TV station Web sites and other local media will be hosting local "best of" contests developed by CityVoter, a new company started by Forrester Research alum. The "best of" contests are using a tried-and-true format popularized by city magazines such as New York and Washingtonian and widely adopted by city guides such as Citysearch and Digital City. In this case, the best of sites are being branded as "The A List" and enable local residents to nominate local businesses in up to 90 categories.
The featured businesses will be able to populate information about themselves and will also be offered upsells such as coupons. Other local and national advertising will be sold around them.
CityVoter has launched with CBS4.com in Boston, an Owned & Operated station, as well as WUSA9.com, a Gannett-owned CBS affiliate. The latter station launched with more than 600 nominated businesses. Other local media outlets are now being approached. Vista Print, which prints materials for SMEs such as business cards, is listed as an additional marketing partner.
A friendly Forrester writeup suggests that the "best of" format will eventually take over local advertising. "I think the CityVoter model finally replaces ye old Yellow Pages," says analyst Shar VanBoskirk (ahem-cough-sputter-cough).
Readers know I'm not going to be so bullish over such a narrow ap. But over the years, it has proved to be a good format, and we know that TV stations are fine for partnering with content packagers. CityVoter seems to be off to a good start.