Folks . . . for those that didn’t get a chance to look at MapQuest Local yesterday, take a look. It’s a very interesting approach and strategy on AOL’s part. Why?
Here’s why in my view:
- This is a local site/dashboard that could well become a start page for many (that’s saying quite a bit).
- Third parties and other publishers will help build out the content (AOL is actively encouraging this: Local 2.0)
- Accordingly, it could become a great place for third party local distribution (effectively a “Facebook Platform” for local)
- It can be customized: users define the product’s scope for themselves. This completely avoids the question: should we (as a publisher) include events, coupons, products, news? Everything can be included and users choose what they want
It remains to be seen how many publishers and users show up and do all these things. But it’s a fresh approach to local. Others I’ve spoken to have conceptually similar ideas but so far haven’t launched them.