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RTNDA session on going local

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., one of the RTNDA sessions is going to be on "Going a new direction." The focus, according to the RTNDA Web site, is to "redefine what is news online and leverage technology to draw in new audiences and revenue."

One of the panelists, Cory Bergman, is director of digital media for and in Seattle. He's also a Lost Remote blogger who I've been following for the last year.

One of the big things he's going to be discussing is local aggregated blogs. He's created one for Seattle called Citizen Rain. Local aggregated blog sites pull in the feeds from blogs done by people in the community who are writing about event and happenings within their communities.

I first learned about these aggregated blog sites at an RTNDA session last year. I was so captivated by WKRN's Nashville is Talking that I set out to create a basic aggregated blog site for Broadcast Engineering, called the BE-Roll.

Brittney Gilbert, who previously managed Nashville is Talking is now out in San Francisco working on an local aggregated blog site for CBS5, called Eye on Blogs.

I talked with Brittney recently about the aggregated blogs. She said the idea came from industry consultant Terry Heaton. (I highly recommend his blog, which along with Lost Remote are two of the blog feeds included in the BE-Roll.) The idea of a blog aggregator is to reflect the thoughts of the community.

"A lot of people aren't watching as much TV," Brittney told me. Online is the place to offer news and create a community -- a place for people to come and stay longer. The blog aggregator helps improve the stations ability to get people to linger on the site longer. And Brittney says that "the stickiness of sites is becoming more important for ad sales."

The number of hits will always be important, but as the online ad sales market matures, there will be more focus on how long you can keep those eyeballs on your site. A local blog aggregator may be one tool in retaining visitors.