Building a local ad network

The Washington Post, more than any other mainstream media company, understands new media and how to make it work. Caroline Little is CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, and it was Caroline who first caught my attention with her quote, “Coming in through the home page is an old model and coming in sideways is the new method of arrival for most users.” Tom Kennedy and his VJs have won NPPA video awards, and that’s evidence of how newspapers can play in the broadcast video news space. And now comes The Blogroll, further evidence that Caroline and her people simply get it.

Similar to what we’re trying to do with AR&D client WKRN‐TV in Nashville, this is building an ad network through bloggers, especially those whose work fits within specific advertiser needs. The premise is brilliant. If you’re a blogger, you submit your blog to the blogroll and if approved, you start running ads served by the and share in the revenue.

While nobody’s likely to get rich doing this, it expands the Post reach exponentially, gives them valuable user data, creates deep relationships outside their usual sphere of influence and helps monetize citizen media efforts.

A link to members’ blogs will be featured in our Sponsored Blogroll index, giving your writing promotional space on the home page and giving you an introduction to an audience of 8 million readers monthly. At the same time, our hardworking sales reps will help connect your signature musings with the huge number of advertisers we deal with every day who are looking for the next big, slightly‐outside‐the‐mainstream idea.

As a Sponsored Blogroll member, you’ll maintain your independence. But you’ll get additional site traffic, a little buzz and maybe some additional income.

As with the WKRN project, underneath this all is the knowledge that ad networks are where the money is in reach/frequency internet advertising. Building local networks, therefore, is the next killer app for local media, but few understand this or are willing to tie their sacred brands to other websites in the community. This, as we say in Texas, is dumber than a bucket of hair.

The tools and techniques of Media 2.0 allow local media companies to be that which they currently are not, and it is precisely this that holds such opportunity for the mainstream in the years ahead. Caroline Little clearly gets that.


  1. Terry, thanks for the kind words about the blogroll. Your WKRN project sounds exciting and I would love to connect with you sometime to share notes.

    Shoot me an email if you are interested.


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