Comments

  1. says

    Wow. Was I at a different conference? Howard Owens and Ben Ilfeld both led breakouts. Ben’s break out was about Patch. Patch was a frequent topic of lively conversation from the first hour of the conference and people were anything but dismissive.
    I agree the journalists alone aren’t going to solve the revenue problem, btw Here’s one post about that:
    http://www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/leadership_blog/comments/20100922_audience_engagement_and_business_sense_are_essential_to_success_of/

  2. says

    Hear hear Paul!

    We’ve been focused on Revenue *and* Reporting since about two years ago, and we now have over 50 Advertisers on our six local blogs in the Southwest King County (WA) area. We generate enough revenue to support several freelancers and 2-3 commissioned Sales Reps. And occasionally, I even pay myself.

    Patch isn’t here yet, but I’m sure they’re coming soon. A local TV broadcaster (Fisher/KOMO) has been trying to hone in on our turf, and quite frankly in what I consider to be highly unethical ways (read more here: http://www.b-townblog.com/2009/09/18/an-open-letter-to-komo-and-fisher-broadcasting/). We’re not the only local blog in the Seattle area to be on the receiving end of this (perhaps it’s good practice for what might come w/Patch?), and we certainly aren’t going to back down.

    This is an exciting time, and the fact that we’re actually embedded in our communities (we live, work & shop here) is something we’ll continue to emphasize with both our Advertisers and our Readers. Seems to be working too – at a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, an Editor from the above-mentioned unethical local broadcaster showed up, and I overheard the reactions as she introduced herself to businesspeople. Most said things like “Oh…do you know Scott from The B-Town Blog? We Advertise with them…” which was nice to hear. I spoke with her directly and let her know that not only do we welcome competition, but until she too lives, works and shops here (she doesn’t – they report from a building in downtown Seattle some 13+ miles away), then we will continue to focus hard on the truly local angle, and yes, even work harder to differentiate ourselves from their RSS/Police Scanner-fed news stories. Since we’re here, with our feet on the ground, we get story tips personally from our friends and neighbors…which is making all the difference for us as we’re averaging around 50,000 uniques per month.

    cheers,
    scott schaefer
    publisher/editor
    http://www.b-townblog.com

  3. admin says

    hi michelle,

    thx for feedback.

    post was only referring to live stream and tweets we were following.

    specifically, the sales session stream that was made public.

    from our vantage point, it really did look like patch was poo-poo’d, and the sales discussion left us frustrated.

    we want these types of events to succeed in helping monetize sites. we support your efforts.

    we just think the wrong types of backgrounds are chosen to lead the discussion, and spearhead the challenge.

    anyway, i really think you and jay did a great job with the gathering, and sharing the collective data.

    from a revenue perspective, our post was written with only good intentions in mind.

    mel

  4. admin says

    agreed. hallways and bars probably had excellent ideas shared. yet the public video-cast of that one ‘sales’ session was high profile.

  5. admin says

    ben,

    to clarify, i believe bxb2010 and others like it, are incredibly valuable gatherings.

    tho, as an outsider who could only follow tweets and video streams, it looked & sounded alot different from our perch. specifically the sales session.

    without revenue and profit, great journalism will suffer. thus, i am hyper-focused on that dealing with that critical issue.

    when i see or hear something that seems odd, i like to share those thoughts with those who could benefit.

    i know i can rattle some cages on occasion. but there’s no malice intended.

    while patch is only ONE of the competitors that could affect local web operators, they do seem to have some key ducks in order.

    wait til you see what reach local, yellowbook360, cable, broadcasters and others have in store for local market competition in the coming months

    in short, my respectful recommendation is that all local, indie site owners should understand that there’s a big local ‘land grab’ going on now. local advertisers are getting bombarded by more than just patch sellers.

    while a friendly embrace of new competitors would be preferred, I would have a big stick ready..just in case.

    i appreciate you allowing me to share my alternative views on this issue.

    an informed person, knowing both sides…….always makes better decisions.
    :)

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