NAA Coverage: Assessing Retailer Opportunities

The decline of their ad share with retailers has newspapers worried to death. But several execs speaking at the NAA marketing conference last week in Las Vegas said they can bring retailers back into the fold with special vertical sites. Ken Riddick, VP of Interactive Media at The Minneapolis Star Tribune, said that the newspaper has … Read more

Windows Live Expo Adds Enhanced Classifieds

Windows Live Expo, Microsoft’s entry in the classifieds war, has upped the ante against GoogleBase, Yahoo and the rest of them by signing with AdMission (formerly iPix) to use its SpotLight Ads technology. While advertisers can still post ads for free, the Windows Live team is betting that high value advertisers will pay $19.99 to upgrade to … Read more

CTIA ‘06: Location Based Services on the Cusp

Mobile search is seen as the big problem to solve in the directory business. But in the mobile business, many eyes are also on the development of location-based services, which are on the cusp of serious rollouts after years of false warnings, according to speakers at CTIA Entertainment ’06 in Los Angeles this week. “People always say … Read more

HarvestInfo: Newspapers Seeking ‘Federated Search’

Newspapers are increasingly seeking out “federated search” solutions that can search and crawl all forms of their content, including display, classifieds, various feeds, editorial and archives, according to Catherine Kelly, President of HarvestInfo, a vendor to newspapers. “We’re starting to hear the term ‘federated search’ pop up from different newspapers, without any prompting,” says Kelly, who … Read more

eBay and Skype: The Classifieds Factor

Some analysts haven’t figured out Skype’s value to eBay. But I see it fairly plainly: classifieds. The classifieds industry appears to be on the verge of a freefall, due to services such as Craig’s List that don’t charge But with Skype in the picture, I see lots of “value add” that buyers and sellers would … Read more

My Report on Newspapers and Online Shopping

Over the years, I’ve done a number of strategic reports for The Newspaper Association of America. The newest report, out today, is called “The Newspaper Online Shopping Report: Online Relationships with Retailers.” It is a fairly comprehensive work that gives readers a 360 degree view of what newspapers are doing (and should be doing) to … Read more

HyperLocal Efforts Keep Going; OurTown Launches

There are a number of new or re-energized hyperlocal efforts out there, trying to crack the code. New efforts are expected shortly from Outside.in and SmallTown. Ongoing efforts are being made with AmericanTowns, which counts Idearc as a lead investor; and Dallas’ Pegasus News, which is owned by Fisher Communications. CitySquares in Boston continues to build its model. Topix has also remade itself into an … Read more

Merchant Circle Seeks to Provide YP Alternative

“Small business,” “marketing tools” and “viral marketing” = a new generation of Yellow Pages that will really help businesses get more local customers. Or so hopes Merchant Circle, a well-funded startup that officially launches in June. “People who sell FEAR like the Yellow Pages cannot sell the hope that the local Internet delivers, said President and … Read more

eBay Focuses on Classifieds with U.S. Launch of Kijiji

eBay has quietly launched a U.S. version of Kijiji, a free classifieds service that began in February 2005 and is now serving 17 million users in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Taiwan, Austria, Switzerland, and India. Kijiji, which means “village” in Swahili, is one of five classifieds brands now being operated by eBay. The company also … Read more

Localized Social Network for Girls Launches

Jitter Fingers, a social network for teen and “tween” girls looking for a secure and focused environment (i.e. away from the predators that lurk in MySpace), has launched a local beta version in Los Angeles. It expects to eventually launch up to 300 localized versions. Founder Allen Esrock, a longtime tech headhunter – and the father of … Read more