College Markets: The New Local Frontier
As the previous post pointed out, college towns can represent strong markets for hyper-local community sites because of the activism (conducive to user generated content), buying power (sometimes), and high turnover of apartments, furniture, books, merchandise etc.
My former colleague Greg Sterling pointed out on his blog today that a similar concept will make college atmospheres ripe for local commercial monetization through social media such as wikis. Social networking (a branch of, but not to be confused with the more broad, social media) has already proven to resonate among college students with the popular Facebook.
How these sites develop and are monetized is an equally important question that also hounds social networks, online classifieds, and community sites in general. It could be a greater challenge in a college atmosphere where a general anti-commercial sentiment exists more than in the "real world" (without generalizing too much).
It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, and what business models will be developed to take local search, classifieds and user generated content to college campuses in a standardized and meaningful way.
UPDATE: I’m reminded that Peter Krasilovsky points to more issues in the collision of local media and college environments in this past post.
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Right on! Much more on college issues in this July posting: http://localonliner.com/?p=156
Interesting idea coz they are wired and have tremendous purchasing power, they get easily attached with a brand or form a brand themselves.