AOL's DigitalCity goes after Gawker crowd

Taking the name of a dial-up-era AOL brand, the new blog aims for "a local slant, but global appeal." Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work, at least not yet.

Digital City screenshot
Is this a local news site or a celebrity gossip blog? I can't quite tell. AOL

Maybe it's just because it's Monday morning and I've had only one cup of coffee, but I'm not quite comprehending, the latest in a parade of bloggy new sites from AOL.

A press release describes Digital City, which gets its name from a very vintage AOL brand, as "a new approach to geo-blogging by showcasing original content with a local slant, but global appeal." In other words, it's stuff about nightclubs in Vegas, concerts in Portland, and New York vs. Boston rivalries that are written so that you don't have to actually live in one of those cities to get what's going on. I suppose it's supposed to be in contrast to the insidery SFist or New York magazine--more like Gawker, which is New York-centric but pulls in traffic from around the world.

Unfortunately, it's disjointed, and that's something that advertisers, in addition to readers, will likely note. A post about great grilled cheese restaurants (one in Colorado, one in L.A.) precedes one about John McCain's ties to the gambling industry and then one about Segways. And the most recent post right now informs us all that it's Zachary Levi's birthday. We all heart Zachary Levi (he's the title character on sitcom Chuck, not Bristol Palin's fiancé, FYI--that's Levi Johnston), but this blog still doesn't exactly have a clear vision.

AOL can back it up with a ton of non-blog content, like its city directory and local news sites, but I can't really see how that would fit into DigitalCity.

Oh, well. Better luck next time, AOL.

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