Patch recently launched a redesigned platform on five of its sites on New York’s Long Island. The sites — Bellmore, Garden City, Levittown, Long Beach and Merrick — give Duluth Patch users a look at a test design that should go nationwide early next year.
The biggest change is the addition of "groups" — topic-specific news feeds that let Patch users choose the updates they receive on the customizable homepage. Groups now organize all news, content and information on the new site.
By following or unfollowing different groups, users can make the daily experience of taking in the news more relevant to their everyday lives. Click here to see the new groups feature in action in a video tour of the new site.
The major groups, like Breaking News, Schools, etc. — will be run by Patch editors — but users are also encouraged to start groups of their own. Members of a group can post their own stories, photos, events or just talk about news happening in the community.
All in all, the new site fosters a more collaborative community atmosphere that fits the way each town works from day to day.
By design, Patch users outside of the five test towns cannot post or create items on the test sites. This was done to prevent out-of-town content from filling up each of the sites, and to keep things locally relevant. Also, some features may change before the new platform is launched nationally.
Visit the Bellmore, Garden City, Levittown, Long Beach or Merrick Patch sites and let us know what you think.
What do you think of the new Patch? What features do you like or dislike? Let us know in the comments.