Outside.in Gets a New Look

The image “https://i2.wp.com/outside.in/images/webassets/logo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Outside.in, which aspires to be a kind of neighborhood hub, performing the functions of local search sites + Topix, but on a more micro level, has redesigned — wisely. The old site was too dense and almost unusable.

Right now the site seeks to differentiate by providing neighborhood level information and much more local detail than is generally available on “tier one” local search sites (save Yahoo! Local). The new look is much cleaner and better but is still somewhat lacking in “personality,” the thing that will enable it to succeed ultimately. Here’s the Seattle homepage.

The business model is advertising with super-local targeting potentially available. The challenge is to build enough traffic to get attention. Topix, for its part, has been able to drive revenue largely with AdSense by building a base of 10 million uniques.

Outside.in is clearly very much a work in progress, but if the leap from the old design to this one is any indication it’s making progress quickly.

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Related: Chris Linnett of Marchex/OpenList raises the “heretical” issue of “Local Search without Maps.” 🙂 He’s right, maps don’t help us in all situations. They’re great for some things but not everything local.

2 Responses to “Outside.in Gets a New Look”

  1. TJ Says:

    Greg,

    Can you talk about some of the differences you see between Outside.in and Topix? Seems like both of their core functions is aggregating local news. Other than a different look and feel I haven’t been able to tell how Outside.in is planning on differentiating itself from the larger Topix.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I actually haven’t spoken directly to Outside.in. I was supposed to but the call never happened. Topix is a news site with local discussions and classifieds and now it’s become more of a blogging site with a news/events focus.

    Outside.in is aggregating news and blogs but has a broader emphasis on goings on and information in local areas. News is a piece of it.

    But I agree there’s a good deal of overlap. The emphasis is different.

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