I had a few issues with unit 1.10 on the #FLCoummunityJourno course offered by @C4CJ. This session was all about your audience. It was stats heavy and layered with data.
It's all about storytelling, isn't it?
I've always been a qualitative rather than a quantitative type of guy. Never mind the length, etc.
I appreciate that BIG media has a lot to gain in understanding the twaddle of demographics and ABC groups. The uncertain future of building a business around the reliance of the free market means that BIG media needs to know who it is talking / selling to to.
Me, we, etc.
Oliver Doerle from the Office for National Statistics presented a thoughtful video, exploring the possibilities of gathering information about your audience from his organisation. Phrases such as "harvesting" and "free data" featured.
I personally take the approach of creating and they will come. If you publish content that is relevant to your hyperlocal patch then the magic of Google juice will work you up the rankings.
You can obsess endlessly over stats and user figures. This then leads to more overriding questions about what you are trying to achieve with your hyperlocal.
Is it simply chasing web stats? Or would you rather reach members of your community to help inform them about local issues that they would have otherwise missed?
Sure, the stats help to point you towards the demographics, but if you don't know the composition of your own community then perhaps you are publishing in the wrong patch.
Oliver ended by stating:
"The Office for National Statistics is an unrivaled source of information."
I would rather be chasing stories than looking at who is living around me. #localgov meets remain the true unrivaled source of information for any hyperlocal. If you can't come out with at least half a dozen leads to last you through the week then you are probably more of a stats rather than a story led sort of person.