What's Next – Barry Parr

Posted on 19. Oct, 2007 by in What's Next?

The event got me thinking once again about the role of professional journalist in a world where the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. I’ve resolved to deal with the issues raised by this problem in my research for Jupiter next year.

I’ve also resolved to open up Coastsider to even greater community participation. This was already on my agenda for 2008, but NJS has given a renewed sense of urgency to solving the problems this raises.

It has given me new enthusiasm for an idea I raised at the “Local” BOF: to figure out how to create (or get someone else to create) an ad network for the region that includes Coastsider. And, it has increased my interest in organizing a conference about these issues in the Bay Area in 2008.

One Response to “What's Next – Barry Parr”

  1. Rick Waghorn

    20. Oct, 2007


    We never got a chance to meet; apologies. But I really did want to bump into someone with a particularly local background… and I’ll make you the same offer that I did Patrick at Vineyard Voice re someone else building you an ad network…

    Because we’ve just launched our own, self-service text ads service called ‘Addiply’ – you can see it in action on the site http://www.myfootballwriter.com/norwichcity

    Having earned diddly squat from you-know-who, we decided to give our own local advertisers the chance to place their ads themselves – albeit with a little gentle nudge in the right direction.

    So, there’s five slots there; we’re currently offering the opportunity to advertise there at 3 pence per click; that 3 pence (6 cents) goes to me, the publisher; the little local advertiser likewise only pays his 3 pence (6 cents) as and when he gets a result – ie a click when someone steps into his ‘world’, his website. Otherwise his only outlay is the £10 ($20) we ask him to place in a Paypal pre-pay meter; that just clicks down as and when he gets a click – £9.97, £9.94, etc, etc and then he gets a reminder when he hits £1, does he want to renew…

    And if it hasn’t worked, he doesn’t… but as its an open bidding process, so if someone proves wiling to offer you 7 cents per click, they take their place on the site and replaces the advertiser with the lowest click-per-impression rate, ie the one that’s working the least well.

    So eventually the market – in your case Martha’s Vineyard local stores or whoever – will find its own level; and I bet you now that if I was a local DIY store in Martha’s Vineyard, I would get ‘drowned out’ of finding a place on your site via Google by the big bucks all the Martha’s Vineyards hotels and B&Bs are paying to catch your well-heeled visitor trade.

    This way, they can see there ad, on your site; they’ve placed it themselves; just like you would a little notice in the door of the local hardware store.

    As we’re looking for trial partners – and it’s only been on our site for ten days and we haven’t marketed it much – er, at all – here’s something for you think about.

    Trial it for me for nothing; all you need to do is build in a ‘box’ to accomodate a feed and that’s it; it runs itself; it’s a ‘fire and forget’ advertising system. The only time you have to ‘manage’ it is when an ad link comes up for approval – ie you get to see what it is you’re about to advertise – and you can approve that link off your mobile phone.

    And that’s it. I just need local, little sites to trial it; let’s say for the first six months you keep all the income you earn from it too. Afgter that, you’re doing me a favour… so we’ll do 5% or 10% of your ad revenue. Tops.

    You don’t need an ad dept; your little local advertisers don’t need to make up a banner ad; its text ads – direct between you the publisher and your local taxi firm, DIY store, etc, etc. No middle man; just you and them.

    Let me know what you think and I can get my software guru, aka Ian, to ping a link across and you can be started tomorrow…

    All the best,