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January 20, 2010, 02:15 AM
Thanks Marty.

What I would do is mix-and-merge a few ideas from
Don Alm, Linda Caroll, John Palma, Skip Rosell etc.
Lots of good ideas from them in the archives.

Google shows that you already have 2 worthy competitors:

Your domain name is weaker than them.

So you have to differentiate from them. At the same time, find a way to earn money.

1. I saw that you have a "Important Numbers" page on your website.
Could you put together something like:
A magnetic sheet with ads on them along with a few important numbers?

2. Then give away these magnetic sheets to people to register at your website. You get their information. They become part of a community + get a magnetic sheet for free. You make some money by selling ads on those magnetic sheets.

3. Use something like Ning.com to create your website.
Give visitors a few reasons to stay:
* Forum
* Place where they can post news and links
* Where local events are shown
* Where people's twitter stream is merged with their a/c
* People can post classified ads

All this is provided by Ning. So I would say - create your website with Ning and you won't have much of a website creation headache.

4. You then earn money by providing:

* a local dating portal add-on (maybe something like Thread.com - but for local folks)

* and making a few categories of the classified section paid - when it becomes popular. (Learning from craigslist - you don't want to make the entire classifieds section paid. Just the real estate section.)

* You also earn money by making deals with offline shops - restaurants / laundromats etc. And send out their coupons by email to your entire list.

5. This brings us to the biggest question: where does the initial traffic come from?

You could probably use a grass root fish-bowl idea. You put up a fish bowl in local restaurants and shops. People can put in their business cards for a reward. And once a week - you can collect them and do some data entry to add these people to the website - and then mail the magnetic sheets to them.

Trying a joint venture with the local radio station should also work.

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