Smalltown Takes ‘Webcards’ on the Road

In my periodic discussion of local search successes and survivors, I often neglect to mention Smalltown. The site has plugged along since its debut in 2006 and has pursued a “hyper-local” strategy in the SF Bay Area. It was one of the first local sites (if not the first) to add video. Faced with the challenge of where to go next it decided to do something very interesting.

I met several weeks ago with founder Hal Rucker who showed me a demo of what the company is launching today: Webcards as a stand alone product. Flash-based Webcards, which are a core component of the Smalltown destination experience, now become a platform for small business websites and their syndication (see ad at right on Trulia). Indeed, the ad units themselves are amazingly versatile and in some ways more impressive in syndication than they are in the context of the Smalltown site.

Webcards can substitute for a conventional website:

Webcard site

They cost $9.50 per month and are apparently SEO friendly. However they can also be embedded in other directory sites:

Webcard in directory

In addition or alternatively, they can act as interactive, geo-targeted banners on non-directory sites:

Webcard as a banner

Rucker also told me that any changes made to Webcards would go live wherever they appeared on the Internet. Another interesting angle here is Rucker’s use of Webcards.com as a prospecting tool for new Smalltown sites. He intends to watch and see if there are particular markets where Webcards are adopted. Those markets could become the next locations for Smalltown sites, he told me.

5 Responses to “Smalltown Takes ‘Webcards’ on the Road”

  1. EveryScape Upgrades, Expands Community Strategy « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Screenwerk Greg Sterling’s Thoughts on Online and Offline Media « Smalltown Takes ‘Webcards’ on the Road […]

  2. Jason Says:

    Interesting but technically just widgets right? Flash based so I’m missing the Google indexing consideration… then again, they probably aren’t really IN Google; they also promote that they get you in “online yellow pages” yet that’s only true of YP Live which is their site.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yes, it’s indexing. In their syndication form they’re flash widgets. As a stand alone “site,” they have unique URLs.

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    […] Microsoft, Google and SmallTown offer stand-alone simple website building tools. Blogs can also be used as sites (as I do). However […]

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