The wonderful community news website, Everyblock was shut down by NBC News today. Everyblock was the epitome of community reporting and discussion. You want to talk about your neighborhood, Everyblock was the place.
Why was Everyblock shut down? Poytner published a note to the NBC staff from the Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer of NBC News. Here’s a segment:
As we continue to grow and evolve the NBC News Digital portfolio, we are focused on investing in content, products and platforms that play to our core strengths. The decision to shut down the site was difficult, but in the end, we didn’t see a strategic fit for EveryBlock within the portfolio.
Shutting down a useful site because “it doesn’t fit in our portfolio.” Please. At least sell Everyblock. By not selling Everyblock, NBC News has left many people alienated from the connections they made with others in their community.
If Everyblock doesn’t fit in their portfolio, then I don’t like the NBC News portfolio. I am currently boycotting all the products in the NBC News Digital portfolio
Please join me in the NBC News boycott:
- Nightly News with Brian Williams
- Meet the Press
- Newsvine.com (If you are going to dump Everyblock, why keep Newsvine?)
Some people are asking me, “what’s Everyblock?” It was the best community site ever. It’s the site that gave us super cool crime maps of chicago. It gave us localized reporting by the block. I could get news if anything ever happened on my block, like if there was crime ON MY BLOCK.
Everyblock scanned all the government databases and made the data available to everyone based on your location. It took all the restaurant inspections and made them available where I could look up a local map and see if any restaurants failed. Everyblock had local community forums that were extremely active. Not those forums you visit and nobody is there.
Everyblock jumpstarted movements toward open data and custom maps. That’s Everyblock. That’s the Everyblock that NBC News decided to kill.
By the way, Everyblock still appears in their “portfolio” Maybe they need to update their website.
Clearly NBC News has no interest in helping our local communities by keeping Everyblock around. Instead of deleting it from their website, maybe they should just put a big red X over it and say, “screw you, people in the community!”