Price Bruno
May 2, 2013
Com 100: Final Paper on Hyperlocal News

ARLnow

Site name: ARLnow
Site URL: www.ARLnow.com
Dates of Analysis:
Home page images: April 3, 2013
April 4, 2013
April 6, 2013
April 7, 2013
April 8, 2013
April 10, 2013
April 11, 2013
April 12, 2013
April 13, 2013
April 14, 2013
April 15, 2013
April 16, 2013
April 17, 2013
April 19, 2013

Geographic Reach: Arlington, Virginia (22101, 22201, 22202, 22203, 22204, 22205, 22206, 22207, 22209, 22211, 22213)

arl.png


Type of Site: Hyperlocal



Demographic Summary:



Arlnow_demographicsreal.jpg

advanceddemo_arlnow.jpg

Representation:

ARLnow is a website helping the Arlington, Virginia area to stay informed about local news. This website focuses only on the news occurring in the Arlington metropolitan area.
There is a border surrounding the homepage that changes every few days. The main news story for the day changes daily. There is a bar across the top with options including Home, Real Estate, Forums, Event Calendar, Service Directory, and Maps. There is also a “Search Articles” link on this bar. Above this bar is a changing text area that gives updates to the latest news whether it is about forums or forums, for example. Under the main bar, there are a few links to columns named, “Ask Adam”, “Beer and Cheese”, and “Legal Beat”.
There are five links on the top right of the homepage for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Email, and Blogs. This allows the website to further their content to other forms of media other than the website itself.
Nineteen advertisements run down the right side of the homepage. These advertisements are all local business advertisements or local event advertisements. Once the nineteen advertisements end, there is a space for upcoming events in Arlington and recent local real estate listings. Under those are the ARLnow twitter feed and then an archive calendar for the website.
Each story on the front page has a picture to accompany it. It also has a list of the tags on the bottom so you can search the article later if you wanted or if you wanted to see other articles with the same tags. The full story is given for each article. The articles all sit on top of one another, like a blog. As you scroll down on the homepage, you see articles that have been posted within the past few days, in order of most recent to least recent. Almost all of the articles are accompanied by a photograph pertaining to the content.
These articles don’t have a specific author listed. Each article says it is by ARLnow.com as their author. Each article also shows how many views that article has and how many comments it has.

Content Analysis:


Male
Female
Don’t Know
Total
White
33
11
0
44
Black
4
0
0
4
Hispanic/Latino
1
0
0
1
Asian
0
0
0
0
Native American
0
0
0
0
Total
38
11
0
49

Percentages:


Male
Female
Total
White
86.8%
100%
89.8%
Black
10.5%
0%
8.2%
Hispanic/Latino
2.7%
0%
2.0%
Asian
0%
0%
0%
Native American
0%
0%
0%
Total
100%
100%
100%

Production:

The news content in ARLnow is very up to date. Each day I visited the website, a new headline story covered the homepage accompanied by a new picture. Some days, the headline news from the day before was now in a smaller box above the main toolbar. The headline stories are all about local news, both soft and hard news content.
Each article says that the author is ARLnow.com and does not specifically list an author. This means that the ARLnow staff probably works together to create the content instead of giving each individual writer credit. Also, content is also user generated because anyone who visits the site can comment on the article are write in forums.
The advertisements stayed constant some days and if they weren’t the same, the old ones you could usually find recycled somewhere else, usually lower down on the homepage.
The boarder around the text helps the readers focus on the articles. As you read some stories, some phrases may be green and underlined, meaning they are a link to a similar story on the phrase. This makes it easy for a user to learn everything about a particular topic. Some articles are also imbedded with video clips, instead of pictures. Instead of reading, a user can quickly watch a short segment pertaining to the article.
Each article has space for commentary. This allows space for readers to ask questions, or their reactions from the story to one another.

Sample Homepage:
arlnow_4.11.13.jpg
Identity:

Scott Brodbeck, the creator of the website, aimed to distinguish his news site by providing readers with original, innovative, fresh news that is extremely up-to-date. His local news helps the Arlington community stay updated with a wide range of news in the area.
Readers can identify with this website very easily with its wide array of information. The website can reach many different readers. For example, some readers may strictly use this site to learn about news such as crime, while others may use it for it’s information on real estate in the Arlington area. The search bar also helps readers to look up exactly what they want information on. This allows every person in the area to identify with the website in their own way.

Consumption:

Consumers can use this website in many different ways. Some readers may want to just be updated on the latest important news in the area, in which they would just go to the homepage and read the bar labeled, “The Latest”. Others may use this website to get information on upcoming events in the Arlington area, using the calendar. Users may also use this calendar to look up past dates for important events or news. The website even contains a real estate link for users to research local real estate.
According to the data collected from alexa.com, consumers of this website are more commonly women, usually have a college degree, and are usually middle-aged. The site, however, shows a majority of men on its homepage. The demographics of the Arlington area do not match up with the fourteen homepage screen grabs I collected, either. This mostly has to do with reoccurring advertisements day to day. Although pictures don’t seem to match up with demographics, the news on the site does pertain to the audience. Since this website’s content is vast, the site reaches all genders, all age groups, and all ethnicities.

Regulation:

ARLnow is an independent website for local news and information. This website only produces only content within the Arlington, Virginia area. The advertisements are also local. When designing the website, this was the creator’s goal. He knew that there were many news sources out there, but noticed there was not much information on Arlington itself, just a few blurbs in a newspaper here and there. The creator of the website does generate profit through advertisements but is a trusted website in the area designed to provide thorough, dependable news to its consumers.
The homepage for the website is fairly long, giving readers a lot of information as soon as they visit ARLnow. The articles are all fairly consise and easy to read, which is beneficial to readers who just want quick, accurate news about the area.

Evaluation:

When comparing the demographics from alexa.com to the demographics of Arlington, Virginia, the two seem to match up with education level. Alexa.com reveals that a lot of consumers have college degrees. Alexa.com shows that a majority of the consumers are women, while Arlington, Virginia zip codes are usually about 50/50, and even one zip codes shows almost a 1:4 ratio of women to men.
Comparing the demographics of the Arlington region to the demographics taken from my fourteen homepage screen grabs, the demographics differ. There is a majority of white people in the homepage pictures, just like the demographics. The population of black women, Hispanic and Latino women, Asians, and Native Americans do not exist in the homepage screen grabs. I don’t think the sample is representative of the demographics of the region. This is slightly skewed by advertisements because some advertisements showed up multiple days in a row. For example, an advertisement with a dancing Caucasian girl was up for three of the fourteen days.
The news itself, however, does target everyone in Arlington, Virginia. The news and information has a large range of content so any person, no matter the exact demographics, can relate to the stories or can benefit from them.

Bibliography:

"Arlington County, Virginia (VA)." City-Data.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.

ARLnow.com - Arlington, Va. - Breaking News, Opinions & Community Happenings. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013.

N.d. Photograph. Alexa. Web. 2 Apr. 2013.

N.d. Photograph. GoogleMaps. Web. 4 May 2013.