Placeblogs for fame and profit

Would you like to create an online property that you could lauch on a part-time basis, build without investment capital, and possibly sell within a few years? If you answered in the affirmative it’s time to learn about placeblogs.

I came across the term for the first time this morning. Here is a link to conference’s table of contents. It will be the gateway to a wealth of information and prescriptive tips on how to create a hyper-local online site that will, at very least, make you a big fish in a small pond perhaps be your chance to build a media business. Here’s the conference snippet that made me sit up and take notice:

“Private equity investors are strip mining local media. Chains. Local media sell out to private equity investor. make a mini-mogul out of yourself. They’re looking for a payout in 3-7 years. Private ownership isn’t necessarily much better than public.”

One placeblog pioneer is Lisa Williams, founder of, a site that caters to the 35,000 inhabitants of Watertown, Massachussetts. The Media Giraffe Project (visit and bookmark this how-to site!) has published an interview with Williams in which she offers this bit of moxie:

“Aside from a bad attitude, one of my other journalistic sins is my lack of objectivity. I live in Watertown. I love it, and I’m an unapologetic booster. I’m not in bed with the subject, but as it happens, my bed is in the subject. I’m not shy about my agenda, which is to make Watertown a better place to live (and I’m also not shy about what I think ‘better’ means).”

Again, here is a table of contents for conference topics with links to the specifics. There are also some podcasts. Williams posted some pictures which might be useful., which aimed me at this topic, also pointed to what I think is a separate conference, Wikimania 2006. A quick scan of the topics suggests it is less how-to and more why we should be exploring wiki-style endeavors.