Open source software changed the landscape for the entire computing industry. Rather than commoditizing software completely, it actually made software development easier and more productive. I see tremendous parallels in the publishing industry today.
What if local publishers changed their strategy to focus exclusively on engaging and connecting their community at large? It still requires the great content that they create daily, but also a powerful and relevant search experience for users, more calls to action, and a more native and engaging mobile experience.
The proliferation of online directories and directory services has made the local business owner’s life harder. It means more places to manage vital information and more third-party providers that control access to directories. Between the time and effort required to manage aggregators and the volume of citations, few small business owners do it themselves. As a result, the only stakeholders that truly know what information is authentic often are left out of the conversation.