CityVoter has partnered with SFGate to power the online newspaper’s new lifestyle section. Called the BayList, at its center will be CityVoter’s signature “best of” local pics from users of the site. This will include voting on 1,100 businesses in 80 categories, beginning Aug. 4.
SFGate is the online presence of the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle, the latest partner for CityVoter, which works primarily with TV and radio stations to power their city guides. The BayList has a sharp design that is a departure from SFGate’s relatively spartan look and feel. The new section should assist in beefing up SFGate’s content and social elements, given that it has traditionally lacked the levels of engagement of some online papers in comparably sized cities — like The Boston Globe’s Boston.com.
It could be a challenge for local mind share, given that San Francisco is an area where Yelp is rampantly popular. But SFGate could have a different readership demographic and a name brand advantage among more mainstream Bay Area readers. For a long time, it just needed better organization, features and social media. It’s been getting better, and this is a step in that direction.