Local Advertising & Local Content

The “Drilling Down on Local 2007” conference sponsored by The Kelsey Group finished up in Santa Clara a couple weeks ago.

Hilary Schneider of Yahoo was one of the keynote speakers presenting Yahoo’s efforts in the local advertising space. She stresses that the demand for local search is growing each year and the potential ad revenue is in the billions.

Additionally, Peter Horan, the CEO of IAC Media & Advertising, also discussed the local opportunities. Specifically, he mentions integrating professionally produced content with user generated content in an effort to capture the user’s attention in their search for local service information.

This integration of content at the local level from a trusted source that is targeted to a hyper-local audience is the exact model that eNeighbors hopes to drive. Imagine having a prescreened roofer or plumber advertise on your local neighborhood website right where you already read the latest news about your community. The local service providers can start coming to you rather than you searching them out. And it’s all done in a subtle, approachable way that is not “in your face” with sales pitches.

Can a website slow cars down?

To a certain extent, it can. How? By increasing awareness.

The Highlands Ranch Board of Directors asked the city of Leawood, KS to conduct a speed survey due to the concern that cars were speeding through the neighborhood, putting residents and children at risk.

Then, they published the results on their neighborhood website.The survey showed that only 3% of cars (20 vehicles of 647) were going over the speed limit by 10mph or more.

The highest recorded speed was 41 mph.

While 3% sounds like a small number, it’s not for a street like 141st Street where thousands of cars move through on a weekly basis.

At some point, it may make sense for the board to pursue traffic calming measures like roundabouts. If they do decide to request this from the city council, it will take the support from the entire neighborhood.

Educating residents early on and keeping them informed of their progress will be critical to garnering the support for traffic calming measures in the future, if that turns out to be the right thing to do.

In the meantime, the board has opened up a dialogue in the community allowing people to comment on the article or to submit private “Community Feedback” to the board.

Part of the reason I wanted to post this information was because it’s a great example of how an online neighborhood communication channel can add value to a community. I also think that our other customers will appreciate knowing what other boards are doing about speed problems.