26 June 2009

Competing with Craigslist at a Local Level

MinnPost, a non-profit news startup in Minneapolis, has rolled out a new form of advertising that looks a little bit like print classifieds, a lot like Twitter and nothing like traditional online marketing, reports the Nieman Journalism Lab's Zachary M. Seward.

The service, called Real-Time Ads, aggregates tweets, blog posts and other feeds from local businesses with timely messages — an ice cream shop announcing the flavour of the day, a clothing store offering a one-day coupon.

MinnPost hopes the feature will become a destination site the way the classifieds section once was for newspaper readers. But Seward goes further, suggesting the concept may be a way for local news sites to finally compete with Craigslist.

MinnPost CEO and Editor Joel Kramer described the project as "an effort to move beyond banner ads" and to produce ad revenue less closely tied to traffic. MinnPost is offering the space for free at the start but plans to charge "under $100 a week," making it an option for local advertisers with small budgets.

"It’s an experiment," Kramer says in a video on the Nieman Labs site, which also provides a transcript of his comments. "We’ve tried many experiments. Some of them work, some of them don’t. We don’t get too worried about the ones that don’t. And I’m a big believer in that you have to try a lot of things and get a few victories."

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At 27/6/09 2:20 pm, Blogger apoorva said...

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