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Network site keen to target SMBs

11 Jan 2012

Small and medium businesses which may be hesitant to advertise with giants like Google or Facebook are being targeted by a new networking site on display at CES.

Ayloo is a site that allows people to create communities based around different interests, designer Mark Johnson told Paul Spain from the NZ Tech Podcast.

"If I care a lot about typography, I’m obviously not going to go to a coffee shop and find a typography lover’s group,” Johnson says.

"On Ayloo I can actually go on there and find people who love typography, find people who are local, go and meet them in real life, have conversations in real life, and when I’m not seeing them in real life go online and have those same conversations.”

The difference from other community sites is a focus on identity, which helps keep trolling – the bane of all discussion and community sites – to a minimum.

Another point of appeal is the slick design and lack of advertising, although this does create a problem for the founders: How do they plan to make money from the site?

"One of the areas that’s definitely untapped is what Groupon’s going after, which is local and small business,” Johnson says.

"They’re not apt to advertising generally speaking. You can tell them what Google AdSense is, but whether or not they’re going to actually go on there and advertise is a different thing.

"We’re hoping that by connecting these communities we can create advertising that is not awful. We’d like to make it as simple as possible to say, ‘okay, cool, you’re a pizza shop, we have a pizza community, why don’t you connect and we can just place an ad, we’ll make it for you, say what you want to say, say where you are, and then you can not only have an ad but a conversation about your shop with the users we have’.”

Go here for more on setting up your brand with Ayloo, or here to register for the NZ Tech Podcast if you'd like more updates from CES.