Last week, we noticed a new entity in online local news manifest almost out of thin air - one day, there was nothing and the next was an aggregated news site for all St. Louis related news called RealTime/St. Louis. We had an idea what team might be behind this from some similar projects of theirs in the past... so we reached out to Heath Harris, Creative Director at Infuz, for a little background on their most recent St. Louis focused project.
You remember STL Tweets and STL Index? In a way, those were R&D for this project. Our owner Jason Fiehler has always been as interested in producing our own, original digital products as much as turning out great work for our clients. This one is different. It is less about a "let's see what we can do" passion project and more about actually "doing it." Meaning, this effort has many more resources behind it, along with a sustainable long-term vision.
I see RealTime/STL as a localized news source built for the digital era. Think of it as taking the best aspects of traditional local news reporting, mixed with the immediacy and relevance of a facebook feed, with a streak of social influence for good measure. Our team of curators and editors are constantly monitoring every source imaginable, from local tv news websites to instagram for anything of interest to St. Louis. To do this, they use a platform we designed and developed from the ground up, called Tacklr. So it's a mix of machine and human determining what gets curated and published to the site.
What sets this apart from your traditional local tv and newpaper sources is the freedom we have to publish anything we want. We are not beholden to the "if it bleeds, it leads" approach that many news outlets have to adhere to in order to attract the most eyeballs for their advertisers. We can publish a video from YouTube that maybe only has 150 views right next to the front page story from stltoday.com. In our RT/STL world, both pieces of content are valuable, if they are about or from St. Louis. We want to share the best stories and posts, regardless of source, as long as they are relevant, important or entertaining to us and our neighbors in the metro area.
Read More about Real/Time STL after the jump.