Customer-friendly ads

It’s hard to make a sale when customers aren’t sure what they’re getting and what it will cost. That’s the idea behind new fixed-rate local ads from Yahoo. WebProNews noticed the new offering Friday. MediaPost followed up on Monday with details:

“The listings are available at the top of the page on Yahoo Local, for monthly fees ranging from $20 to $300–with the highest prices charged to advertisers in the most popular categories and the largest cities. For now, the ads include basic directory information, such as the business name, address, phone number, map, and a link to its Web site; Yahoo also is testing images in the ads, according to Aytek Celik, senior product manager, Yahoo Local.”

This is a signal and a challenge to grassroots sites: buying ads through auction pricing models is just too damn difficult. Sure Web ads can be targeted and ad-dollars can be metered out more carefully. But for the local merchant who hasn’t got the time to do the math, buying exposure at a price certain is what they do now in print or broadcast media.

Are they serious? Poynter Institute wrote about a study presented to the National Academy of Broadcasters that was summed up thus:

“These are serious times, and people are far more interested in national and world news than newsrooms might assume.”

The takeaway was less crime and fluff. More national and international news. The journalist in me would like to believe this. The cynic in me isn’t sure that the respondents weren’t simply giving the answers that would make them look smart rather than superficial.

Serious times call for serious tools . . This reference from a Poynter commentation will take you to a tutorial on public record and database reporting.

… And serious venues: “Culture, Commerce, and Public Media: A New Forum for Creators” is the title of a conference coming up in June. The event is designed to help “commercial and noncommercial institutions active in culture, education, and media … make their materials–current productions, and legacy content–more openly available.” I think the idea is to figure out how indie film makers can access the archives of public broadcasters and other public trust institutions such as museums, and spread the knowledge. I got a message on this from Jeff Ubois. The event is being organized by Intelligent Television about which I’ve written before.

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