A Local Business Network Puts the Community First

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The expanding public consciousness around movements for civic sustainability, green tech and social enterprise have spawned a new way of looking a local business communities as ecosystems that should work for the community good. Their unique challenge is coordinating hundreds of local advocates to collectively market and promote each others’ programs and campaigns…

As Online Shopping Booms, Will Amazon End Up Supporting SMBs?

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Amazon and the other large e-tailers and big box chains that have squeezed smaller retailers need to demonstrate a commitment to sustaining local retail as a community service. Amazon has won over the consumer, their next challenge is to win over the small business community simply by helping them making more money…

What Local Causes and Businesses Can Learn From #GivingTuesday

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Building the advocate network for #GivingTuesday simply entails authorizing and amplifying the social media feeds of #GivingTuesday partners, who were receptive, and often enthusiastic to act as local voices for the movement. The same methodology would be used to develop advocate networks for any cause, by providing a simple means to give local influencers and organizations a way to reach their constituents…

The Local Sharing Economy Is Here (But Scale Will Prove Difficult)

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Every iteration of things that can be shared, from baby clothes to power boats, has been picked through by college students who have been steeped in the gospel of Zuck and turned into a local service set to scale. The problem, however, is that almost every startup gets stuck at city one. The reason? If the sharing requires some sort of physical exchange of goods or services, then it requires the commitment of two people who live close to each other to complete transaction. And they need to find each other even though the just-launched app won’t reach critical mass for a long time…

Grasping for a New Way Forward at Local Media Conferences

At several recent conferences, the overriding, anxiety-producing theme has been the development of new revenue models for media — whether from foundations to support nonprofit news services, or from advertising, or from something else. But the disquieting fact is that a cure-all response to what ails local media can’t be identified…

Bundling Local News With Amazon’s Shopping List

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Combining local news with shopping is the perfect entree to courting SMBs into Amazon’s affiliate program, which surprisingly accounts for 40% of Amazon’s total revenues. That replaces expensive local sales teams with affiliate support call centers. The promise to SMBs is simply inclusion in the shopping lists. Amazon with news is no longer just a purchase destination, it becomes part of daily living…

How Crowdfunding Is Changing the Way Local Causes Raise Money

Crowdfunding projects are a form of content marketing, a way to inform a reader about an organization and compel them to give without subjecting them to an explicit sales pitch. It fits in with what donors say they want from the causes they support — more results and less solicitation.

Non-Profit Indies, One-Time Successors to Local Media, Face Funding Woes

You think traditional broadcast media like TV and radio are struggling with depleted revenue models as audiences move to online screens? Consider those who were already depleted: Community broadcasters on cable access TV and local radio. These folks face even greater challenges with sparse audiences, a limited to non-existent revenue model, and funding from foundations drying up faster than fresh rain in the Mojave Desert.

In the Era of Networked Local Journalism, Everyone Can Contribute

A big opportunity exists for local publishers and media networks to curate and aggregate everything happening in a locality. This is the journalism of inclusion. If local contributors are curated and authorized to post in real time, content distribution is more efficient. As readers learn to understand this format, local media starts to look more like a community bulletin board, with users expected to factor in the credibility of the posters…

Can the New Model for News Be Found in Networks?

“The old economic model is disintegrating faster than new alternatives are emerging,” former Seattle Times executive editor Mike Fancher told Street Fight. “While things seem to be falling apart, I am optimistic that new models will develop. Some will be for-profit; others will be non-profit or public. There may be new hybrid models as well. “