New Service Might Make You the ‘Town Wizard’

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So you want to become the local digital publishing barron but lack the tools, resources, know-how … essentially everything except ambition. Today it still might be possible to both invest little and still get decent returns. At least that’s the promise being made by TownWizard, a new service offering all the tools needed to create a local content site on the Web, iPhone and Android.

The service is meant to give local-minded entrepreneurs the tools to create destination sites with all the standard stuff – restaurant guides, entertainment guides, and so on – and a CMS to maintain and build it all. They also handle the process of getting the localized app through the Apple App store.

“The tech industry typically focuses on large metropolitan hubs, but entrepreneurs in smaller markets also recognize the extraordinary opportunity presented by mobile computing,” said Jeff Armstrong, a cofounder of the service, along with former AOLer Mike Ragsdale. “Google recently revealed that one-third of all mobile searches pertain to some aspect of the searcher’s local environment, and that creates the same opportunity in small towns as it does in big cities.”

The pair charges and initial setup fee (which gives you the exclusive “ownership” of that city) of $495 that gets you running with a Website, iPhone app and the Content Management System. After that it’s $195 per month.

The templates have lots of ad placement opportunities built and and the site owners have free reign to sell them.

We can see the value of attacking the small spaces not covered by Patch and and others, but it’s still a tough row getting traffic to those ads (and thus revenue). The sites that are currently up also leave something to be desired from a design standpoint.

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