The company is trying to scale “hyper-local” and has improved the look and functioning of the site since its launch. As founder Steven Berlin Johnson told MediaPost:
“The development of our partner program and targeted regional and national advertising will be two major initiatives for the coming year,” said Outside.in co-founder Steven Berlin Johnson. “We’ve spent our first year building out a state-of-the-art platform for organizing the Web geographically, and now we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to build a business on top of that platform.”
Smalltown is also in this category, although taking a more incremental approach to building out its sites. The challenge of course is direct advertiser acquisition. Backfence (now gone), Judy’s Book (now evolved) and InsiderPages (now acquired) have all faltered along this path to monetization. Yelp has had success in certain markets doing direct sales because of its brand recognition and consumer traffic.