Monthly Archives: September 2007

Newspaper Ad Revenue Insights

Jennifer Saba writes in Editor & Publisher on September 27, 2007 about a a Bank of America report by Joe Arns…

[O]nline ad revenue per reader is now roughly one-third to one-half of that generated by print readers — a marked improvement from just a year ago.

Based on the total ad revenue per reader, in Q2 Bank of America estimates that on average, newspaper publishers generated about $25 to $38 of ad revenue per daily online reader compared with $70 for each print daily reader. This suggests that online readers are worth about 36% to 55% of the value of print readers, up from 28% to 42% in Q2 2006.

“In our view, the gain in online revenue per reader is remarkable given the severe cyclical headwinds that have had a disproportionate effect upon classified advertising — which makes up nearly 80% of the online newspaper ad revenue pie,” wrote Arns.

Driving the online monetization: the shift of classified ad spending from print to online and the surge in local retailers turning to online advertising.

Favorite Headline of the Day – Lunch Included

It’s not unusual to get 100+ messages a day flowing through the various neighborhood forums hosted by Front Porch Forum across greater Burlington, VT. Most are straight-forward affairs… “Lost Cat,” “Car for Sale,” “Yard Sale on Sat.” But once in awhile we see a headline that gives pause. Here’s today’s…

Free Breastfeeding Symposium – Lunch Included

All joking aside, as a father of two nursing little ones, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the message that goes with the headline…

I am recommending this informative and supportive event as an interested man and nurse in the community who believes that breastfeeding should be more culturally accepted. I do not agree with the idea that breastfeeding is like sex and should be done in “private”. Its benefits far outweigh the social inconveniences perceived by some. I would like to see breastfeeding done wherever and whenever it is needed for a child’s well-being. It is clear to me that we need more supportive environmental conditions provided to nursing mothers in our community. I encourage everyone to become better educated about breastfeeding and its powerful effects. Come to the free symposium on Tuesday, October 23.

Please pass this message on as widely as possible and thank you!!

Your neighborhood volunteer,
Alan Sousie
Breastfeeding Symposium: Postpartum Depression and Breastfeeding

Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street, Room 2B
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Speaker: Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is a Research Associate Professor of Psychology specializing in women’s health at the Family Research Lab, University of New Hampshire. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health Psychology and Trauma Psychology, is the co-editor of Journal of Trauma Psychology, and is on the editorial boards of Child Abuse & Neglect, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, and Journal of Human Lactation. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a La Leche League leader, chair of the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Taskforce, and the Area Coordinator of Leaders for La Leche League of Maine and New Hampshire.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett specializes in synthesizing current research on breastfeeding and related fields, facilitating the provision of evidence-based care. She is an academic researcher who also works clinically with mothers as a Lactation Consultant/LLL Leader. Dr. Kendall-Tackett has a long-standing interest in maternal depression, the lifetime health effects of childhood abuse, the link between trauma and chronic pain, and the psychological aspects of breastfeeding. Her current work examines the relationship between stress, depression and inflammation, and how this combination increases the risk of depression in new mothers. Breastfeeding, with its stress-lowering effects, is protective of maternal mood. She is also interested in psychological trauma related to difficult birth experiences and the long-term impact of childhood abuse on women’s experiences of mothering and breastfeeding. Dr. Kendall-Tackett has authored more than 150 articles or chapters and is the author or editor of 15 books on maternal depression, family violence and breastfeeding.

Send registration by email, fax, or postal mail
Email: TCassi@vdh.state.vt.us
Fax: (802) 863-7229

Questions: Call Tricia (802) 652-4177
Postal Mail: Tricia Cassi
VT Dept of Health – WIC Program
108 Cherry Street, PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402

CitySquares lands $1M; Version 2.0 imminent

Peter Krasilovsky reports about CitySquares‘ latest developments…

neighborhood-centric directory of local businesses has got about $1 million in venture funding; almost 400 advertisers paying roughly $600 a year, mostly for “deluxe” business profiles; and an 88 percent renewal rate.

They seem to be getting some traction, and they’re going places…

In mid-October, CitySquares is going to re-launch using new neighborhood slicing-and-dicing capabilities from Urban Mapping and Localeze, all based on an open-source Drupal platform. The site is also confidently planning to expand beyond Boston, with another northeast city set for Q2 2008, and a third one for Q3.

Co-Founder Ben Saren says the site’s re-do reflects a key truism: hyperlocal is about neighborhoods, but the reality is that neighborhoods are often “in-between” other neighborhoods. The new version of the site is going to present searchers with the five closest neighborhoods, as well as proximity options. “They can be five miles or ten blocks,” he says. That’s the Localeze part of it.

They’ll also identify neighborhoods within neighborhoods, such as Observatory Hill, which is a section of Cambridge. That’s the Urban Mapping part of it. The ability to sell across neighborhoods will help sell ads for the many small businesses “in between.”

College kids take in refugee family; neighbors rally

I was moved when I read the following post by Therese on the ONE East Neighborhood Forum yesterday…

My neighbors have temporarily taken in a refugee family from Somalia who fell through the cracks during a resettlement move. The family landed in Burlington last night with only the clothes on their backs. There is a mom, dad and four kids. The boys are 2 and 5 and the girls are 8 and 10 and they are average size kids for their ages. My neighbors are college kids who have opened up their home to this family until they get into the system. Whatever vouchers, etc, that they are supposed to have….did not come through yet.

Regardless, they need some more clothes and we have done okay with the parents but need to get some children’s clothes and shoes. I gave them some stuffed animals but am sure toys would be helpful too. If you have anything in decent shape lying around that you don’t need in sizes that you think might fit these kids….would you be willing to donate it to them? We will give anything not needed or that does not fit to the Salvation Army or St. Vincent De Paul or anywhere else you might suggest that it could help people. If you have anything you want to donate please just leave it on the front porch. Thank you in advance for anything you donate. Peace to everyone!

So now today’s follow up really made my day…

When I posted last night asking for some clothes and toys for the Somalian refugee family I had no idea that people would be so incredibly generous!!! The response we received today was overwhelming. We have plenty of clothes and toys for them right now. In fact we will be bringing the extras to other refugees and to some local thrift store/charity places.

The college students who are putting them up said that the family will hopefully be moving into an apartment within a week or so and at that point they may need some more things for the house. I will post again if and when they inform me of specific items the family might need.

I wish everyone who donated things could have seen the looks on the children’s faces when we gave them the toys and clothes. Last night they were timid and scared and wearing clothes that did not fit. Tonight they were not scared, already learned some English (wow, kids can learn a language fast) and bewildered but happy. It was also important that they had some warmer clothes and now they do!!! Thanks to all of you who donated to help this family!!

In a neighborhood that has it struggles with irresponsible college students, the beautiful action taken by these UVM kids to help a family in need is wonderful. And I’m glad that their neighbors can see that through Front Porch Forum, and that so many folks are pitching in with clothes, toys, etc.

American Machine – Must See

Front Porch Forum is about people connecting with their neighbors and getting involved in their neighborhoods. That involvement ranges from organizing a blow-out block party, to watering the next door neighbor’s plants when she’s away, to just becoming aware of a spate of bicycle thefts on the street. All that tuning in adds up to a heightened sense of community within the neighborhood… a simple and powerful thing.

Which brings me to American Machine, the new play created by local artist Jim Lantz. Jim has done a rare thing… he’s written, produced, and directed this show on his own… with a great team of people around him, but not housed within some larger organization. He’s taken the creative, career AND financial risks.

In doing this, he’s offering all folks local to the Burlington area a chance to tune in and get involved in local arts and national political discourse.

It’s simple, if you want to live in a place that has this kind of creative economy coursing through it, then you need to turn out, buy tickets, and take in the play. The show is clearly an artistic success. Now it’s up to local residents to make it a financial success by filling the seats. Get tickets here (show runs through Oct. 7, 2007).

To the play… my wife and I attended tonight’s performance with friends. While Front Porch Forum is a sponsor of the play and American Machine advertised in FPF, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it might be lean toward a heavy-handed political piece… not at all.

Simply, I was enthralled. The production grabbed my attention and kept it the whole show. The six characters, their stories and their relationships all rang true, even when the drama flared. I know I’ll be thinking of the characters for some time, wondering what comes next for them. And the political message struck me as timeless, not about policy minutia.

I look forward to discussing the play with neighbors out on the sidewalk in the coming days… lots to mull over.

One last idea for locals… post a message about American Machine on your FPF neighborhood forum… help spread the word and build local community! Here are some details.

Online Coupons?

Front Porch Forum has a new modest advertising platform for local businesses.  The response is exceeding expectations.  Our ad inventory is sold out for the next several weeks and the response from our members to the sponsor messages has been strong.  Color me cautiously optimistic.

Also, we’ve seen some advertisers offer discounts to Front Porch Forum members and others are considering some kind of coupon option.  So today’s posting by Greg Sterling is of interest…

Even though online coupons have been around for years, there’s really still no leader in the segment — quite mysteriously. Also the overwhelming majority of coupons are still clipped from physical newspapers and direct mail envelopes, such as ValPak’s blue envelope. But one gets the sense that the stars have finally aligned and online (and later some version of mobile) coupons will start to take off.

To that end, I previously forecast that the total face value of online coupons will be just over $16 billion in 2010 and the redeemed value of those coupons will be about $2.4 billion. (That may be too aggressive, but we’ll see; it depends on distribution and consumer awareness.)

And he goes on to write about AskCity’s efforts in this area.

Future of Local Online Advertising: Rosy

John Keister writes today


“All advertising is local”… Borrell did a study that showed in 2005, U.S. Local Advertising spending (YP, Newspapers, billboards, etc.) was approximately $140 billion (offline and online combined). 70% of that spend was done by truly local businesses, the rest was done by national advertisers targeting local markets. Total online advertising in 2005 (national and local combined) was about $4 billion… there is an enormous amount of potential growth for local online advertising as the offline spend of local and national businesses continues to migrate online.

National retailers increasingly understand the importance of driving Internet consumers to physical storefronts, as offline purchases still far outweigh online purchases. In fact, Yahoo recently reported that 92% of conversions occur in the offline environment.

Given this consumer behavior, as the local online advertising industry grows, national merchants will be targeting a larger percentage of their advertising budget to address the local consumer by utilizing geo-targeted ads, driving consumers to local storefronts and offering great deals on their Web sites. Local advertisers, of course, will be doing the same thing. This means that both national merchants and local merchants are very important drivers of the local advertising ecosystem, and both will be competing for the clicks, calls and wallets of local online consumers as this industry continues to expand.

Local Online Start-Up Funding and a Prize Winner

A couple interesting posts by Peter Krasilovsky today.  First, funding levels for several start-ups with a local focus…

Belated congratulations to our friend Sebastien Provencher and his Praized Media team for getting $1 million from Garage Ventures Technology Canada… you can do a lot with $1 million. You can hire key staff, pay salaries, build software, do some PR, travel (and hire consulting firms). In fact, a number of firms have recently landed deals for $1 million or so….like Outside.in ($900k) and City Voter ($1.1 million). Boston’s City Squares is also apparently funded at this level. And if you haven’t been on the site lately, it is building nicely.

A couple of years ago, the “must have” amount for a startup was more like $3 million. Smalltown, Backfence and others got the larger amount (or said they did). I never could figure out what they needed that much for.

And a story about a local citizen journalism site succeeding in New Hampshire…

At first, there was no news coverage for the 15,000 residents of a central coastal New Hampshire area including the little villages of Deerfield, Candia, Northwoods and Nottingham. Manchester’s Union Leader, a family-owned paper that is fairly notorious for its politically-charged, NH primary coverage every four years, basically ignored the area.

But then three years ago, the residents started their own news site and called it The Forum. Today, the site, a recipient of the 2007 Knight Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism has 240 contributors, sells ads to local businesses, and even publishes an occasional print edition on special occasions… the site has an 1.6 “reporters” for every 100 residents.

Bunny in camo footie jamies?

Liz just posted the following message on her neighborhood’s Front Porch Forum…

We are missing a very special stuffed animal, a white (well, it once was white) bunny about 8-10″ tall wearing green camo foot pajamas. If you have seen it, please call Liz. Many thanks.

Camo footie jamies? Sounds like this bunny knows how to take care of himself… hopefully the forum posting will lead to a happy reunion.

Window Washer Cleans Up via FPF

Recently Alex posted the following on his neighborhood’s Front Porch Forum…

I had a fantastic experience with Shane Hardiman, whose business is called The Squeegee Brothers. Tel. 802-279-8859. Aside from doing a wonderful job, in which he went way beyond the call of duty to get old windows working again, he’s just a heck of a nice guy. He’s also a musician who performs in local groups and does lots of work with youth music coaching.

Our family ended up hiring Shane based on this note and had the same great experience (and now our home is flooded with sunlight… toddlers seem to apply a special coating to windows that requires a professional to remove  😉  ).

Shane related that he got six jobs with first-time clients based on this single paragraph placed on one Front Porch Forum neighborhood forum.  Not bad.