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What is a Patch, Anyway?

Los Angeles Times feature provides some insight.

In my meanderings around Concord, I get asked several times a week, “What is Patch?”

I usually confine my answer to Concord Patch and talk about community news on a web platform, and the opportunity for readers to comment on stories and get in a dialogue. And “et cetera,” I say. “Et cetera.”

On rare occasions, I let my “et cetera” go on to corporate Patch, opening hundreds of local web sites around the country — but not throughout the country. A lot of California and Washington, but no Oregon, for instance.

Patch is going through “growing pains,” which is in the headline of a Los Angeles Times piece by James Rainey about Patch this weekend. I think James nails some of the Patch problems and potential. Take a look.

One thing Patch tries to do is provide transparency through links to different sources on a story.

The LA Times article also mentioned a Patch achievement in our own Back Forty: Patch shed some light on a city candidate’s embellished resume in Hercules in recent weeks. The candidate won anyway.

Concord Patch highlighted a couple Hercules city stories in the last week and they were avidly read (and one of those bouncing across the link to Hercules was Concord Vice Mayor Ron Leone, he told me).

For the uninitiated, go the Concord Patch main page and click on the “Change Towns” doohickey at the upper right. That can take you to Hercules or — with a few more clicks — Union City or Temecula or, if you want to go nuts, to Concord, Massachusetts. Or Concord, New Hampshire, which is supposed to launch in the next few weeks.

Other than the “Change Towns” feature, you can also go to the bottom of the Concord Patch main page and see the “Nearby” section with the lead photos from the four nearest Patches: Walnut Creek, Clayton, Martinez and Lamorinda.

There’s no telling what all you’re going to find.

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