We started our hyper local news and marketing journey back in 2007. While attending a NYC conference, speaker Jeff Jarvis asked me what my website address was. Uh-oh. Don’t have one. Even though I was trying to start a digital marketing company.
You see, back in 2007, I was just getting started as an independent, digital marketing consultant. After 25+ years in radio, tv and newspaper, I knew I needed to embrace the digital economy. Traditional media was dying a slow and painful death.
That encounter with Mr Jarvis kinda shamed me into starting a blog on WordPress.com. How could I convince someone to hire me of if I don’t provide online case studies or thoughts on digital marketing?
Year later, in 2011, Jarvis would invite me to brainstorming sessions in NYC. Those meetings and the concepts fleshed out, would ultimately contribute to the company now known as PATCH.
Defining Hyper-Local News and Business Models. Pre-Patch.
Blogging about digital marketing and how traditional media could evolve was my focus. It would potentially prove my prowess. Blogging would hopefully prove my worth and get me hired.
Most bloggers of the day were focused on content. Journalism. Editorial. Stuff like that. To me, they were putting the cart before the horse. No one was focused on revenue.
Right from the start, I was contrarian. Newsrooms were not exactly enamored with me. The well-intentioned journos not happy that I believed developing sustainable business models was MORE important than cranking out non-stop content and page-views.
Retro-fitting banner ads adjacent to content had it’s limitations. A race to the bottom when online publishers place all focus on CPM’s.
In the early days, I’d often lock horns with those who hated online advertising. Today, those foot-draggers are no longer in the industry.
- Selling based on CPM is still stupid for smaller websites.
- Over-reliance on social media could have been avoided. No such thing as a free lunch.
- Newsrooms should not determine online business models. They don’t on the print side.