Spread the Mojo: San Diego Web Startup MojoPages Gets Real World Advice on Building Communities to Review Local Businesses

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MojoPages is pursuing a “white label” strategy that involves forming partnerships with existing major media companies—primarily TV and radio—and creating websites in local markets under their brand names. As part of its partnership deals, which encompass more than 1,000 local media outlets, MojoPages gets to advertise for free in conventional broadcast and newspaper publications. Carder says the arrangement will eventually amount to a nationwide media campaign worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“We have a really compelling argument with these media companies,” Carder said. He explained that MojoPages’ timing was “perfect” because traditional advertising revenue is declining for conventional media companies, and they’re eager to find new sources of revenue. But the prospects of a nationwide advertising windfall also raised a key issue for MojoPages, which Carder raised during the event: How can MojoPages, which currently has just 19 employees and no experience with conventional media, best use its hundreds of millions in potential advertising to attract new customers?

logo_MITEnterpriseForumThe MIT forum asked three local Internet market experts to help Carder think through his strategy: Reid Carr of Red Door Interactive; Susan Huberman of MOD Consulting; and Jason Knapp of the Fox Audience Network, a division of News Corp. that manages all display advertising for MySpace.

The panelists first peppered Carder with a lot of questions about MojoPages’ media partnerships and the quality of the advertising: Are you getting prime time advertising or “remnant” time? (Great question, Carder replied. He thinks he’s getting some of both) Just how committed are the 1,000 media partners to MojoPages? (Only San Diego’s KFMB and 17 TV stations owned by Texas-based Belo are committed, Carder said. The other 983 apparently are waiting to see what … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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