Worcester City Hall. Photo (cc) 2015 by Dan Kennedy.

Congratulations to Mark Henderson, a Worcester media entrepreneur who’s celebrating the fifth anniversary of The 016, a news-oriented social-media platform for the city and surrounding communities. The platform draws on media outlets in Worcester and beyond, and — crucially — is non-algorithmic, which means that readers can customize their feeds and news organizations don’t have to spend money in order to move up in users’ feeds. It’s a free, advertiser-supported site.

Henderson, a former top editor at Worcester’s Telegram & Gazette, recently talked about what The 016 (a reference to Worcester’s Zip code) has accomplished in a video conversation with Worcester media figure John DiPietro. Over the past five years, Henderson said, The 016 has received 17 million email opens, 13 million click-throughs to other media, 6.7 million video views, and 4.5 million clicks on the site’s own original news articles.

It’s a fascinating idea, and if you’d like to know more about how it works, I wrote about The 016 for Nieman Lab in 2019.

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