Davis Joint Unified School District when Kristy Powell's family on Candy Cane Court won the site's [WWW]Deck the House contest in early 2012. Davis dominated the contest, getting about 4,000 more votes than the second-place house.


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2011-06-21 17:09:05   Seems like they're going after the for-profit version of DavisWiki. —jefftolentino

2011-06-21 17:12:56   BRB crowd-sourcing and making money off of it. —hankim

2011-06-21 17:20:21   The site says Davis resident, Justin Cox, is the editor for the site. I'd like to ask him how he thinks this site is different from the wiki. —jsbmeb Patch is different from the wiki in the regards that Justin doesn't get paid to contribute to the wiki... Daubert

2011-06-21 17:21:41   looking at a launched patch it's a web 2.0 crowd sourced semi journalist blog / yelp / for pay

looks like slapdickery targeted at mainstream people who don't know better —StevenDaubert

2011-06-21 17:30:47   More goodies from Justin Cox:

What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
Davis is a college town that was spun out of the rich agricultural land that surrounds it. That combination has turned it into a place full of incredibly smart people who care deeply about the health of the town and it’s future. The subsequent issue is: How do we grow responsibly?

False. Davis was a train town before it was a college town. Also, that should be "its", not "it's".

Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I feel that almost every news story in Davis can be traced easily back to two things: Downtown and the University. I think the health and vitality of both should be at the forefront of nearly every conversation. In turn, I’d prefer to see the town grow slowly inward rather than sprawling outward, as so many surrounding towns have done.

So, that agriculture thing... not at the core of news stories? The Davis schools — you know, the ones that people move here for — not at the core of news stories?

If he is to be the editor, then I am already not impressed. —CovertProfessor

2011-06-21 18:09:30   Here's the Dixon version: [WWW]http://dixon.patch.com/DonShor

2011-06-21 18:30:16   I emailed Mr. Cox and hopefully will get to hear his opinion soon. —jsbmeb

2011-06-21 18:56:27   From the looks of the Dixon Patch, it looks like the front page is devoted to news. It appears to be more of a local news site just from the front page. When I look at the business listings, it looks similar to a Wiki. However, the Dixon Patch seems to have a more organized look. The layout is simpler and more clean looking. You only see one photo and the rest of the photos are thumbnails. This is different than a Wiki where there are random photos of all sizes cluttering the page. In addition, the description of the business is kept simple and straight forward. On a wiki, descriptions of businesses are of all different layouts and are often too long to read through. If only the wiki were less cluttered.

What the Dixon Patch reminds me of is Yahoo Local. [WWW]http://local.yahoo.com/MaxLucas

2011-06-21 21:12:12   Reviews from other patch sites say they don't pay their "journalists" all that well. I'm thinking the Enterprise will still remain the career builder for local journalists. Still, maybe the competition will push the Enterprise to drop that silly pay-wall they snuck in the other week (I'm still bitter about that). —jefftolentino

2011-06-22 12:22:12   Hi, I'm Justin, the Patch editor. Sooo, the site is mostly news. Our reporting will be done by me as well as a group of local freelancers. Patch does feature a business directory, and the site is for-profit. An attempt to become the wiki would, in my opinion, be a foolish task to undertake. It'll be an online news and information hub and I'll be the main person reporting, but all are welcome to engage. It'll hopefully go live soon; maybe even today. At that point, please feel free to swing by and see if it interests you. santacruz.patch.com and berkeley.patch.com might be decent places to get a snapshot.

2011-06-23 00:58:16   If you've heard of Sacramento Press, it basically looks like the same thing. I just can't see it being useful, with sites like the wiki and Yelp. While the Enterprise may be lacking sometimes, they do cover all that is basically worth noting IMO. I don't think you can get any more "hyperlocal" than DavisWiki, though. Just saying.

Also, as a student journalist who is always actively looking for jobs, I have to say that websites like Patch, Sac Press, and Examiner (I'd say Patch seems a lot like it) have raised big red flags. They're just not reputable enough and reek that certain stench of exploitation.. —CecilioPadilla

2011-06-23 11:36:23   Love the animosity from the regulars. —AlexShenko

2011-06-23 16:30:23   So now that the thing is actually up and running, do you think we could take all these incredibly negative, snarky comments — posted before it was even online — away and dispose of them? Like, maybe give the site a chance? Let the editor prove himself? Geesh. —DonShor

2011-06-27 08:43:31   ( I read a NYTimes article about Patch and other companies they call content farms: [WWW]Google's War on Nonsense) —SueHjerpe Content farming is a good way to classify the sites, thanks for the link Daubert

2012-03-14 18:42:15   Anybody fine with archiving the comments from before 6/23/2011, when is when the site actually launched? They're pretty speculative. Seems more representative to start with the launch date, but I'm open to conversation. Also, I cleaned up the page today. If I blew it on any level, please let me know. —justincox22

I still believe that Davis’s identity is as a college town, even if it was a train town first, as you mentioned. But yes, I would change my answer: You’re 100 percent right about the schools. They should have been a part of my response. I knew they were an important part of Davis, but not to the degree that I do now. As a reporter here (not an analyst or columnist), I imagine (and hope!) my answer will evolve over time as I learn more and more.

I think it’s worth noting that by identifying one issue, I’m not discounting all other issues. Most of my reporting is guided by conversations with people who know more than I do about specific topics. I think that’s important to remember. That’s why my personal email and cell phone are so readily available to people. —justincox22

2012-04-04 21:44:45   Wow! I just looked at Patch seriously for the first time...there's a bit about my old hometown I didn't know about. To read the front page of Patch this evening, one would think Davis is being overrun with meth addicts. —jsbmeb

Like Davis Dirt is a great resource, put out by the MCNaughtons company, but has only enough space. Patch, if they hired some really good writers and editors could do a number on art gallery openings, performance art, dance, flash mobs, the sketch crawl, Barn theatre, street musicians, rockstar university, arb sales and tours...tons of stuff. you know this town, there's a lack of media coverage for stuff like that.
Users/GerogeSantayana PS: The patch was much better when it started, local coveragewise, maybe their budget got cut?

2012-09-10 21:49:42   Even if it is outdated, as a directory service, I would argue that Patch is actually superior. They have photos and extended information about mundane stuff like laundromats, that most Davis Wiki editors could give less than two shits about. Sure, Davis Wiki is superior in some respects, but it also has its disadvantages because it relies upon volunteer interests and motivations which are mainly interest-based and not very consistent. —ScottMeehleib

2012-09-10 22:01:27   Also, in my opinion, Davis Patch has actually been steadily improving in the last several months with the exception of recent weeks where editor Justin Cox had taken time off for vacation and paternity leave. Davis Wiki, on the other hand, still maintains steady popularity and good edits, but its "gnoming" base is steadily wearing away. Ads and massive uncalled-for-deletions run rampant here these days. Perhaps if you really care about fighting the corporate interests behind Patch, you could help clean house around here, George? :D —ScottMeehleib

2013-11-05 10:28:00   A few thoughts before this website likely dies entirely: Davis Patch itself didn't fail because of a lack of readership in town; it was an across-the-board move that claimed 450+ jobs within the company right after I left. (Whew!). I remember Patch getting blasted on the wiki right before it launched back in 2011 (comments above). From my vantage point, it was cool to watch people give it a fair shake after it went live, and many people warmed up to it. I truly feel like the site served a worthwhile purpose by quickly reporting local stories in short, easily consumed pieces. Teenagers and college students don't read newspapers, but it's important to keep them informed and they absolutely followed Davis Patch. The site reached casual consumers of news in their feeds and on their phones, and I think that made the town a better place.

Now that the site's just a boneyard of sponsored posts and national stories, I'm curious now how the media scene will shake out in town: Davis Voice, Davis Life Magazine and Patch are all essentially gone. Davis Enterprise and Davis Vanguard both serve audiences, but one relies on print subscriptions and the other, while smart, thrives off divisive political opinions. ISeeDavis, the Aggie and others are fine, but they're just supplemental pieces. The wiki and social media sites fit in there as well, but they often lean heavily on actual coverage. Either way, it'll be interesting to see where things go, in Davis and elsewhere. —justincox22

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