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Jan 12 2006
Do Blue Balloons Signal Death for Yellow Pages?
Blogger David Galbraith is being credited as the first to discover that Google is beginning to offer blue �Adballoons� on maps, which for now appears limited to hotels in New York City. One of Galbraith�s basic conclusions is that this application will help tip print Yellow Pages over the edge into oblivion (my words, you can read his).

I think it is fair to say that map-based advertising is potentially a pretty big deal and a direct threat to Yellow Pages publishers. The list of threats is getting pretty long at this point, and yet the industry is still standing, wounded but not yet destroyed.

While map-based advertising is a higher-level threat, I stop short of buying the argument that this will be the bullet that finally fells the beast. If I can switch metaphors, perhaps this is cut No. 216 of the 1,000 required to cause death. I doubt whether the 1,000th cut will ever be administered, at least within the time frame many appear to be suggesting.

One fact worth noting is that, so far, the only participants in the adballoons product are national hotel chains. When it comes time to include local businesses (think restaurants, health clubs, dentist offices, cleaners and the like), who will bring these relationships to Google? The local sales channel may not be the impenetrable armor that some suggest, but it remains an unrivaled advantage.

Nonetheless, this is a development that directory publishers have had time to anticipate and should take seriously.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  16:05 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006
IPTV Article of the Day
The Washington Post�s Leslie Walker penned an interesting post-CES piece today about IPTV.

From the article:

No single company put everything together into a magical product at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but you didn�t need much imagination to connect the booths and see the Internet TV networks of the 21st century struggling to be born. The unmistakable theme was how video is moving over the Internet onto home televisions and mobile devices in ways that will finally allow consumers to talk back to their TVs, much as they have been interacting with Web sites for the past decade.

This is a point we have continually raised about the benefits IPTV will bring to consumer targeting and advertising. The interaction or pulling in of on-demand content will not only serve users in innovative ways, but will also give networks, service providers and advertisers invaluable, detailed information about what viewers want and exactly where they are. The inherent advantages of IP technologies over cable and satellite will allow this tracking�as they have done on the Web�as Walker pointed out (and as we have in the past).

This point she makes is also intriguing:

Basically, IPTV allows multiple layers of video, pictures and text to be mixed with video feeds in ways viewers can control with their remotes. It�s the old interactive TV vision�point your remote at an actress on screen and up comes her name, prior credits and perhaps a �buy me� button for her blue sequined dress.

The big question is: How will all the moving parts come together, such as content creation and aggregation, hardware integration, service providers, monetization strategies, and advertising sales channels (or perhaps self provisioning).

An interesting read and a primer for many IPTV issues we�ll raise at the upcoming Drilling Down on Local conference.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:18 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006
Ads on the Map
John Battelle points to an Andy Beal post pointing a Pamela Parker ClickZ story about Google putting sponsored links on the map itself. (Click one of the blue �pushpins.")

We knew this day would come (and have been talking about it at the past several conferences). Yahoo! has been doing a version of this for some time with its sponsor �icons."

Consumers will want some version of this and so it doesn�t risk destroying the user experience if it�s handled thoughtfully. Indeed, we would expect to see more of this as maps become more and more central to the local search experience.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  14:19 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006
LiveDeal Announces Program for Nationals
Free local classified provider LiveDeal announced a new program, AdTarget, that permits national brands and large advertisers to target its local users across the U.S. and Canada.

This represents a new revenue stream for LiveDeal, which has been creatively diversifying as a technology platform and developing an affiliate network, in addition to being a consumer destination site.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  14:07 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006 Traffic Continues Growing
Here�s a release that reflects continued traffic growth at Interchange Corp.�s destination. The company said that for the month of December 2005, reached 6.9 million unique visitors and over 33 million page views, up from 5 million unique visitors and 21 million page views in November 2005. has been adding content partnerships as well as new features to try and get ahead of the torrid pace of product development in the local search market.


Update: is adding content into results. Here�s the release.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  13:58 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006
Not So Fast on the Newspaper Obit
Shawn Riegsecker, president of local media buying agency Centro, wrote a thoughtful commentary in MediaPost (reg. req�d) that argues online editions of local newspapers are far from dead in the water and represent desired inventory from an advertiser perspective. I tend to agree, but there are still some big �ifs� looming.

Yet as has been empirically established, local newspaper sites have reach, consumer brand affinity and the most desired type of online content�news.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  13:45 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006
SuperPages Extends Distribution to MSN Local
I got word today from Verizon that SuperPages advertisers (horizontal links across the top) will appear in MSN local search results. This is an extension of Verizon�s existing relationship with MSN, which provides the listings for MSN Yellow Pages. Verizon has been working aggressively to expand its network, as have other online Yellow Pages publishers.

Also very recently announced an expanded distribution relationship with Yahoo! very much like this.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  13:36 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 12 2006
WSJ Roundup of New VoIP Phones
The Wall Street Journal (sub. req�d) has a piece today about the mainstreaming of VoIP through handsets that look and act like traditional cordless phones:

A slew of new phones are heading to stores aimed at the millions of people who might like to try Internet calling but are put off by the prospect of sitting at a computer to make calls or hooking a phone to an adapter.

Some of the new phones from makers like Panasonic, Motorola Inc. and Uniden America Corp. have built-in adapters and are preset to connect to popular Internet-calling services like Vonage and Skype. They communicate cordlessly with a base station that�s plugged into a computer or modem. Other devices will be able to shuttle automatically between operating as cellphones, cordless home phones or phones capable of working over the wireless Internet connections at many coffee shops and hotels.

As VoIP become less like technology and more about just making cheaper calls�when you add Wi-Fi-enabled phones there�s additional incentive�it becomes an increasingly mainstream phenomenon.

We wrote about VoIP and its implications last year. The expanding VoIP universe will be on the agenda at Drilling Down �06.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  13:19 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

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