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In case you missed any posts last week, here is the TKG blog highlight reel. Click below to read each post in full.

Yellow Pages Is a Growth Industry
A challenge that every marketing person faces is to determine the unique selling proposition (USP) for a product or service and then convey it in an interesting manner that will encourage the target market to buy. Today, after six months of research, interviews, searching through records, analysis, writing and editing, our directory team has completed its comprehensive Global Yellow Pages 2007: The Kelsey Group’s Outlook and Forecast. This is the fourth edition of this report, which has grown from 300 pages to 550 and now covers 150 companies with profiles of 47 countries/markets. (read more…)

Did We Mention Video Is Big?
The Yellow Pages industry is only recently waking up to the potential of combining directory advertising with online video. Publishers like Canpages in Canada and Seat in Italy are leading the way among publishers, while vertical players such as Citysearch and Cox’s Kudzu are examples of early movers into the video space. Other players such as, DexOnline and Comcast are also currently testing and developing their own video offerings in an effort to catch up and take advantage of the large online video viewing audience. (read more…)

Comcast Goes Virtual
Comcast this week announced that it will open up its own island within the virtual world of Second Life. Second Life is increasingly becoming a marketing venue for companies that wish to reach the young and tech-savvy set that play it. The potential exposure can be more immersive and interactive than other online media, given the fanatical and repetitive play it receives. But such a marketing campaign can cede a certain amount of control in the anything-goes atmosphere of the virtual world. (read more…)

SignOn San Diego Adds Local Wikis
Some people in the user-generated content community are very Wiki-centric, but there really haven’t been local applications – until now. Our forward looking friends at The San Diego Union Tribune’s SignOn San Diego site have launched a local Wiki to fill out their AmplifiSD music site. (read more…)

UGC: To Be or Not to Be, Part IV
Paul Jahn at Search Engine Guide writes today about how fraudulent user reviews can be particularly damning to local search sites. Users are smart, he contends, and can sniff out a fake message from a business owner or constituent. This is consistent with past TKG findings, and presents an important challenge for the growing majority of local search sites that have begun to integrate and grow their user-generated content features. This will be an important challenge as social media becomes a necessary component to local search sites, to remain competitive, boost user appeal and deepen content for SEO benefits. (read more…)

The iPhone and Local Search
The New York Times today continues the ongoing discussion of the iPhone’s potential as a game changer and its possible shortcomings. It brings up the challenges that could arise in getting consumers accustomed to a radically different interface that doesn’t include the tactile control over a mechanical keypad. There are a number of other shortcomings that have been tossed around elsewhere, including scratch resistance, lack of expandable memory and replaceable battery. But looking past these, the big picture is that the device will be revolutionary in the standards and expectations it sets for mobile search and entertainment. (read more…)

Comcast Goes Hyper-Local
Comcast has begun to serve coverage of local events on its on-demand programming menu. This includes things such as high school sports, local parades and local interest news stories. This is an interesting move for Comcast and one that reinforces some of the local strengths it has traditionally held. This also brings local video content into more of a pull-based delivery mechanism, akin to the development it is seeing online. The next step could be to integrate small-business video advertising to on-demand menus, which would make them more directional and pull based than they have traditionally been in local cable advertising. (read more…)

FastCall411, IllumiCell Seek Faster SME Response
Consumers increasingly use the Web to search for services. But it is tough to complete the loop and actually order service. In many cases, businesses are either unresponsive to phone calls and e-mails or their information is inaccurate. All this was confirmed by an April survey of 5,000 L.A. businesses. Conducted in midday, when businesses ought to be ready for business, the survey couldn’t get through to 64 percent of contacted businesses. They had disconnected numbers, busy signals, did not answer or otherwise did not respond. (read more…)

Private Equity Pushes Harder Into Online Media
After Hellman & Friedman’s well-publicized return on DoubleClick when it sold its stake in the company to Google in April, there seems to be an uptick in interest among private equity firms in online investments. The latest is NexTag, which just received an $830 million investment from Providence Equity partners for a roughly 66 percent stake in the company. (read more…)

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