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Windy Citizen News Site Shutting Down

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago local news crowdsourcing site Windy Citizen is closing down this week.

Windy Citizen founder Brad Flora announced Monday that he has decided to close the Web site after four years in operation. He has already disabled new registrations, posting and commenting.

"There are many reasons for doing this, but the main one is that for some time now it has cost more to keep up than it's been generating revenue-wise," Flora wrote.

Windy Citizen has been targeted by spammers who have proliferated over time, and has suffered from performance issues that never really got solved, Flora wrote.

Besides that, social media have advanced by leaps and bounds in the four years since Windy Citizen, Flora wrote. He went on to identify an assortment other much bigger social media operations that are serving the purpose Windy Citizen once did.

"Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Everyblock, these sites do a great job of keeping people up to date on what's happening in the communities they care about," he wrote. "Reddit's city subreddits like r/Chicago were very small 4 years ago but now are healthy discussion forums with lots of helpful information. If you're not checking in there for your Chicago fix, you should be!"

Windy Citizen aggregated stories from the local media – from the Web sites of major print and broadcast news outlets to obscure blogs – and allowed users to vote them up or down in a fashion similar to Reddit. The Web site also featured original content, notably including Anna Tarkov's Daily Daley column on the since-retired mayor and City Hall.

Windy Citizen also featured several blogs dedicated to specific city neighborhoods, and blogs on sports, entertainment and an assortment of other subjects.

The Web site was the first to post a story that quickly ended up in the major papers and local newscasts – about a full frontal-nude portrait of Sarah Palin that appeared on the wall of the Old Town Ale House at the height of the 2008 presidential race.

Back in 2009, the blog FunSherpa held up Windy Citizen as an example of "the future format of news and information" in Chicago.

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