As 2015 winds down, it’s an ideal time to introduce the all new Bizyhood that will be launching in 2016. Many of you have heard or seen snippets of our new strategy, but until now, we haven’t been too vocal about it.
2015 was spent on our “pivot” to focus on hyperlocal digital publishers. Note however, that our core beliefs have not changed: hyperlocal businesses need more effective ways to be found online and need an effective channel for engaging with their customers. We believe the options available today are too expensive, complicated, and restrictive for the typical small business owner.
Hyperlocal digital publishers are the steak to social media’s sizzle. Their publishing is hard hitting, thoughtful, impactful and authoritative. They serve a smaller but passionate and highly interested audience. And they are reliable. You know what you are getting, every day, consistently.
Even with the massive reduction in force at Patch, there are still hundreds of hyperlocal digital news sites in the U.S. While some of them are run by ex-Patch Editors, others have been in existence and thriving for over 10 years, even predating Patch. These publishers are exceptional people. They believe in the power of journalism and the importance of covering stories that large newspapers gave up on years ago. It also turns out that they are distinctly authoritative online in the communities that they cover.
How does this impact what Bizyhood is doing? Many of you have read that mobile search has eclipsed desktop search in popularity, and that a large majority of searches on mobile devices are for goods and services “near” the user. Further, Google and Bing strive to find the “best” answers to users queries when they search. So, when it comes to goods and services in a local area, it stands to reason that the hyperlocal digital publisher should be the “best” place to source these answers. It’s our mission to make that statement a reality.
Bizyhood’s platform is now powering dozens of hyperlocal digital publishing sites so they can provide the small business owners in their service area with a simple, easy, and affordable way to engage with their community and customers. And at the same time, they will give consumers in their community an effective and powerful way to find all the goods and services they need, when they want them.
We still have much to work on to fully realize our goal, but the seeds have been planted and the growth has begun. We will be profiling our publishing partners starting early next year, and talking about what makes them so important to their communities. We will also profile the steps they are taking to be the authoritative voice – both online and on Main Street.
We could not have gotten this far without the great feedback and suggestions of all of our users, critics and friends. Please don’t stop! We only get better by listening closely to what you have to say.
As we wind down 2015, we wish you a very happy holiday season and best wishes for a truly amazing 2016. We’ll see you there!