Smalltown Buys Online Community

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Smalltown has acquired Local2Me, a seven-year-old online community based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Local2Me has a well-established user base and archive of content, which are the primary reasons for the acquisition according to Smalltown CEO Hal Rucker. Focused on very small markets, Smalltown is trying to do what Backfence was unable to do, but with a somewhat different approach.

I spoke to Rucker on Thursday of last week and he was encouraged by the progress Smalltown is making both on the consumer front and ad sales front. He says that while he’s eager to roll out nationally the company is still working on getting it right in the five markets it’s currently in. Here’s a video with testimonials from advertisers and users that does suggest (recognizing that this is promotional) that the company is getting something right.

Trust, both for users and advertisers, is a key differentiator – or potential differentiator – and Smalltown’s approach (time consuming though it may be) is working on building that local trust. One of the speakers in the video cited above says, “Smalltown is word of mouth advertising on the Internet.”

I go back to the recent data we pulled from the SMB market regarding word of mouth and their striking willingness to embrace online communities, as an extension of word of mouth, as well as Nielsen’s data on word of mouth being the most trusted “medium” by consumers.

Smalltown was also one of the first local sites to introduce video.


One Response to “Smalltown Buys Online Community”

  1. Smalltown buys Local2Me at Ghost of Midnight Says:

    […] Greg Sterling […]

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