Even though I was one of the original users of the term “hyper-local” I’m now an opponent of the phase. But those sites that are focused on communities and neighborhoods need monetization that does a better job for them than AdSense. One approach is Cox-owned Adify, which allows the creation of custom or vertical ad networks. Adify is the back-end and infrastructure behind SLOAN: Sacramento Local Online Ad Network and other similar networks. According to the press release put out last month:
Developed in conjunction with Adify, a vertical ad network platform, SLOAN is currently creating agreements with several local publishers. To date it includes The Sacramento Press, The Rancho Cordova Post, Gold River Online, Elk Grove Online, SacMix, The Sac Rag, Sacramento365.com, Myfolsom.com and The Tomato Pages Network and is growing.
While SLOAN will provide support and a new revenue channel to independent, online publishers, each online publisher will have total control over its ad campaigns. Accepting or opting out of ads is completely at the discretion of each individual publisher and websites will remain autonomous. In addition, readers will not see any changes in the content or the in-depth coverage and focus their communities receive from the publisher. SLOAN was also designed so advertisers can take advantage of SLOAN’s reach and targeted audiences.
This is a model that can and should be replicated by other collections of local sites.
Mark Potts reminds me that GrowthSpur is out there building local ad networks too.