Lowell Update: Change in Execution Strategy

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I apologize for not updating the Lowell.com development blog in a while. For the last few weeks, I have been busily trying to finish, revise and edit the Lowell.com website, and I think we are getting very close to launch now. Basically all of the pages are done and set, but it’s just a matter of going through to make sure there aren’t typos, ensuring that all of the links work and take people to the proper places, and just cleaning everything up. There will be many tweaks made after launch, but I want a presentable website launched before I begin soliciting advertisers.
Since the last update, I made a major change in the execution strategy of Lowell.com. Previously, I intended to use phpMyDirectory to allow me to include a full directory site that would be easy for businesses to update and enhance their listings. After spending quite a bit of time thinking about this – and even starting the work on this, I decided to change course and not use a full directory. There were several reasons for this decision, and I expounded on them on the Lowell.com blog.
I plan to write a couple more updates in the next few days, and hopefully the Lowell.com beta site will be launched by the end of March or first week in April! We are only a couple of weeks behind, but I think that’s pretty good!

1 COMMENT

  1. Elliot…imo good decision…I am in the same situation and had decided “exclusivity” is worth more to the advertisers than anything else we could offer them…in my “day” business, when I advertise I always ask how many of my competitors are in there with me.

  2. As we’ve discussed, this is exactly what we did in 1998 when we began to monetize PalmSprings.com.
    It is interesting to note that my brother had previously (1996-1997) put up lists of practically ever hotel, restaurant, attraction, etc in the Palm Springs area. From an SEO perspective this helped greatly to get PalmSprings.com ranked on Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek etc (there was no Google back then). However, when I went out to sell advertising in March 1998 I was told, “You already have my business listed. Why do I have to pay you now?”

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
    Your advice on my blog (and off) has been a HUGE help for me. It is greatly appreciated, and I owe you and Michael a debt of gratitude for all you’ve shared with me.

  3. Very interesting change and observation. Potentially business model changing for me.
    Will follow this closely and am interesting to hear your feedback on how this strategy works. I am also going to try out both methods (myPHPdirectory and limited personal listings) just to test myself.

  4. Elliot,
    Does it work to do the following: Lets say i own colleges.com (I dont)…would i be correct to contact all the colleges and try to get them to pay say, $50 a year for me to add there link to my site?

  5. I wonder if you are not at the point where bringing in a technical heavy as a partner/co-developer isn’t crucial to your success.
    By “Technical heavy” I do NOT mean a programmer. I mean someone with their roots in the technical side as deeply as yours are in the domain/advertising/finance side. Someone who can write code, but more importantly has a vision for how new technology could be built into a great website.
    Paul Graham has written some interesting essays on how hard it is for non-technical types to hire the kind of talent their startup venture really needs. I think you might find them helpful in formulating your plans for the website.

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