Newsonomics thinks they can: by something he calls “commercial crowdsourcing,” and the example given is PlaceLocal:
In a nutshell, PlaceLocal creates instant ads for a business, drawn from the best of the available information out there on the web Ã¢â‚¬â€ photos, user reviews, basic address, phone, hours, menus.
It gives publishers Ã¢â‚¬â€ TimeOut, Hearst TV, and McClatchy are three of the first companies testing it Ã¢â‚¬â€ the ability to create ads on the fly, spec Ã¢â‚¬â„¢em out and use their sales staffs to do the selling. Victor Wong, one of the young geniuses behind the PaperGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s innovation Ã¢â‚¬â€ its first product, FlyerBoard, simply updated for the digital age the old notion of the ubiquitous kiosk flyers found around college campuses Ã¢â‚¬â€ tells me he thinks PlaceLocal will be a bigger product. It should sell for a higher rate, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what his publisher customers are hoping. Initial rates Ã¢â‚¬â€ weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking about smaller businesses which arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t frequent advertisers Ã¢â‚¬â€ run in the hundreds up to a thousand dollars monthly. That $1,000 target would more than double the pricing of the FlyerBoard product, a key in PaperGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s growth plan as the company of a dozen plus leaves the friendly confines of New Haven for Silicon Valley North, San Francisco.