Jon Brod, executive VP, AOL Ventures, was keynote speaker today at the BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces 2010 conference. He gave us a good update on AOL’s local strategy centered around Patch, the hyperlocal/citizen journalism initiative at AOL.
Highlights from his keynote:
- Local is the largest opportunity YET to be won online
- AOL’s five pillars: content, advertising, communications, ventures, local
- Patch’s mission: to improve communities and the lives of their residents through information.
- Patch consists of i) a scalable technology platform, ii) structured data, iii) professional journalists in every community
- Monetization: i) self-serve ads 2) Ad sales reps
- Operating Patch is 4.1% of the cost of a like-size daily newspaper
- AOL will soon to relaunch City’s Best brand (was dormant)
- AOL will soon relaunch MapQuest as well
Additional notes from Local SEO Guide:
- Patch has grown from 3 markets one year ago to 41 communities on four different states.
- They have a LocalFund to invest in local startups.
- AOL on the record as investing $50MM in Patch and City’s Best this year.
Brod mentioned they had this quote about local: “local is not a one-ton gorilla, It is 2,000 one-pound monkeys”.