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Reasonable business database to start, gleaned from a myriad of sources.
Local advertising to promote local search site: Side of trucks, 1 or 2 well placed smaller billboards, a few smallish local ads in the free weekly papers about "Get your free listing in WidgetCounty.com"
Word of mouth working at the local level: Sponsor a few teams, free BBs for this or that club.
Work your local business connections.
Add a script to WidgetCounty.com for listing jobs, used cars, etc. Go out to dinnr once a week and write a review. Get a few good trusted friends, ones willing to put up their names and pictures, to do the same.
Write about what you know. Heck, it's your own backyard.
Outcome: Bob and Betty are as valued and as used as a local "find business, find sales, find local info" source as the local yellow pages, the local newspaper, etc.
Local is hot! IYPs are going to do this and that. Google is going to do this an that. Bologna! In 5 years local will be owned 50% +/- by locals for locals and I expect to see it grow up from there.
Phooey to the hype and industry predictions! I dare you to prove me wrong! ;0)
P.S. I dare myself to prove myself right. Signed: Webwork the giant slayer.
[edited by: Webwork at 9:58 pm (utc) on Mar. 7, 2005]
They talk about solutions for local search but the real issue underlying all of the 'we've got a solution' is this: They don't have a good solution for preserving their own existance at the local level, at least not a solution that will enable the big directory companies to continue to look like they look right now.