Also from The Local Onliner today, an interesting quote from an outgoing R.H. Donnelly executive, Simon Greenman:
Yellow Pages “[p]ublishers are well-positioned to become local search providers. But they’ll need to become much broader, with classifieds, promotional information and service directories. They’ll need to become more consumer-centric, with social networking, merchant recommendations and other features.”
I’m not sure how compelling all these features are when tacked onto a local search site. Front Porch Forum‘s approach is to build the most engaging local social networking service available, then integrate commercial features to add value for our members and pay the bills. That is, design the service for neighbors, and only treat these good people as consumers when and where it makes sense.