EveryBlock, lauded as one of the “early pioneers of hyperlocal community news and information” has officially shut its doors for good.
The site, with a strong presence in major U.S. cities dating back to 2008, began under a $1.1 million grant in the first-ever Knight News Challenge in 2007. Ownership shifted to NBC News last summer, Poynter reports, after it acquired full control of Msnbc.com.
With little fanfare or advanced warning, regular users of EveryBlock–which included a site dedicated to Boston–were met with a notice saying their services had been shuttered, titled “Farewell, neighbors.”
We’re sorry to report that EveryBlock has closed its doors.
It’s no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there’s an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been able to build an engaged community over the years, we’re faced with the decision to wrap things up.
Thank you for having let us play a role in how you get your neighborhood news. Thanks for the contributions, for the questions, and for allowing us to connect you to each other, in many cases to make great things happen in your community. Along the way, we hope we’ve helped you be a better neighbor.
The comments below the post–now hovering around 200 and counting–as well as on Twitter are a mix of sadness, disdain and good-riddance. A growing number of people are voicing displeasure that the site is closing without any warning.
“I understand that the Everyblock community is disappointed. So are we,” Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer of NBC News told Poynter.” We looked at various options to keep this going, but none of them were viable. It was a tough call to make.”
I spoke with Tony Longo, founder and CEO of BlockAvenue, about his reaction to the sudden closing. BlockAvenue operates in very much the same space that EveryBlock did, providing uber-local block by block reviews “on every street, corner, block, alley, avenue and neighborhood.”
“We were big fans of EveryBlock. This news comes as a great surprise to us,” Longo told me. “We hope to learn from this event so that we can implement those EveryBlock features that users loved so much.”