We claim to be into the local movement, but are you really supporting local?

Lately, there have been quite a few things popping up about local, local, local. In some regard, even Target is “local” … they employ local people, pay local taxes, and at times, give back to the local community. But at the end of the day, all the profits go to the big bad headquarters, right? Yup.

I recently saw this link on the Patch. And it got me thinking. I’ve known for a long time that the Patch is actually owned by AOL. Did you? No where on the “About Us” section does it state that. Instead, it stresses local. Which is what AOL set out to do. They employ locals and encourage a “community” but still, at the end of the day, the profits don’t stay here. At least with the newspaper, they are part of a privately held small-ish (relatively speaking) company based down in Norfolk, Va.

Who, of the “news” sources are truly local? Eye On Annapolis, What’s Up?, and the blogs. I may be missing someone, so I encourage you to let me know (and I apologize in advance.) Just remember, every time you click on one of the sites, both the big guy and the little guy, you support them. You give them another number for their reporting… which gets put in a report for advertisers and for the giants, their corporate headquarters.

And while we’re on the topic of local, it’s the same thing with the daily deal sites. LivingSocial and Groupon are major companies with billions of dollars in funding. At the end of the day, the money goes to DC and Chicago, respectively. They employ one or two people locally (with LivingSocial, maybe more because they’re in DC) but really, all the money leaves town.

As an alternative, you have LandmarksGreatDeals, the Capital’s Group Deals, and Wonderdeal with What’s Up? (Another post comparing them all coming soon.) The irony is that I’ve noticed a lot of the independent business owners are striking deals left and right with the two major groups and yet I’ve seen more chains and franchises pop up on the local, independent sites. Perhaps because the small guys are more flexible to work with, I don’t know? (I know with big companies, like the popo, you have quotas.) But it’s there. I see it, I pay attention and I’m here to call BS on the people who love to claim “local, local, local.”

So when we sit back and think about it, are we really supporting local? From the news source we read to where and how we save money, are we really keeping as much money in our community as we could? Or are we sending it off not knowing that there’s an alternative in our own backyard?

5 thoughts on “We claim to be into the local movement, but are you really supporting local?

  1. Don’t forget Chesapeake Family and ChesapeakeFamily.com, lots of news for local parents and tons of local family stuff. Started in Annapolis by an Annapolis mom and still growing with local writers. Some great blogs too – all local.

  2. Excellent point about LivingSocial & Groupon not being truly “local,” despite the fact that they do feature local deals. That said, isn’t the major incentive for participating retailers to gain new customers? If they succeed in making a good impression with a customer’s first visit (via LivingSocial or Groupon), theoretically said consumer will return for the full-priced deal. Sort of the same idea with restaurant weeks, as I understand it.

    That said, still very much looking forward to your post on all the local deals options.

  3. I would like to point out that your city government is still very much local. Many city governments claim to be “local” but have actually turned to companies in countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, and Delaware to run their municipalities. Here in Annapolis, we rely on home-grown solutions to problems that we have cause ourselves, right in the old U.S. of A. You don’t get much more local than that. By the way, speaking of What’s Up Magazine, what’s with the absence of categories that people REALLY care about? How about Best Mayor, Best Public Information Officer Who Does Not Put Out Only a Couple of Fire Department Press Releases Per Month, Best City Government Within Annapolis City Limits, Best Coverage of City Council Meetings, or Best Market House Where No One Has Died Within the Past Two Years? Those are all viable categories that people want to see!

  4. I sent you this on email, but I should have posted it here. Don’t forget about SpinSheet Magazine, created by two Annapolis natives in 1995, and PropTalk, conceived in 2005, both important sources of local sailing, boating, fishing, and waterfront lifestyle news every month and daily on spinsheet.com and proptalk.com.

    The Bay Weekly is also a grassroots Annapolis news source.

  5. Pingback: Has Patch Hit A Rough Patch? | Eye On Annapolis

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