The sites in 10 cities move out of beta and now offer a variety of social media functions in addition to news and entertainment coverage.
NBC Local Integrated Media today introduced the commercial versions of its 10 city Web sites, that it says are designed to better feature its unique around-town, entertainment and news coverage and “create an even deeper connection with users through innovative social media features.”
Originally designed as an alternative to the traditional TV station Web site format, the “Locals Only” sites were launched in beta in October 2008 with a “focus on capturing the real-time pulse of the city.”
Emerging from beta, the enhanced sites invite users to become a bigger part of the conversation by contributing content and sentiment that impacts and influences the Web sites.
“This is an exciting next step in the ‘Local’s Only’ brand strategy,” said Brian Buchwald, senior vice president of NBC Local Integrated Media. “Our beta focused on the cities themselves, creating an online source of information for the true city insider. Our next phase focuses on the communities behind those cities, giving our users a voice and creating a platform that is a true reflection of our local residents.”
Featuring a more streamlined design, the sites include a variety of social media functions, including a “mood rating” application that allows users to convey the overall mood of their city.
Locals weigh in on how the sites’ content makes them feel, whether it’s “thrilled,” “furious,” “intrigued” or “sad,” among others. Each site provides frequent status updates for the particular city, highlighting what Philadelphia is laughing about, what thrills Chicago or what intrigues New Yorkers, for example.
NBC Local Integrated Media partnered with Code and Theory who assisted in the redesign effort.
Another new feature, “SoMyCity” gives locals in each market a way to share their daily experiences through personal photos and commentary. Users submit their local moments in three areas: “Confess,” “Check It” and “What The?” The moments can be posted directly on the sites and via Twitter or e-mail. And after they’re published, the moments can be shared easily on Twitter and Facebook. The most popular moments, voted on by fellow users, are displayed on the homepage and other prominent areas of the sites, further reflecting what’s top of mind for that city.
Since their launch, NBC says, the “Locals Only” sites have seen an increase in Web traffic, with unique visits growing from launch through June ’09, increasing from 5MM to 20MM uniques.
Links to the NBC “Locals Only” sites follow:
Los Angeles: www.nbcla.com
New York: www.nbcnewyork.com
San Diego: www.nbcsandiego.com
San Francisco: www.nbcbayarea.com