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Oct 16 2006
Centro's Spin: Online Newspapers Outreach Portals
It is depressing for online newspapers that Yahoo! and other portals generally outpace them in their own communities. But not so fast, says Shawn Riegsecker, a founder of Centro, an ad network dedicated to localizing ad buys for national marketers, such as GM.

�Any of the four portals have over twice the reach of a newspaper Web site in any community,� Riegsecker says. But according to comScore, "roughly half the portals traffic is made up of utilities such as Technologies/Applications/Mail." When this is stripped out to allow for an apple-to-apple comparison of content traffic, "guess what? The local industry, mostly made up of online newspapers, actually beats the portals from a reach perspective.�

Riegsecker acknowledges �the incredible advantage the utilities� traffic gives the portals over the online newspaper industry with regards to reach and available inventory for sale.� But he adds, �it's a compelling reason for newspapers to do whatever they can in their communities to begin beefing up on as much utilities, applications and other services to increase 'usership' and inventory available for sale.�
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Peter Krasilovsky at  18:50 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [1]

Oct 16 2006
NAA's Melinda Gipson Joins GateHouse (Too)
GateHouse Media, a rollup of community newspapers and shoppers operating in 285 markets, has hired Melinda Gipson from the Newspaper Association of America�s New Media Federation. Gipson has been a cornerstone of the New Media Federation since February 1995 � 11 years. For much of that time, she partnered with Rob Runett, who left in April to join The Motley Fool.

Gipson�s contribution has been a major one. She hand-coded the association�s first Web site, wrote key books on how to sell online advertising (with analysts like me), and immersed herself in the development of newspaper ad networks, community building efforts and lately mobile content strategies. She has been a forceful and effective advocate for newspapers in every forum, whether inside the industry or in advertising forums.

At GateHouse, which is about to IPO, she will join other industry luminaries including Howard Owens, former online leader at The Ventura County Star and The Bakersfield Californian. Heading the online operation is Bill Blevins, who previously ran online ops for CNHI, a counterpart to GateHouse that is largely based in the Southeast.

A major part of Gipson�s new job will be the development of national ad and editorial capabilities. Initially, she plans to focus on bringing other community media companies in as GateHouse partners. �You don�t have to buy everyone� to work with them, she says. While local remains vitally important for the papers, they can leverage off of national services too, she says. �They need to connect to a bigger brand.� She will also be evaluating technology and tools for the company.

Is Gipson part of a newspaper industry brain drain � even though she, arguably, is just moving to "the growth part" of the newspaper industry? She doesn�t think so. While the list of people who have left mainstream newspapers is growing, Gipson says they are the ones who best understand the strengths of the newspaper industry and end up acting as ambassadors, just like former McKinsey consultants often support McKinsey assignments in their next jobs.

�Look, Hilary Schneider has taken an important job at Yahoo!. But she is working with newspapers on creating a job network,� notes Gipson. She hopes to play a similarly positive role.

Beth Lawton is filling Gipson�s shoes at NAA. Lawton will play a big role at the upcoming Connections Conference in Las Vegas Jan. 28-31.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Peter Krasilovsky at  18:48 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

Oct 16 2006
Localeze in Deal With ADP
I was at the Association of Directory Publishers meeting in Virginia last week. There was the usual bread-and-butter how-to content (distribution efficiency, for example) plus a little of the usual red meat incumbent bashing for the independent publisher faithful, though I might add a bit less than usual.

On Friday afternoon, ADP announced an arrangement with Localeze (formerly Amacai) to offer ADP members the option of reselling its search engine optimization in a box tool for SMEs. Essentially, the idea is to sell the SEO tool to YP advertisers for roughly $100, about $75 of which the publisher keeps (in rough terms). In exchange, Localeze will increase the advertisers' odds of appearing higher in local search results on Google, Yahoo!, MSN and so on.

The deal was positioned as complementary with other ADP partner members, many of which are offering various flavors of IYP platforms. That point is certainly true; Localeze is not offering a platform. One concern I did hear expressed was whether the Localeze solution might make sense for a small publisher not currently offering IYP or with an unsuccessful existing product, perhaps to the exclusion of a platform play.

What will be interesting to see is whether the marketing profile and access to the ADP membership this deal provides will make a difference to Localeze's efforts to penetrate the independent market. If so, we may see more of these marketing partnerships with associations.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  18:04 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Oct 16 2006
LinkedIn Joins UGC Directory Field
LinkedIn, the service that greases the wheels of virtual networking, is extending that concept to the Yellow Pages, by offering a directory of local service listings, with a layer of social networking. Here is a write-up on Red Herring.

LinkedIn says the move is not about creating a rival to the A-Z Yellow Pages, since LinkedIn is only focused on a narrow set of categories for which consumer recommendations matter. Of course, this overlaps the bread-and-butter Yellow Pages categories, like attorneys and tradespeople.

LinkedIn is entering a crowded category, with all the existing Yellow Pages players, plus the myriad user-generated directories like Insider Pages, Judy's Book, Yelp and so on.

LinkedIn sees its obvious edge in the existing 7.7 million installed base of members who are already networking with one another on this and that. Adding the ability to swap tips on who gives the best deal on Botox injections or bathroom remodeling (or both while we're at it) seemed like a natural extension.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  17:49 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

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