A 'Community Service Model' for Hyperlocal | Street Fight

A ‘Community Service Model’ for Hyperlocal

A ‘Community Service Model’ for Hyperlocal

Patrick Kitano is a guest author. If you’d like to submit a guest post, click here.

Hyperlocal media needs a new business model that does not rely on the centuries-old practice of hitting up local merchants for advertising dollars. In my previous post on Street Fight, I argued that local publishers have relegated the business community into an “advertisers ghetto,” even though it’s really the business (and nonprofit) communities that have the greatest incentive to contribute local content related to their livelihood. When merchants and civic organizations produce content for local publications, they develop their brand, engage their community and, as a result, market themselves. This new hyperlocal model would serve the business, nonprofit and civic sectors by providing the free open source media they need to deliver news and promote their agendas inside the community. Call it the community service media model.

The current hyperlocal business model:
1) Publishers hit up the local business community for advertising to support operations — a model that is perceived to be broken.
2) Content is generally produced by journalists, not sourced from the business community, due to inherent advertiser conflict of interest. For example, if one restaurant can write about the foodie scene in their city, other restaurant owners will also want the same privilege. The advertising model will break down as merchants boycott the publisher based on perceived favoritism.

Hyperlocal-as-community-service model:
1) Publishers provide the business community free marketing and advertising. Special focus can be placed on publicizing good causes and civic organizations.
2) Publishers solicit content from the community, particularly from local merchants. Any restaurant owner can post articles/social media commentary on their city’s food scene, Realtors can discuss the real estate market. Publisher selectively provides access across all social media, including Twitter and Facebook, to contributing local writers and businesses.

Why the hyperlocal-as-community-service model works:
1) The key is on-the-ground management. The publisher can be anybody, individual or group, who wants to build a local media presence that will complement their “day job.” For example, Realtors and insurance agents can be publishers, and leverage the extended networks they build through their local media resource to do more transactions.
2) The business community, bombarded by sales calls from local media ad reps and daily deals vendors, now have alternative media to market themselves free. Community service media is disruptive because it puts advertising power into the hands of the advertisers.

How does the hyperlocal-as-community-service model make money?
1) Building a local media resource can cost less than $1,000 using curation and aggregation tools, and blogging platforms. A number of web design firms like Media Street Apps have developed hyperlocal media templates.  It’s surprising more locals aren’t doing this.
2) Hyperlocal publishers can be aggregated into national networks similar to Patch.com. Although local advertising can be provided free of charge, in aggregate, a national hyperlocal networks can create new revenue models that extend across the cities in the network. For example, a national chain like Home Depot might sponsor Home & Garden sections that include directories of local Home Depot contractors across the network, and share associated lead generation revenues with the network and local media owner.
3) Daily deals and other pay per performance systems can be automatically syndicated across hyperlocal networks based on deal geolocation, providing affiliate revenue streams.

Patrick Kitano is founding Principal of Domus Consulting Group, an advisory for social commerce and social engagement solutions, and administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of Media Transparent, and contributor to Social Media Today, Daily Deal Media, and The Customer Collective.

22 thoughts on “A ‘Community Service Model’ for Hyperlocal

  1. Great thinking, Patrick. Seems like StreetFight is almost taking this very same approach! 

    We do something very similar at MainStreetConnect.us. We reach out to our communities for content, free advertising and other items they can contribute that will help us and them. In return, we ask for little. Maybe a gift card we can use for a giveaway to their restaurant, or business – furthering our connection to the community and helping drive customers through their doors.

    It’s simple and easy for community news sites to do this. It helps build the bridge between the people and businesses of the towns you serve and helps create a vibrant online community, driving more eyes to your brand and product.

    1. Thanks Andrew, I’m always following what you’re doing at MainStreetConnect.com. You’ve integrated the “community” into local media by offering free advertising; traditional local media have a kind of adversarial relationship with their business community.

  2. An interesting presentation – but it’s a premise with one fatal flaw. Yes, local online media sites can be very inexpensive to create. The time to populate that site with decent news coverage and information to share is not, however. It’s a very involved, labor-intensive process.

    Your idea, therefore, seems to put the proverbial cart before the horse. You can’t have a “national hyperlocal network” until you have local sites to connect. Those sites, in turn, have to be created and maintained in the interim while the network is created. Advertisers aren’t going to buy into a set of sites that have no content.

    What is needed, therefore, is what Patch and Main Street Connect are doing – a great deal of investment (cash) on the network side. Your model makes sense, but only from the top-down, not the bottom-up. From the local perspective, it’s untenable.

    1. Note my reply to Trevor as well. TheBreakingNewsNetwork.com, a 300 city network, is a bottoms up model that doesn’t require investment because it is grass roots and all local publishers are under the same umbrella. Yes, I agree it would be untenable to build such a grass roots network without a leader.

      1. The site to which you refer is a network of news aggregation sites that collect and present news which has been reported by paid staffers on Patch, legacy media sites, etc.. That’s absolutely fine for what it is — but no regional or national advertiser is going to place ads on a network of aggregation sites. That ship has sailed and sunk.

        Your reply to Trevor does not address how the local publisher/editor will find the time to create, grow, and develop his/her site with the kind of news that people will want to actually read. I doubt that many people will want to read page after page of business promotional material unleavened by news.

        Howard Owens hits the nail on the head. The proposed model isn’t disruptive, it’s unfeasible.

        1. Untenable as a “strike it rich” business model, but quite feasible as a community service model (and being done all over the US now). And yes, free local advertising is disruptive; it puts other local media under pressure.

  3. “Hyperlocal media needs a new business model that does not rely on the
    centuries-old practice of hitting up local merchants for advertising
    dollars.”

    Why?

    “Publishers hit up the local business community for advertising to support operations — a model that is perceived to be broken.”

    Notice the weasel phrase “perceived to be broken.” Writers use weasel phrases when they have no actual empirical data to back up their claim.

    “Publishers solicit content from the community, particularly from local merchants.”

    Obviously, the author has never tried this.  It’s damn hard work to get busy business owners to self-serve anything, let alone content.  Yes, a few will, the majority won’t, and certainly not without a lot of hand holding. Not only are most small business owners too busy, they also don’t have the ability and they’re smart enough to know that if they try to present their own content they will damage their brands because it won’t be good content.

    The whole premise here is widespread participation.  Most people think of scale as making something bigger, but local is about making things smaller, and in a smaller universe you’re going to run right smack dab into the brick wall of the 9-10-1 rule.  You’re simply not going to get enough participation to make this work.

    “The key is on-the-ground management. The publisher can be anybody,
    individual or group, who wants to build a local media presence that will
    complement their ‘day job.'”

    Even if this model had half a chance of working, it’s damn hard work, more than full-time.   It doesn’t complement a “day job.” It destroys it. 

    “Hyperlocal publishers can be aggregated into national networks similar to Patch.com.”

    The whole point of hyperlocal is to be local, not national.

    “Although local advertising can be provided free of charge”

    WTF? Why give something away business owners will pay for?

    “a national chain like Home Depot might sponsor”

    Yes, let’s promote the same national chains that are destroying local communities. Smart business model.  Promote the businesses that are destroying the businesses most likely to advertise with a start up local web site.

    “share associated lead generation revenues with the network and local media owner.”

    Please do some math.  You can’t keep making the revenue pie smaller and smaller and be profitable.  Newspaper publishers grumble that online turns dollars into dimes.  Revenue shares like this turn dimes into pennies.

    1. I smacked my head too.  Small business owners barely have the time or talent to put together a digital image ad let alone contribute content on even a sporadic basis.  
      Also there is a major omission in the proposed model: an audience.  

  4. The concept is great, getting regular businesses to contribute news worthy info is a challenge. most so not have time to post their own advertising

  5. This approach is very much what we have done with the LocalVox Marketplace on NearSay.com.  Take a look (http://www.localvox.com).   On LocalVox, merchants can publish events, announcements and deals across a network of sites focused on the local audience.  It allow local publishers to sell their value, plus technology, plus a greater network of delivery.

    However, the idealistic notion that this should be offered for free to hopefully make money on sponsorships (isn’t that the same selling ads you just lambasted) or affiliate coupon revenue (good luck) as opposed to owning the relationship, doesn’t make sense.  
    There is a real revenue opportunity in working with merchants for this and also real costs:
    – additional curation to avoid spamming and create a compelling reader experience
    – hand holding and client services to get the client up and running and getting value
    – technology infrastructure
    – sales, because yes, local businesses won’t self serve
    So right idea on publishing – but the key is that there is a large revenue model associated with it that a hyperlocal publisher should not ignore.   If you own the local merchant relationship and drive real value, you have an extremely valuable asset.

    1. Trevor, I like how you’ve integrated Nearsay.com with LocalVox.com as sibling sites for local media content and business oriented content.

      The community service model I’m describing is a grass roots model, as opposed to a portal like Nearsay.com or fwix.com. It’s about somebody or a group inside the community essentially starting their own local media resource using WordPress and social media sourced news. The key rationale behind offering a free marketing media is simply community engagement. Local merchants are tired of vendors in this economy and they welcome alternatives to reaching their audience through social media. Yes, it’s been pointed out that very few merchants will self market, but there will always be a percentage that do. And social media makes the whole process easier for merchants because they can be given access to user-friendly Twitter and Facebook feeds so they can do their announcements in sound bites instead of blog posts. Also, merchants don’t need to create advertising campaigns, sometimes it’s as simple as adding their website into an iframe like http://a2breakingnews.com/cake-nouveau (a good example of the free advertising concept via community media). First mover merchants who take advantage of free advertising will pull in their competitors when they realize they can do the same thing free as well.

      The community service model is disruptive because it’s hard to imagine normal people in a community becoming a local media resource, and doing this without a revenue model. But it’s the same commercial reason why people in the community join Chamber of Commerce boards, or start their own newsletters. Why not develop local media, particularly if the tools are there to automate the content? And by offering free advertising to local businesses, civic groups and good causes, these newbie publishers build a lot of good will. I have loads of examples of business people who have developed local media and increased their own business significantly because they are “in touch” with the community, some have become new local media stars.

      TheBreakingNewsNetwork.com is a network of 300 “Breaking News” cities that are managed by locals. It’s hard to create a revenue model with one-off cities, but partnerships / sponsorships / alliances can be developed across 300 cities. For example, a rev share partnership with LocalVox might be created where LocalVox services are introduced grass roots level to engaged audiences in 300 cities. This is the extended revenue model I’m alluding to. (and yes, I agree daily deals is a stretch, but I wanted to provide an example to the types of rev share models that can overlay across a national network… hey, Patch is doing it!)

      The problem with today’s article is simply trying to convey a complex, unusual business model in a concise, short article framework. I know there are a lot of holes that need explaining.

  6. I’m not sure I follow… Are you proposing a hyperlocal ditches selling advertising to local businesses for a system requires the coordination and overhead of a central publisher/network to architect a national campaign that pays per lead/conversion? I’m all for brainstorming new models. But they have to be practical and realistic.

    Also: A “national hyperlocal”? Really?

    1. The community service model is completely different than the traditional media model that sells advertising, so they will always co-exist. Please read my reply to Trevor for a more detailed answer. Well, Patch is a national hyperlocal…

    2. The community service model is completely different than the traditional media model that sells advertising, so they will always co-exist. Please read my reply to Trevor for a more detailed answer. Well, Patch is a national hyperlocal…

  7. The concept of providing businesses the opportunity to market themselves free via hyperlocal news sites is inspired.  So new is the idea that it can be difficult to grasp how the model is win-win-win for all concerned. 

    Curating and publishing local news automatically is easily accomplished, and, importantly, at virtually no cost. Moreoever, community service media provide a real and undeniably beneficial service to residents and businesses in a defined neighborhood or even in a city. 

    Just like paid advertising informs consumers, unpaid advertising is useful to the community service media, the businesses who take advantage of it (say, restaurants that make available daily specials) and local consumers. 

    Why not make the advertising free if everyone wins as a result of heightened visibility?  The wave of the future has arrived; all it takes is an open mind to appreciate its advantages.

  8. I agree with Pat..just as we are getting used to the “new normal” as far as real estate, gas prices and a global economy etc…communities are really try to support each other and their local businesses..
    Whoever said “Lead with the giving hand” is right (I think it was Bob Burg)..thats what the hyper media templates  can do..by letting everyone talk about their business and by not pushing it “feels” more like a community effort..not just another advertisement.

  9. I agree with Pat..just as we are getting used to the “new normal” as far as real estate, gas prices and a global economy etc…communities are really try to support each other and their local businesses..
    Whoever said “Lead with the giving hand” is right (I think it was Bob Burg)..thats what the hyper media templates  can do..by letting everyone talk about their business and by not pushing it “feels” more like a community effort..not just another advertisement.

    1. Judy is reflecting the new consumer realities of social commerce that values some sort of generosity (and yes, that’s one reason why Daily Deals works) over the hard seller/buyer mentality that traditional advertising sales engenders.

  10. Great take Patrick – I believe the shift to the hyperlocal service model dovetails nicely with the concepts of of why social media can work for big and small businesses alike.  While the inertia of the way things have “always been done” will take a lot of energy to reverse, a service model like the one you mention above attached to great content will be how business will flourish.

    “The rare individuals who unselfishly try to serve others have an enormous advantage–they have little competition.” – Andrew Carnegie

  11. The Breaking News Network sites use curation of publicly available information to provide a steady stream of local content of all types. The information is separated into areas of interest making the site into a virtual information center over time. As interest in the site grows, so does its content value. Engaging and including some of the participants in the ongoing process makes the time more enjoyable.Several previous commenters seem to have a rather dim view of the business owner. In my area, there are a number of local businesses that promote themselves regularly on Twitter, Facebook, and other “social” places. It does not seem to be too hard for them to put out a link to a menu,. make special offers available, or write about specific facets of their expertise. Posts by doctors, plumbers, solar installers, real estate agents, and may others about topics related to their businesses are regularly submitted. Linking back to their websites provides an avenue for interested readers to obtain more information on any topic. Although business owners can contribute to a community service media, they still need to follow the rules of social engagement. Publishers won’t allow spamming, but will direct business owners to talk about topics they are familiar with.Perhaps it is not traditional advertising, but it is advertising and allows interaction between the reader and the writer. This is the kind of thing that makes people (people who might even meet in person!) feel involved and important – a great result for all. Isn’t that what “social media” is all about?Bruce

  12. Wish I could stay & post detailed comments/replies to many of these comment posts… But, I’m off to go shake hands with as many Bergen County businesses as possible today. You see, I started featuring a lot of them for free on my http://BreakingBergenNews.com and they appreciate it, greatly. Consumers also love the organic nature of it as well.

    From a money standpoint, I didn’t “get it” totally at first, either. Let’s just say it ain’t all altruism, my friends! If you think paying-it-forward and sharing with and helping the businesses & consumers in one’s community doesn’t create a sense of reciprocating good will, then take off the blinders. Nobody said it’s a one way street. As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” (That applies in a positive light as well)

    Well, enough said, I gotta’ run. My “Day Job” as a broker/owner of a Bergen County RE brokerage has gotten a lot busier since I started to “get it”.

    By all means, continue discussing this very interesting topic. Remember, good “sense” adds up to dollars…

    I’m off to expand my income generating “machine”!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

22 thoughts on “A ‘Community Service Model’ for Hyperlocal

  1. Great thinking, Patrick. Seems like StreetFight is almost taking this very same approach! 

    We do something very similar at MainStreetConnect.us. We reach out to our communities for content, free advertising and other items they can contribute that will help us and them. In return, we ask for little. Maybe a gift card we can use for a giveaway to their restaurant, or business – furthering our connection to the community and helping drive customers through their doors.

    It’s simple and easy for community news sites to do this. It helps build the bridge between the people and businesses of the towns you serve and helps create a vibrant online community, driving more eyes to your brand and product.

    1. Thanks Andrew, I’m always following what you’re doing at MainStreetConnect.com. You’ve integrated the “community” into local media by offering free advertising; traditional local media have a kind of adversarial relationship with their business community.

  2. An interesting presentation – but it’s a premise with one fatal flaw. Yes, local online media sites can be very inexpensive to create. The time to populate that site with decent news coverage and information to share is not, however. It’s a very involved, labor-intensive process.

    Your idea, therefore, seems to put the proverbial cart before the horse. You can’t have a “national hyperlocal network” until you have local sites to connect. Those sites, in turn, have to be created and maintained in the interim while the network is created. Advertisers aren’t going to buy into a set of sites that have no content.

    What is needed, therefore, is what Patch and Main Street Connect are doing – a great deal of investment (cash) on the network side. Your model makes sense, but only from the top-down, not the bottom-up. From the local perspective, it’s untenable.

    1. Note my reply to Trevor as well. TheBreakingNewsNetwork.com, a 300 city network, is a bottoms up model that doesn’t require investment because it is grass roots and all local publishers are under the same umbrella. Yes, I agree it would be untenable to build such a grass roots network without a leader.

      1. The site to which you refer is a network of news aggregation sites that collect and present news which has been reported by paid staffers on Patch, legacy media sites, etc.. That’s absolutely fine for what it is — but no regional or national advertiser is going to place ads on a network of aggregation sites. That ship has sailed and sunk.

        Your reply to Trevor does not address how the local publisher/editor will find the time to create, grow, and develop his/her site with the kind of news that people will want to actually read. I doubt that many people will want to read page after page of business promotional material unleavened by news.

        Howard Owens hits the nail on the head. The proposed model isn’t disruptive, it’s unfeasible.

        1. Untenable as a “strike it rich” business model, but quite feasible as a community service model (and being done all over the US now). And yes, free local advertising is disruptive; it puts other local media under pressure.

  3. “Hyperlocal media needs a new business model that does not rely on the
    centuries-old practice of hitting up local merchants for advertising
    dollars.”

    Why?

    “Publishers hit up the local business community for advertising to support operations — a model that is perceived to be broken.”

    Notice the weasel phrase “perceived to be broken.” Writers use weasel phrases when they have no actual empirical data to back up their claim.

    “Publishers solicit content from the community, particularly from local merchants.”

    Obviously, the author has never tried this.  It’s damn hard work to get busy business owners to self-serve anything, let alone content.  Yes, a few will, the majority won’t, and certainly not without a lot of hand holding. Not only are most small business owners too busy, they also don’t have the ability and they’re smart enough to know that if they try to present their own content they will damage their brands because it won’t be good content.

    The whole premise here is widespread participation.  Most people think of scale as making something bigger, but local is about making things smaller, and in a smaller universe you’re going to run right smack dab into the brick wall of the 9-10-1 rule.  You’re simply not going to get enough participation to make this work.

    “The key is on-the-ground management. The publisher can be anybody,
    individual or group, who wants to build a local media presence that will
    complement their ‘day job.'”

    Even if this model had half a chance of working, it’s damn hard work, more than full-time.   It doesn’t complement a “day job.” It destroys it. 

    “Hyperlocal publishers can be aggregated into national networks similar to Patch.com.”

    The whole point of hyperlocal is to be local, not national.

    “Although local advertising can be provided free of charge”

    WTF? Why give something away business owners will pay for?

    “a national chain like Home Depot might sponsor”

    Yes, let’s promote the same national chains that are destroying local communities. Smart business model.  Promote the businesses that are destroying the businesses most likely to advertise with a start up local web site.

    “share associated lead generation revenues with the network and local media owner.”

    Please do some math.  You can’t keep making the revenue pie smaller and smaller and be profitable.  Newspaper publishers grumble that online turns dollars into dimes.  Revenue shares like this turn dimes into pennies.

    1. I smacked my head too.  Small business owners barely have the time or talent to put together a digital image ad let alone contribute content on even a sporadic basis.  
      Also there is a major omission in the proposed model: an audience.  

  4. The concept is great, getting regular businesses to contribute news worthy info is a challenge. most so not have time to post their own advertising

  5. This approach is very much what we have done with the LocalVox Marketplace on NearSay.com.  Take a look (http://www.localvox.com).   On LocalVox, merchants can publish events, announcements and deals across a network of sites focused on the local audience.  It allow local publishers to sell their value, plus technology, plus a greater network of delivery.

    However, the idealistic notion that this should be offered for free to hopefully make money on sponsorships (isn’t that the same selling ads you just lambasted) or affiliate coupon revenue (good luck) as opposed to owning the relationship, doesn’t make sense.  
    There is a real revenue opportunity in working with merchants for this and also real costs:
    – additional curation to avoid spamming and create a compelling reader experience
    – hand holding and client services to get the client up and running and getting value
    – technology infrastructure
    – sales, because yes, local businesses won’t self serve
    So right idea on publishing – but the key is that there is a large revenue model associated with it that a hyperlocal publisher should not ignore.   If you own the local merchant relationship and drive real value, you have an extremely valuable asset.

    1. Trevor, I like how you’ve integrated Nearsay.com with LocalVox.com as sibling sites for local media content and business oriented content.

      The community service model I’m describing is a grass roots model, as opposed to a portal like Nearsay.com or fwix.com. It’s about somebody or a group inside the community essentially starting their own local media resource using WordPress and social media sourced news. The key rationale behind offering a free marketing media is simply community engagement. Local merchants are tired of vendors in this economy and they welcome alternatives to reaching their audience through social media. Yes, it’s been pointed out that very few merchants will self market, but there will always be a percentage that do. And social media makes the whole process easier for merchants because they can be given access to user-friendly Twitter and Facebook feeds so they can do their announcements in sound bites instead of blog posts. Also, merchants don’t need to create advertising campaigns, sometimes it’s as simple as adding their website into an iframe like http://a2breakingnews.com/cake-nouveau (a good example of the free advertising concept via community media). First mover merchants who take advantage of free advertising will pull in their competitors when they realize they can do the same thing free as well.

      The community service model is disruptive because it’s hard to imagine normal people in a community becoming a local media resource, and doing this without a revenue model. But it’s the same commercial reason why people in the community join Chamber of Commerce boards, or start their own newsletters. Why not develop local media, particularly if the tools are there to automate the content? And by offering free advertising to local businesses, civic groups and good causes, these newbie publishers build a lot of good will. I have loads of examples of business people who have developed local media and increased their own business significantly because they are “in touch” with the community, some have become new local media stars.

      TheBreakingNewsNetwork.com is a network of 300 “Breaking News” cities that are managed by locals. It’s hard to create a revenue model with one-off cities, but partnerships / sponsorships / alliances can be developed across 300 cities. For example, a rev share partnership with LocalVox might be created where LocalVox services are introduced grass roots level to engaged audiences in 300 cities. This is the extended revenue model I’m alluding to. (and yes, I agree daily deals is a stretch, but I wanted to provide an example to the types of rev share models that can overlay across a national network… hey, Patch is doing it!)

      The problem with today’s article is simply trying to convey a complex, unusual business model in a concise, short article framework. I know there are a lot of holes that need explaining.

  6. I’m not sure I follow… Are you proposing a hyperlocal ditches selling advertising to local businesses for a system requires the coordination and overhead of a central publisher/network to architect a national campaign that pays per lead/conversion? I’m all for brainstorming new models. But they have to be practical and realistic.

    Also: A “national hyperlocal”? Really?

    1. The community service model is completely different than the traditional media model that sells advertising, so they will always co-exist. Please read my reply to Trevor for a more detailed answer. Well, Patch is a national hyperlocal…

    2. The community service model is completely different than the traditional media model that sells advertising, so they will always co-exist. Please read my reply to Trevor for a more detailed answer. Well, Patch is a national hyperlocal…

  7. The concept of providing businesses the opportunity to market themselves free via hyperlocal news sites is inspired.  So new is the idea that it can be difficult to grasp how the model is win-win-win for all concerned. 

    Curating and publishing local news automatically is easily accomplished, and, importantly, at virtually no cost. Moreoever, community service media provide a real and undeniably beneficial service to residents and businesses in a defined neighborhood or even in a city. 

    Just like paid advertising informs consumers, unpaid advertising is useful to the community service media, the businesses who take advantage of it (say, restaurants that make available daily specials) and local consumers. 

    Why not make the advertising free if everyone wins as a result of heightened visibility?  The wave of the future has arrived; all it takes is an open mind to appreciate its advantages.

  8. I agree with Pat..just as we are getting used to the “new normal” as far as real estate, gas prices and a global economy etc…communities are really try to support each other and their local businesses..
    Whoever said “Lead with the giving hand” is right (I think it was Bob Burg)..thats what the hyper media templates  can do..by letting everyone talk about their business and by not pushing it “feels” more like a community effort..not just another advertisement.

  9. I agree with Pat..just as we are getting used to the “new normal” as far as real estate, gas prices and a global economy etc…communities are really try to support each other and their local businesses..
    Whoever said “Lead with the giving hand” is right (I think it was Bob Burg)..thats what the hyper media templates  can do..by letting everyone talk about their business and by not pushing it “feels” more like a community effort..not just another advertisement.

    1. Judy is reflecting the new consumer realities of social commerce that values some sort of generosity (and yes, that’s one reason why Daily Deals works) over the hard seller/buyer mentality that traditional advertising sales engenders.

  10. Great take Patrick – I believe the shift to the hyperlocal service model dovetails nicely with the concepts of of why social media can work for big and small businesses alike.  While the inertia of the way things have “always been done” will take a lot of energy to reverse, a service model like the one you mention above attached to great content will be how business will flourish.

    “The rare individuals who unselfishly try to serve others have an enormous advantage–they have little competition.” – Andrew Carnegie

  11. The Breaking News Network sites use curation of publicly available information to provide a steady stream of local content of all types. The information is separated into areas of interest making the site into a virtual information center over time. As interest in the site grows, so does its content value. Engaging and including some of the participants in the ongoing process makes the time more enjoyable.Several previous commenters seem to have a rather dim view of the business owner. In my area, there are a number of local businesses that promote themselves regularly on Twitter, Facebook, and other “social” places. It does not seem to be too hard for them to put out a link to a menu,. make special offers available, or write about specific facets of their expertise. Posts by doctors, plumbers, solar installers, real estate agents, and may others about topics related to their businesses are regularly submitted. Linking back to their websites provides an avenue for interested readers to obtain more information on any topic. Although business owners can contribute to a community service media, they still need to follow the rules of social engagement. Publishers won’t allow spamming, but will direct business owners to talk about topics they are familiar with.Perhaps it is not traditional advertising, but it is advertising and allows interaction between the reader and the writer. This is the kind of thing that makes people (people who might even meet in person!) feel involved and important – a great result for all. Isn’t that what “social media” is all about?Bruce

  12. Wish I could stay & post detailed comments/replies to many of these comment posts… But, I’m off to go shake hands with as many Bergen County businesses as possible today. You see, I started featuring a lot of them for free on my http://BreakingBergenNews.com and they appreciate it, greatly. Consumers also love the organic nature of it as well.

    From a money standpoint, I didn’t “get it” totally at first, either. Let’s just say it ain’t all altruism, my friends! If you think paying-it-forward and sharing with and helping the businesses & consumers in one’s community doesn’t create a sense of reciprocating good will, then take off the blinders. Nobody said it’s a one way street. As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” (That applies in a positive light as well)

    Well, enough said, I gotta’ run. My “Day Job” as a broker/owner of a Bergen County RE brokerage has gotten a lot busier since I started to “get it”.

    By all means, continue discussing this very interesting topic. Remember, good “sense” adds up to dollars…

    I’m off to expand my income generating “machine”!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *