The future of online is local

When I launched East County Online in 1995, I had a hard time convincing anybody that someday local would really, really matter.  I certainly couldn’t get any funding for my little start up.  So ECO is history (truly, it was the first chain of weekly newspapers in the US with a web site), but local is getting big.

Terry Heaton has a lengthy column up now on the untapped opportunity in local.

More and more people are shopping online and feeling comfortable in so doing. According to comScore Media Metrics, “overall non-travel (retail) e-commerce spending increased 26 percent this holiday season versus 2005 to a record-setting $24.6 billion.” But doing commerce on the web — at least in its current iteration — will always be just a small drop in the gargantuan bucket of overall commerce, and that’s why local advertising is so important.

The opportunity for online local advertising is there, but before it can find its rightful place in the local community, the local WEB community must be defined, identified and nurtured.

I sometimes wonder what ECO could be today if I’d been able to stick with it …  it was hyperlocall before hyperlocall was cool.

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