Going Local

Google is beta-testing a feature that would allow local advertisers to insert messages into its Maps service MediaPost reports. The publication quotes Kelsey Group analyst Greg Sterling as saying these inserts could be more than a simple icon.

“The possibilities are great,” he said. “You could plug e-commerce into this, you could plug video into this, chat, pay-per-call–you could do any number of things that would be really interesting on these modules on a map.”

In a related development, Yahoo has released a new beta of its Local News service says Cyberjournalist. The Yahoo service reminds me of Topix. Web media are gradually zeroing in on the local market which has been the preserve of traditional media. Will the Web outlets hook up to local blogs and citizen news sources? And under what economic terms? Those are some of the questions for emerging local sites going forward.

Video Maker’s Guide: Thanks to WorldChanging.com for pointing to a new how-to manual, complete with sample videos and a training film. produced by the European group Insight. There is a small fee to order the package. WorldChanging suggests the training kit would help activists to use new media technologies to focus attention and galvanize action. “Having the tools without understanding the techniques doesn’t get us all the way there,” writes WorldChanging’s Sarah Rich. “With Insights into Participatory Video, citizens have a chance to extract the full potential of technological tools .”

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media