[thelist] Creating a local directory from the ground up

Paul Bennett Paul.Bennett at wcc.govt.nz
Thu Nov 17 20:59:31 CST 2005

Hi Alex, 

A few thoughts....

(1) In NZ we have established services like UBD (http://www.ubd.co.nz) and YellowPages (http://www.yellowpages.co.nz) which effectively squash any small players attempts at getting in on the same market - have you checked whether similar services exist in your area?

(2) The footwork in getting this type of thing up and running would be significant - businesses are likely to look at free internet advertising with a high degree of scepticism when initially approached, and you may end up with 100 plumbers, butcher shops and corner dairies - so you have to ensure that you get a good spread of businesses in those first 100 listings in order to justify paid listings once the service is established.

(3) You may just then want to hand pick 100 business, list them and then contact the owners to ensure they have no problem with it. All the damage you can do if they do object is provide them some free advertising for a while, and if they accept then you may have a potential customer next year.

(4) You also have to justify charging for listings later on. Businesses will expect god traffic numbers and a way of measuring the impact that your site has on their business. They will also expect you to be aggressive in the marketing and advertising of your own site.

(5) Your database situation sounds dodgy - I've run applications with up to 100,000 records with not a problem. It may be more of an issue with your host / server / database software than databases being 'unstable'. In my experience, a well maintained, secure db with a well coded, secure application attached is extremely stable.

Just my 5c worth :)


-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org [mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Alex Beston
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 2:32 PM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] Creating a local directory from the ground up

hi List

Im thinking of setting up a directory for local SME's - is it worth the trouble?

anyone tried the same?

Things Im worried about are being told "no, we dont need any free internet advertising" and "No, Mr Jones isnt in today" (when he is) and any other fob-off-du-jour

A few I ideas I had were to create a write up about the company - describing what they do / sell in about 3 paras with a brief product list & a photo. do the first 100 for free and then start charging a fiver per year after an initial trial month. have a basic / standard / website listings. so the basic would be a link with about 100 word description and contact details, the standard would be something they give me to put up and upto about 300kb of media and the website, anything they cant get on to a page.

on the implementation side, I would not have it dynamic at all as sql fell over a couple of days ago, so I cant trust it. I would create a static page once info has been put into the db and recreate after each modification - seems more stable that way.

the url would be something like -




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