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

New West’s Weber on Community Journalism

New West is a different concept than other community sites. Started two years ago by Jonathan Weber, the former editor of The Industry Standard (the dot-com era trade bible), the seven person site covers all of the Rocky Mountain region from its base in Missoula, MT. It has multiple revenue streams from Google AdSense and ads; and it … Read more

Smalltown Adds 3 Locales, Video

When you have access to $3 million of VC money, you are going to eventually want to spend some of it. That’s what Smalltown, an IYP site with social aspects via reviews, calendars and (now) Top 10 lists, is doing. Five months after launching SME-oriented sites in San Mateo and Burlingame, Smalltown has announced three new Bay Area … Read more

Niesenholtz at YPA: Local ‘Untapped Opportunity’

New York Times Digital Chief Martin Niesenholtz, keynoting the Yellow Pages Association conference this morning in Las Vegas, called local “a huge untapped opportunity in the directories arena that no one – including the portals – has yet tapped.” I’m not at YPA this time, but a draft of Niesenholtz’ address noted that the winners in local “could … Read more

Cox Search Launches Kudzu

Cox Enterprises has been largely silent on the local front since the high profile failure of Cox Interactive Media and its city guides in 2001. But the local media giant is quietly re-entering the local waters with the creation of a new “Cox Search LLC” division, described as “a strategy and development group created to … 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

Yahoo! Local Talks Merchant Offerings

Merchants that take out enhanced listings on Yahoo! tend to improve their impressions and clicks by 2X, and increase their all-important ranking on the page, said Yahoo! Local GM Paul Levine, in a Small Business Commando Tele-Seminar that also featured Kelsey Group’s Matt Booth (yes, I helped). Levine said there is nothing mysterious about the … Read more

Details on YP.Com Purchase of LiveDeal

Some interesting details about LiveDeal’s operations have been released as the result of its $11.8 million sale to YP.com. During a June 7 investor call announcing the sale, LiveDeal, a local/college/vertical-oriented classifieds company that bills itself as “eBay without the auction,” revealed that it grossed $2.6 million last year (different than the “$5 million” figure that I thought I heard … Read more

‘Final’ ILM:09 Speakers Added (Twitter, AT&Ti, Euro Directories +++)

The ILM:09 conference Dec. 9-11 in LA is now just around the corner. We’ve handpicked 60 cutting-edge speakers, and we think we are onto something that is really important. I can tell you that signups have been great, too. Recent adds to the speaker roster include Twitter’s Anamitra Banerji and AT&T Interactive’s Greg Issacs, who will be joining Facebook’s Tim Kendall … Read more

Matchbin Brings Web 2.0 Services to the Boonies

Matchbin, a venture-backed firm based in Bountiful, Utah, is banking on aggregating rural and exurban audiences by providing community media companies with a full slate of advertising and social tools, rather than just providing one dimensional local search. The six-year-old, 40 person company, settled on its current strategy during a relaunch in January 2008, and … Read more