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Fwix, a web site that wants to give you a blend of traditional local news and user-contributed stories, has launched today with an undisclosed amount of funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm BlueRun Ventures.
Fwix’s stated goal is to be a “newswire for all things local,” sifting through mainstream local media sources, blogs and other social media sites — to bring it all to a single place for you at Fwix. If you visit Fwix, the site will serve you news relevant to your local region. It does so by detecting the location of your IP address — so if you live in San Francisco, it will show you San Francisco news (see screenshot below). The site features news from around the Web, but it also plans to let people submit news from their iPhones (via an application it says it expects to be approved by Apple this week).
There’s nothing earth-shattering about this approach. But at least it’s a fresh attempt to bring you all the local news you want in the most modern way possible — which means letting people supply news they are witnessing via their iPhones. There are lots of other news sites that try to tailor news on a local basis, including Topix, NewsVine, and even Google News (see Google’s San Francisco news). Some of them let users supply news remotely, but I’m not aware that any of them have a dedicated iPhone application.
Founder Darian Shirazi, 22, has had a fast moving career. He previously worked at Facebook, then started Fotodunk, which was acquired by iLike, where he worked for a while, before leaving to start Redux in 2007. He then founded FlikIM. Last year, he founded of Fwix, which we wrote about here when it launched. At the time, it was focused on taking local items from feeds from Craigslist and Yelp. It has since changed its focus to news.
San Francisco-based Fwix says it is is available in 80 U.S. and Canadian cities.
Fwix says it has 8 million unique visitors per month. However, traffic measurement company Compete shows the site gets less than 150,000 unique users a month. While Compete is generally considered to under-count the traffic of smaller sites, the difference here is more significant than usual and raises questions about whether Fwix really has the sort of traffic it claims or whether Compete has become completely unreliable. [Update: Shirazi has just shared his directly-tracked Quantcast data with me, and it shows close to 8 million people visiting the site globally. See below.]
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