TBD preparing to launch: Dining in DC is ready for liftoff!

The much anticipated new ‘hyper-local’ news project in Washington, D.C., TBD.com is projected to launch in just a few days after nine months of preparation.  The Washington Post article ‘In crowded pool, TBD aiming to make waves‘ by Paul Farhi, quotes Robert Allbritton, CEO of Allbritton Communications, behind TBD by saying “Right now, [getting local news on the Web] is like trying to buy groceries in the old country. First you went to the fishmonger, then to the baker, then to the grocer. It worked until someone said, ‘Why don’t we create a supermarket and put it all together in one place?’ ”

The online content will be paired with content from their sister TV stations ABC’s WJLA and NewsChannel 8 and will serve as a ‘supermarket for news ‘ by putting all local news together in one place.  Of course TBD won’t be able to cover everything themselves, so they’ve partnered with 129 blogs in their ‘network’ including Dining in DC which will be part of TBD’s Dining section and will be providing original content with restaurant reviews, news, and events coverage.

At launch only 70 blogs will be included in their directory, including Dining in DC,  which are those that joined before June 30th. The remainder of the blogs added after the cut off date will be added shortly after launch. The 129 blogs that are currently in the network will be monitored by TBD through their RSS feeds. The editorial team at TBD will select articles posted through the network. All content will not automatically be aggregated.

The ‘Home page’ will serve as a dashboard by featuring recent content from the other pages, such as sports, news, entertainment, the list, and will also include in the dead center listings from ‘my community’: content from local blogs from the last 72 hours (see photo above). On the home page, there will be a small feed of 3-4 articles taken for the my community page. The user will have the option to save up to 5 zip codes of their choosing and the home page will be optimized according to their local specified settings.

iPhone Traffic Drive Times TBD application

In addition to the website, TBD will have mobile apps for the iPhone and the Android at launch. Jim Brady said that after launch they will roll out mobile apps for the Blackberry and others. The apps will be heavy on utilities like traffic, weather, and metro.

Laura McGann from the Nieman Journalism Lab attended a media preview of the TBD launch and shared an interesting six reasons to watch local news project TBD launch next week.

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