Emily Hess

Site URL: http://www.bensonhurstbean.com/
Type of Site: Hyperlocal New Site
Dates of Analysis: April 2-16, 2013
Location: Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY
Zip Codes Included: 11214, 11223, 11204

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Demographic Summary:
The Bensonhurst Bean encompasses the four zipcodes of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY. The majority of the residents are white. Approximately 52% of the residents are female, and 48% percent are male. The median household income in 2009 for Bensonhurst was $44,405, over a thousand dollars more than the average of $43,166 in the rest of Brooklyn. Regarding education, 31% of Bensonhurst residents fail to attain a high school diploma, 29.4% achieve high school graduation, or an equivalent of, but the next largest percentage is the 13.9% that have a Bachelor’s degree.
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Rankings from Alexa.com:
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Representation:
Bensonhurst Bean has a similar format to Sheepshead Bites because the editor and founder of the two sites is the same person, Nate Berke. Bensonhurst Bean has a formatted homepage, where everything has a designated place. The color theme includes the hunter green of Sheepshead Bites, but rather than the bright, attention grabbing orange, Bensonhurst Bean’s complimentary color is blue. The background of the site is green and the stories have the same green titles as Sheepshead Bites. It also has the story text an easy to read black.
Bensonhurst Bean relies on advertising for revenue. The color scheme of the sight makes the advertisements easily distinguishable from the news stories. The ads are placed in predestined locations. Bensonhurst Bean has a strip on the top of the page and four small blocks on the side of the page reserved for advertisements, less than the six side blocks that Sheepshead Bites has. The homepage displays the full news articles, rather than just the excerpts. The homepage displays up to ten news stories, including articles from earlier in the week. To view earlier articles, you have to click to the previous pages at the bottom of the homepage. All stories had photographs under the article title and before the text. I examined the homepages of Bensonhurst Bean I collected between April 2 and April 16, 2013. I screen-grabbed the top story each day for analysis. During this two-week period, the following was found:

Male
Female
Don’t Know
Totals
White
6


6
Black



0
Hispanic/Latino



0
Asian



0
Native American



0
Don’t Know
1

1
2
Totals:
7
0
1
8

Percentages:

Male
Female
Don’t Know
Totals
White
75%


75%
Black



0
Hispanic/Latino



0
Asian



0
Native American



0
Don’t Know
12.5%

12.5%
25%
Totals:
87.5%
0
12.5%
100%

The people represented are not in advertisements; they are only in stories pertaining to them or their location. Most of the figures in the pictures were either politicians or criminals. Many pictures were also of political buildings or landscapes and did not contain any people.

Production:
Bensonhurst Bean uploads new stories Monday through Friday and no additional articles are published on the weekends. Each story is accompanied by an image. The stories are not written by one person, but by a variety of contributors. The site is comprehensible and easy to navigate. It is relevant to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn residents. The advertisements are from local establishments and contained in designated areas, making it easy to distinguish between them and news stories. The types of advertisements displayed (charity events, car leases and local restaurants and cafes) are all targeted towards Bensonhurst residents because of their geographic location.

Sample Homepage:

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Identity:
Bensonhurst Bean has a section of their website developed to tell readers about the founding of it and why it should be their trusted local news source under the 'About' tab at the top of the screen. The goal of this hyper local news source is to inform readers on everything from transportation and development issues to upcoming events and the best restaurants in the area.It stresses its devotion to covering the diversity of the neighborhood by reporting on the news “that matter to its residents.” The goal of this news blog is not only to update readers, but to foster a sense of community among them. The editor and publisher, Ned Berke, is a college educated lifelong Brooklyn resident. He freelanced at local papers and established Sheepshead Bites, for his hometown, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in 2008 before founding Bensonhurst Bean in 2011. The other listed contributor is the head blogger, Laura Vladimirova, another Brooklyn resident. Because this local site that is dedicated to bring news that affect the people and is run by local Brooklyn residents who are acutely acquainted with the community, it is able to tailor and interpret the news that affects the community. This understanding and insight into the needs of the residents establishes it as a trusted local news source. Demographically, the majority of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn is white, and female, but the Bensonhurst Bean only represents men in their photographs, and mostly white men at that.
That may not be the paper targeting a certain demographic as it is reflecting the population. This hyper local online news source uses candid photographs. So, rather than a marketing technique, the white men may just be, in this location, more involved in the aspects of the community captured by the Bensonhurst Bean.

Consumption:
We can determine that primary audiences of the Bensonhurst Bean are the locals of the Bensonhurst, Brooklyn area based on the news stories and advertisements published
The majorities of readers are between thirty-four and fifty-four, with most between forty-four and fifty-four and have either attended some college or earned a graduate school degree. Unlike Sheepshead Bay residents, most readers in Bensonhurst have attended graduate school or some college. Those who only graduated college were highly unlikely to read Bensonhurst Bean. Surprisingly, most readers read from home, not work, were female and had no children. College students may be attending a college in a different area, so the news offered by Bensonhurst Bean would not be relevant for them while graduate school degree holders or those returning after spending some time in college, would be interested in the local news. Males are more likely to be represented in photographs in Bensonhurst Bean than females, which does not coincide with the higher percentage of female readers. The large caucasian readership is also reflected in the photographs since 87.5% of the subjects were white. Most people read from home and do not have children.

Regulation:
News stories are consistently updated every weekday, with the newest stories closest to the top of the page, making it easy for readers to see recent, relevant articles. Bensonhurst Bean offers options to receive updates through email, RSS feed or popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Subscriptions to their online newsletter are free. The site does not force itself into the private sphere unless the audience agrees to it. Otherwise, the site is free and easy to navigate. Most readers visit the site while at home, where they can visit the site directly or else through email or social media updates.

Evaluation:
The site demographics (Alexa.com) are similar to the coverage area demographics. There are more women in the Bensonhurst Brooklyn area, and more women than men read the Bensonhurst Bean. Most subscribers to the this hyper local news source have attended graduate school or attended some college compared to the average resident of Bensonhurst who is approximately thirty percent likely to have received an education below high school graduate and twenty nine percent likely to have attained a high school diploma. The largest age groups reading the Bensonhurst Bean in order of highest to lowest are those from 45-54 years old and 35-44. The average age of town residents is 37.6 years old for men and 42.2 years old for women. So, the average ages for men and women fall within the parameters of the majority of Bensonhurst Bean readers.
Compared to Sheepshead Bites, where a large percentage of readers do not graduate college, most readers of the Bensonhurst Bean attained at least some level of a college education, with the majority going on to graduate school. Bensonhurst Bean is formatted similarly to Sheepshead Bites. It provides clear, concise information that is relevant to Bensonhurst residents while also containing news headlines from around the country. This site condenses the news stories so that they are readable and comprehensible without sacrificing the informative nature of the story.

Bibliography:

City-Data.com. (n.d). Retrieved April 2, 2013 from http://www.city-data.com
Audience Demographics for Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Retrieved April 2, 2013 from http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bensonhurstbean.com
Advanced Audience Demographics for Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Retrieved April 2, 2013 from http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 2, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 3, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 4, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 5, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 6, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 7, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 8, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 9, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 10, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 11, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 12, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 13, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 14, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 15, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com
Bensonhurst Bean (n.d). Screen Grab Retrieved April 16, 2013 from http://www.bensonhurstbean.com

Geographic Reach:
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