Craig — I see your point, but here`s whwere I`m coming from. If you go on vacation to Italy and happen upon a street with a big sign that says THIS IS ITALY there`s a good bet you`re not going to find an authentic Italian experience on that street. The authentic Italian experience won`t advertise itself as such, because it is what it is, namely, it`s local.
Or for an example closer to (my) home... I can Google up Lancaster County Amish stuff all day long, but the fact that it`s online means it at least a couple degrees removed from the real Lancaster County Amish. You`re not seeing the real deal there, what you`re seeing is some "english" person trying to make a buck off Amish insider mystique. The real Amish don`t advertise themselves and it`s a well-known secret that they are among the most savvy business folks anywhere.
Part of what I am trying to do is magnify the nascent "insider mystique" vibe that exists here surrounding local foods, local artisans, local merchants, etc., as a way of helping them compete as a bloc in our local market. I think it`s fair to say that the majority of advertisers we have signed on to my unknown, unproven, no-track-record effort — in some cases, for substantial amounts of money — is because they grokked this right off the bat and they believe it will work. If my site looks like it is advertising to "outsiders," or looks like
I`m some national outfit trying to horn in on what we have going on
here, it will lose its effectiveness before I`ve even established any and I will let my advertisers down.
On a side-note, a few of our advertisers are real-deal Amish. Get this — they had to have a meeting with the elders to decide whether it would be okay to buy web + print package, or just go with print. In the end they decided it would be okay to try the web. This is a tremendous risk for them, and I consider it a great vote of confidence that they believe I`m offering ROI worthy of that level of risk.
So, because of all this, I`m convinced I`m onto something and I`m not prepared to gamble with it.
Or, you could just look at it this way.... I don`t want the huge, ugly word "pennsylvania" on my site, so it will probably not show up there.
Okay deadline tomorrow, I gotta work....