Hyperlocal in Chicago

Gleaned from I Want Media today:

Chicago's Sun-Times Unveils Hyper-Local Online Service
The Sun-Times News Group's new Web site features a drop-down menu for users to access news in their local community. Tabs along the left-hand side of the home page send visitors to Roger Ebert's movie reviews, blogs, video, classified sections, the Yellow Pages and more.

For what it's worth, I hate the design. And in the admittedly limited poking around that I have done, they're not fulfilling the essential mission of being hyperlocal: Connecting with a community beyond (or below) the big news, and facilitating connections within that community.
Granted, how to successfully fulfill that mission remains a work in progress for us.
But just aggregating local stories to a single page does not make it hyperlocal in my book. The only mechanism the Sun-Times is using to signify that you are on a hyperlocal page is changing the logo in the upper left to match the publication that covers that area. There is no sense of place otherwise: No resource links; no map; no local conversations taking place in forums, polls or otherwise. No local blogs either -- at least none that I could find... the only blogs I encountered I reached from the Chicago page, and they all, more or less, are what you'd expect of major-metro blog fare.
And why put AP video on a local page? Looks as if they were simply trying to fill out their online-only module. Fair enough, but it does more harm than good, because now all of the hyperlocal pages look less distinctive content-wise.

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