December 07, 2005

User-Generated Advertisers

Rob Hof of Businessweek blogged this morning about my participation in a panel session yesterday at the When 2.0 conference at Stanford University.

Heard a couple of new buzzwords--or are they incipient markets?--at the When 2.0 workshop presented at Stanford today by Esther Dyson's ReLease 1.0 and Stanford's Media X program.

* "user-generated advertisers": That's what Brian Dear of the online "event discovery" service EVDB (otherwise known as eventful), calls advertisers who appear like magic where people gather online (or offline for that matter). He brought up the term after Scott Heiferman of Meetup mentioned how a New York Meetup group of several hundred photographers got an offer from a camera shop to sponsor the group and offer discounts on gear. Actually, it's not a buzzword yet--type it into Google in quotes and you get ZERO results. Not for long, I bet.

The idea behind user-generated advertisers is this: everyone gets the power of user-generated content, but why stop at content? Why not help members of a local community to find those elusive local merchant advertisers every web company in the universe is seeking right now? The Holy Grail of advertising on the web is the local merchant -- the local merchant who spends lots of money on coupons, classifieds, radio, tv, print -- all the old 20th century solutions -- everything but ads on the Net. And this just Won't Do.

So enlist the public in finding these merchants, signing them up, helping them be successful. Give them a finder's fee commission, and help usher in the great new age of ads on the web: from the local car dealer, pizza parlor, hair salon, hardware store, department store, grocery store, you name it. User-generated advertisers: the wave of the future.

Posted by brian at December 7, 2005 05:50 AM

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