Community Generated Acts of Kindness

“Smart mobs”, the title of Howard Rheingold’s 2002 tome, is a term first used to describe group activity coordinated by real time communication technologies; in 2002, it was cell phones. Fast forward a decade and smart mobs have evolved into powerful societal infrastructures that use cell phones, cell cameras, Twitter and Facebook to overthrow North African governments and occupy […]

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The new local apps as lead gen machines

The typical online strategy for small business is to set up a website, a Facebook page and maybe a Twitter account to broadcast the day’s deal or menu item. The marketing method is essentially passive like traditional advertising; it requires that customers find the sites, usually via search engines, offline knowledge or a referring link. […]

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Demanding accountability in local advertising

The Business Insider report that local merchants can purchase a Google Adwords ad at 1/10 the price on Patch.com’s rate card, and still get Patch.com placement isn’t a revelation. It confirms the reality of excess premium inventory that plagues traditional media display advertising, and the ease of gaming the media buy system to get the lower rack […]

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How to become a first time online entrepreneur

The biggest occupational trend in the restructuring of the economy has been the newly minted entrepreneur. The media regales us with stories about the new startup incubators like Y Combinator, and the success stories of their progeny. All roads to developing a new business point to leveraging the Internet with some sort of social, commercial […]

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The Shared Economy is Local

The new shared economy being ushered in by startups like Airbnb, Relayrides and Toolspinner is creating new marketplaces where locals can rent their own rooms, cars and tools to their neighbors. Coined “collaborative consumption“, this new trend enables the efficient consumer sharing of resources and goods that are used on occasion as an alternative to outright ownership and […]

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The problem with local advertising – it’s ugly

Advertising is an eyesore. Sao Paulo, Brazil, the world’s 7th largest city with a population of over 12 million, embarked on a policy of billboard free zones in 2006, and according to Good Cities, the masses are happy without the “visual pollution”. Billboards notwithstanding, local advertising – TV and radio commercials, newspaper ads, online banner ads […]

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The Renaissance of the Local Photographer

The elevation of standards in local marketing imagery is creating new opportunities for local professional photographers, above and beyond events like weddings and school pictures. A year and a half ago in September 2010, MacUser’s Dave Stevenson lamented the “Tragic Demise of the Professional Photographer,” suggesting that photographers were being disintermediated by online stock libraries […]

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Will microlocal work?

The default local community bulletin board of Web 1.0 was Craigslist. The second generation, including Topix and Outside.In (now a part of AOL), pioneered hyperlocal news aggregation to construct a feed-based local newspaper — but these companies’ main challenge has been to nurture local conversations around news. Topix in particular has been able to develop active forums at a […]

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Jeff Jarvis broaches the subject of Realtors as Community Media Hubs

Last week at Inman Connect, a real estate technology conference, Jeff Jarvis discusses two ideas we believe in: 1) Real estate professionals can leverage their networks to become hyperlocal media resources. And by doing so, they benefit from building the community networks they need to source referrals for their real estate business. 2) Real estate […]

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New ideas for Patch.com

Although Patch is growing its reader base, the company still seems to be struggling with thetraditional banner ad based business modelfor three simple reasons: 1) lower local demand for banner ads due to new marketing options like daily deals, social media and SEO marketing, 2) limited readership for publications serving small local markets, and 3) outsize […]

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