Locally Grown NewsThis project sets out to create a complete infrastructure, to be franchised, for those who want to launch hyperlocal news sites. Services will include a Web platform, software development, market analysis, some content, and legal and marketing assistance. Such an infrastructure, says former MytopiaCafe.com editor Michelle Ferrier, will permit citizen journalists and community members to “focus on what they are most passionate about – building their community conversation through good local information and networking.”

Sunny News for LocallyGrown

November 10, 2011 Michelle Ferrier

LocallyGrownNews.com, a hyperlocal, hypertopical online community about local food founded by Elon University Professor Michelle Ferrier has expanded to Florida, opening its first franchise site in Tampa Bay.

Ferrier came to Elon from Florida, where she developed and managed a hyperlocal online community for a mid-size newspaper. From the lessons learned, she pitched the idea of a community news franchise to ... Read more...

Locally Grown News featured by The Patterson Foundation

November 3, 2011 Michelle Ferrier

Locally Grown News publisher Michelle Ferrier was featured in a blog post by the New Media Journalism initiative, associated with The Patterson Foundation. Ferrier’s “hyper-local,” “hyper-topical” model for her news site fits into the New Media Journalism initiative’s goal of promoting networks of engaged citizens.

“The idea of building networks to help build community is a key part of our work ... Read more...

LocallyGrownNews.com Tweaking Interface, Sending First Email Newsletter

June 21, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

I officially launched LocallyGrownNews.com last week after a month in soft launch where I invited close friends and collaborators to take a look at the site. I’ve gotten great feedback regarding the design and I love how the community members are front and center on the site.

Last week, my developer and I tweaked the site to add the popup ... Read more...

Soft Launch Updates

May 28, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

I’ve been knee deep in launching the platform and doing promotion. We’re still in the *soft launch* mode, but fleshing out content now that the semester has ended. A few updates…


What is LocallyGrown News?

April 19, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

LocallyGrownNews.com is an online community and mobile application designed to foster conversations around the locavore movement. A locavore is someone who eats locally grown produce within 50 miles of their geographic location. LocallyGrownNews.com uses the eating locally movement to generate conversation around sustainable, healthy lifestyles.


Soft launch mode: Talk it up, sign folks up

April 19, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

I’m going into soft launch mode with LocallyGrown News this month. By rolling out the beta version of the hyperlocal online community through private invites to selected users, I can get feedback on any design, content, architecture or function elements of the site…and still have time for adjustments!

My goal is to use local Earth Day events to distribute information on ... Read more...

Deep into development on site/mobile app

March 19, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

I’m deep into development of LocallyGrownNews after a quarter of brass tacks business development and planning. With partnership agreements in place with an online community platform and one in progress for a mobile application developer (no, they are not the same), I’ve been trading logo designs, wireframes and ideas for the mobile app with my virtual team(s).

February has also been ...

Project Report

January 14, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

Former MytopiaCafe.com editor Dr. Michelle Ferrier, one of three winners in the New Media Women Entrepreneurs awards,  has been working to develop a complete infrastructure, to be franchised, for those individuals or groups want to launch hyper-local news sites.  Ferrier is an associate professor at Elon University in North Carolina and teaches in the iMedia graduate program.

She reports ...

Reflections on Slow News Movement at JTM-PNW

January 10, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

After several days at the Journalism that Matters -Pacific Northwest gathering, we’ve been asked to reflect on what ah-ha moments, actions and emotions we’ve developed during our time. One of the most intriguing ideas to come out of the JTM session I hosted on Locally Grown News was the idea of slow news.

The first ah-ha moment for me came ...

New Year, New Name, Fresh Start for Hyperlocal Incubator

January 7, 2010 Michelle Ferrier

So here I am, back after a brief hiatus, taking Locally Grown News on the road. I’m roadtesting the concept of a “sustainable journalism incubator” at the Journalism That Matters “Reimagining News & Community in the Pacific Northwest in Seattle on January 7-10.

The concept of an incubator morphed from the franchise idea. Why? The goal is to create a ... Read more...

communityQ: A content management system with a social networking feel

November 9, 2009 Michelle Ferrier

Creative Circle Advertising Solutions has worked in the newspaper space for years, doing consulting work for mid- to large-circulation newspapers on content and design in both online and print products. The Chicago Tribune’s triblocal.com is built on their flagship citizen journalism platform CommunityQ.

And CommunityQ powered the now defunct hyperlocal site for Volusia and Flagler counties – mytopiacafe.com—that I ... Read more...

Village Soup: A robust, hybrid community news platform

November 5, 2009 Michelle Ferrier

Founder/President Richard Anderson has a vision with Village Soup. I heard him a while back at a Journalism That Matters conference where he described his Knight News Challenge grant project . It seems he too is a philosophy in search of a platform.

According to Richard, the Village Soup concept ...

Neighborlogs: A Blog Platform with a Community Feel

November 2, 2009 Michelle Ferrier

The platform, now in private beta testing, has been running centraldistrictnews.com for about two years and capitolhillseattle.com for about 1 ½ years. Neighborlogs actively began soliciting beta testers in spring 2008 and is adding about two to three new sites each month.

Justin, who runs the capitolhillseattle.com blog, lives the placeblogger life, building the platform ... Read more...

Fostering civic engagement in digital spaces

October 16, 2009 Michelle Ferrier

Michele McLellan, a fellow at the Knight Center for Digital Media has started a conversation she calls “civic engagement 2.0″. She’s examining the tools and best practices that journalists and other news providers can use to foster civic engagement in digital spaces.

In her recently revised post on civic engagement 2.0, McLellan asks some important questions. 


Demystifying Advertising in Hyperlocal News Communities

October 6, 2009 Michelle Ferrier

Two hyperlocal efforts described their advertising strategies in a recent conversation sponsored by the Journalism That Matters collaborative. Tracy Record of WestSeattleBlog.com and Barry Parr of Coastsider.com discussed the advantages of ad servers, pricing, and some do’s and don’ts of ad sales in the hyperlocal space.