News can be found all over the internet, but Patch helps visitors find articles that pertain to their local area. Patch identifies itself as a “community-specific news platform.” Visitors can refine their search for news updates based on where they live or locations they are interested in. Other features allow visitors to participate in ongoing discussions, learn about businesses in their local area, and view photographs and video media.
The minds behind Patch possess an admirable amount of experience in media. President Warren Webster has eleven years working in media, which includes positions such as the Director of Magazine Publishing for Garnett located in Westchester, New York, Vice President of Material Media, and executive positions with Morris Communications Corporation. Editor in Chief Brian Farnham held the same position with Time Out New York magazine prior to joining the Patch team. Overall, those working on the Patch website have helped to build it up to become a reliable source for local news media.
Patch makes it easy for users to find news they find the most relevant, because it is going on in their community. By refining the search, Patch can help users learn about events and developments that they should know about. While doing so, Patch also allows users to communicate and give input through discussions while learning about local businesses and organizations.
The Patch website offers a very sensible design that helps enhance the user’s experience. Rather than wading through a sea of advertisements or flashy clutter, Patch users can get right to the point by selecting their area and reviewing news. The homepage is complimented by the easy going Patch logo in green, matching the general mellow color scheme of the entire website. The news pages are organized well with enough white space to make everything readable. Tabs across the top of the news page give the user total access to navigate from one main topic to the next.
Registering for Patch requires a little bit of navigation, but nothing difficult. New visitors can move to the page for their desired location. Once there, a green “Sign Up” link can be found in the navigation bar at the top right hand corner of the page. A white pop up box requests a name, email address, and password. The newsletter opt-in box is automatically checked, so users should remember to un-check it if they do not wish to receive email updates. After submitting the information, the new user is sent back to the original community news page with a note that a verification link has been sent and must be clicked to complete registration.
News can be obtained all over the internet for free, so naturally Patch offers users this service at no cost. There is currently no premium paid account option. The site includes many handy features, but nothing worth a monthly subscription payment. Although no word has been made as to whether this will change in the future, for now Patch offers a valuable service to its users at a great price anyone can afford: free!
Anyone who lives in the areas covered by Patch can appreciate the simple news browsing offered by the site. The main problem is that the site is currently extremely limited in its scope. Only a few states are featured and even among those states, only a very, very small number of communities are covered. Although this may change in the future, for now anyone living outside of these areas may not find Patch nearly as interesting as those living within them.