Dear Hyperlocal Ad Blogger, Come Out, Come Out, Wherever Your Are

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in August of 2008, I’ve made it a point to cover ad news from this region. Hence, the ongoing series: “Spotlight on NW Creative.”
Now another ad blog wants to source ad bloggers in my city, and yours, to join their new hyperlocal blog network. You know, like Gothamist or MetBlogs, but for ad wonks.
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As a member of The Egotist Network, a local ad blogger will “hit the ground running with a daily blog, member profiles, local talent lists, a community forum, a job board, and more.”
“Any motivated individual now has access to a proven system for bringing their local community together and making money doing it,” said Ben Pieratt, Creative Director for The Egotist Network.
“A proven system” is pretty strong language for this particular subject. The New York Times doesn’t even have a proven system for making money online.
The crux of The Denver Egotist’s argument is that they’ve been able to sell ad space and generate job listings revenue on their site, largely because their audience is so well defined–creative class workers on the Front Range. I do believe hyperlocal is a good model and one that can turn a profit, provided the content is constant and superior. But that’s the thing. The Egotist team is incredibly motivated to create content and grow their media business. But it’s not easy to find other people with that level of drive and commitment. Especially when those other people with that level of drive and commitment need to pay to play. In a field with practically non-existent barriers to entry, The Egotist will ask emerging bloggers to pay, like a franchisee pays for the right to operate. Then there will be a further revenue split from income generated on the new Egotist-branded sites.
Understand, I wish the Egotist well. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t bother posting this. Thankfully, their success doesn’t hinge on what I think, it depends totally on what they–and a team of as yet undiscovered ad bloggers–do.
[UPDATE 2:52 PST] “The platform is free, along with a plan to launch it successfully. The editor(s) make the lion’s share of the cake that comes by way of job postings and advertising and we take a small ongoing cut,” says the Egotist.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.