Track Presentation: Redefining Local Community


Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix who is today’s conference chairperson has begun his presentation to lok at some specific misconceptions particularly in regards to media sites. As the mistake of looking at the web as not a place, then the need to focus on local and create the experience online.

But the problem is how to represent a ‘local’ market that relates to expectations that unfortunately is not easily presented…no one is searching the web for local.

So critical issues that Chris has faced at Topix, is the shrinking amount of already limited local content…look hyperlocal to the smallest of markets, and the volume of content is almost non-existent. The thinking that local is available in the blogosphere..unfortunately, local content is still not readily available.

But Topix has experience tremendous growth, but primarily in the smallest of local markets that often have little to no community related content. The need for information in turn results in tremendous volume of activity related to that community as residents of that town provide their own content, which in turn are expanded upon by those interested

So the question then don’t certain social networks offer much of this? There are definitely examples of such use by Facebook and Twitter. However, they do not entirely cover the true ‘local’ experience that potentially represents $7.8B market in Ad Spend by 2011. While social media presents a great way to build this hyper-local audience, there are major issues in developing the online local community including looking at the best integration efforts and improved management.

Updated