MapQuest Wants Your Local Content
by Matt McGee on Sep 10, 2008 in Promotion
Local bloggers, MapQuest is looking for local content — I highly suggest you give it to them.
Here’s the scoop: MapQuest has just launched MapQuest Local, which is essentially a local start page filled with news, events, gas prices, business listings and recommendations, weather (and more) about your hometown. You can customize your own local page to show the content you want in the layout you want.
One of the big problems with efforts like this is that they work well in big cities, but fall apart when you get to smaller towns where there’s not as much data, activity, content, and so forth. But I can report that the page for Richland, Washington — not exactly a booming metropolis — looks pretty good:
That’s a pretty full page of content; only the “City’s Best” widget comes up empty. I’m impressed. This is probably the most compelling general local content experience on the web right now.
I’m curious: How does the start page for your hometown look?
Meanwhile, we’re local bloggers and we want our content to get exposure on sites like this. Right now, MapQuest is pulling data from sources like its AOL partners, Topix (news), Flickr (photos), and so forth. But, as they explained today on the MapQuest blog, they also want to bring in additional local content:
“…we’ll be opening up MapQuest to enable you to expose your content and drive traffic directly back to your site.
If you want access to the 12th largest web site audience in the US – an audience who comes to with an interest in one or more explicit locations – bring us your feeds! Bring us your location relevant content. Bring us useful information both general and niche.”
There’s a simple sign-up form here. All they require is a name, email address, and the URL you’re submitting. You can also provide your RSS feed URL and some additional information. They also start talking about APIs, which, when I submitted our Richland blog, prompted me to include a message like this:
Guys, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t require APIs to submit content to MapQuest Local. There are thousands of great local blogs out there written by people who know their hometowns, but have no clue what an API is.
If you’re inclined to include that message when you submit, feel free — copy and paste it exactly as is, or write something similar in your own words. Either way, just get over there and tell them about your local blog today!
- Mike Boland: New Local Portal on the Scene: A Conversation with MapQuest
- Greg Sterling: MapQuest Builds New ‘Local Platform’