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Last week’s DDC conference was a success on many fronts. In case you missed it, below is a recap of blog coverage from the show. Thanks to all who attended or contributed. Now it’s time to start gearing up for ILM ’07 in November, which will be co-hosted for the first time by Search Engine Strategies. It’s shaping up to be a great event and the program and speaker list continue to expand. Those will be available later this week here, and a sneak peek is also here. More to come.

Global Yellow Pages Leadership Forum
My feeling about this week’s DDC2007 conference is that everyone was able to come away with what they wanted to hear. For instance, we heard that usage is declining, but Paul Gordon of Catalyst Paper said that demand for Yellow Pages paper is up 25 percent in the past few years primarily because of new books. (read more…)

Yellow Book’s Henry Defends Brand’s Vitality
Yellow Pages branding has had a major shift in the past couple of years, with company after company downplaying the “Pages” part of their name, and highlighting their multi-channel capabilities, often via a generic, appealing sounding names such as Sensis, Idearc, etc. Does that make a company named Yellow Book a dinosaur? Not according to Yellow Book’s Gordon Henry, who was appearing on a panel at Kelsey’s Directory Driven Commerce show. (read more…)

WebVisible: ‘Why SMB Advertisers Churn’
The churn rates for low-end local businesses are incredibly high. Why is that? WebVisible CEO Kirsten Mangers told Directory Driven Commerce attendees the reason we don’t see high conversion rates for low-end advertisers is their Web sites “really suck.” It is typical that they have “three-page, templated Web sites that they haven’t touched in three years,” she says. (read more…)

Video Gets Play at DDC
A session on online video this morning at the DDC conference explored some of the opportunities for directories to integrate video on their sites and video ad units in the toolbox of their sales reps. The thought is that this can be a nice user retention tool — in line with users’ growing affinities toward online video — as well as a draw for advertisers who are increasingly asking for video ads. (read more…)

DDC Coverage: Yahoo!’s Kay Skeptical About Local Verticals
Verticals are important to Yahoo! and others on a national basis, but they really aren’t the way to go at the local level because of the limited resources for local sales, says Warren Kay, managing director, strategic alliances, Yahoo! Search Marketing. (read more…)

Building a Better Database: Getting Harder All the Time
No surprise that a takeaway from the “Building a Better Database” panel at DDC2007 was that it is getting harder and harder to acquire good listing data — fragmentation, latency issues and disparate data are just the tip of the iceberg. (read more…)

DDC Coverage: YPG Pursues YP and Classifieds Synergies
Trader Pubs, the Canadian shopper publisher of and assorted other titles acquired by YPG last year, is seeking synergies between the companies that add usage and extend advertiser relationships in both directions, according to Geneviève LeBrun, a longtime YPG exec who became Trader’s VP of marketing last June. LeBrun keynoted Kelsey’s Directory Driven Commerce show in Reston, VA. (read more…)

Major Market Challenge: All Contenders Welcome
What’s fun about attending a DDC conference is that at some point a challenge is laid down calling for a radical change. Yesterday afternoon, Neal Polachek and Charles Laughlin outlined the challenges major metropolitan markets face around the world. (read more…)

The ‘Marriage’ of Consumer Reviews and Yellow Pages
Today at DDC, we saw a lively panel on Consumer Reviews — among the earliest and most widely used forms of UGC. Mike Boland’s intro used Kelsey data showing how much consumers want reviews on Web sites. Reviews have the most rapidly growing “demand” curve of all types of Web site content with more than 40 percent of consumers now saying they want them. (read more…)


Related: Among others to cover DDC, was Sebastien Provencher who also announced last week that he has received a first round of funding from Garage Technology Ventures to build a social utility around his industry blog. Little else is known about the stealth mode venture, except that it will facilitate social connections around blogs and other online tools. His DDC coverage can be found here.

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