The Patrika Group, which has the publication Rajasthan Patrika, has revamped and repositioned their website reports Afaqs. News coverage will be from across 50 cities, where they will promote the site as well. City specific sites are also in the works. Some numbers: they claim 27 lakh pageviews a month, and around 20 percent NRI traffic. More at Afaqs.

With just 20 percent NRI traffic, I wonder why they decided to switch from Hindi (see this) to a bilingual format. Perhaps that’s where they expect the money to come from…it still looks rather odd – Patrika.com has its segments listed in English, and most of the content is in Hindi. To be honest, I’m not one for bilingual content: if the same site has parts in English, and parts in Hindi, I really don’t see how that adds to the usage – only limits it to those who understand both languages.

What I liked most about Patrika.com is the city specific coverage – visit this page and a mouseover Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat reveals really niche content from cities like Sehore, Barmer, Karauli, Betul – towns that I’ve never heard of. There isn’t enough content on each city or town, and they also have city specific message boards. I doubt whether local advertisers will bite, though. Should be interesting to see one of the local classifieds businesses – the newly revamped Quickr, for example, tie up to power local classifieds for such sites.

Local Advertising
At the recent “Future of News” conference, Arvind Kalia of Rajasthan Patrika group spoke about the effort they put into building local local advertising – of first increasing coverage from small towns and cities, and then – bit by bit – bringing local advertisers on board. The first advertisers to come on board where local private educational institutes and small retailers, followed by government bodies and politicians publicising their achievements. A tedious process that, but the investment they put in over the years is now paying off. National level advertisers and agencies, he had said, just weren’t interested.