Alan Mutter raises a good question on his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog.
"How could MSNBC.com have scooped the newspaper industry by buying Everyblock.com?"
The answer is simple, I think. The newspaper industry is running scared. Many companies are bankrupt. Others aren't, but probably should be. Others are seeing their revenues plummet and don't have the stomach for the big risk. Many company leaders are fighting defensive battles over ownership of their content. And newspaper companies generally don't see themselves as national players. They're a collection of local entities. MSNBC.com knows what it is: a global player.
I'm delighted to see Everyblock get the opportunity to expand dramatically. Who cares who owns it, if it's getting the support to spread?
The only issue I'm concerned about is that Everyblock was funded to be open source software by the Knight Foundation and I think it's critical for other local publishers to be able to use its tools to serve their communities.