CITY WEB SITES - WHO'S ON FIRST?
Check out business opportunities as the World Wide Web goes local
The Web magazine, a terrific guide to what's happening on-line,
recently critiqued Internet sites that tell you everything about a city
you're going to visit, a place you just moved to or a city you thought you
Jewelers may want to get involved in this new venue for local advertising.
Of the $66 billion spent annually in local advertising in the U.S. each
year, $1.5 billion is expected to shift to the 'Net by 2001. Get your jewelry
store there first and you will be top of mind to city visitors and newcomers.
City sites also often feature free listings, another option you may want
to consider. And there's always the advantage of having your store's own
Web site linked to a city site so visitors and residents can find you easier
on-line. There are several companies that may target your town (it's not
just big cities, but smaller ones too) such as the ones below.
This Pasadena, CA, company operates about 30 Internet sites nationwide in
mostly medium-sized cities such as Salt Lake City, NV, and Austin, TX. The
company was started to help local businesses create Web sites. It wants
to remain local-community oriented.
This service from America OnLine also hopes to create that community feeling,
with classified advertising and smaller items that might interest jewelers.
It has big bucks to back it up and a big resource in its captive audience
of 9 million America OnLine users. It already has a site in New York and
has announced plans for more in 1998.
Available from Microsoft, Sidewalk is another contender with deep pockets
and the technological resources to back up its services. The Web's
reviewers like Sidewalk's design, slick fonts and efficient search engine.
Microsoft plans to have 10 city sites up and running on its Sidewalk service
by early this year.
Local guides Your local city newspapers and guides are getting
into the act also. While they may lack the financial resources of some of
the bigger players, they do have an advantage when it comes to a lot of
background and long-term knowledge of the cities they cover. These sources
also have the most to lose if local merchants take their ad dollars to the
big boys. Check out such sites before signing on to advertise with a nationally
known company - you might get a break on rates.
Editor's Note: Professional Jeweler's technology page will feature
ideas, tips and information to help you understand the ever-changing world
of technology and how it will affect your business. If you have a great
story, experience or success to relate in using new technologies such as
the Internet, CD-ROM catalogs, inventory systems, digital cameras or any
other equipment or service, contact us at Professional Jeweler, 1500
Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; (215) 567-0727, e-mail email@example.com.
We 'll have our tech-savvy reporters call you to get the details. Thanks!
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.