Family Vacations On Capitol Hill For IAB Long Tail Alliance

Family Travel Forum is one of a group of small businesses brought to D.C. to educate legislators and regulators on role of ad-supported Internet in U.S. economy.

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Having an opportunity to speak directly with Congresswoman Caroline Maloney of New York and other movers and shakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee, who are responsible for regulating the telecomm industry, was very empowering

Washington, D.C. (Vocus) June 15, 2009

Family Travel Forum co-founder Kyle McCarthy was one of 30 small online publishers from across the country that converged on the nation’s capital in a first-of-its-kind show of strength to explain the importance of the advertising supported Internet empowering small business growth in America. The Congressional action was part of a two-day event hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to showcase the importance of the ad-supported Internet to the U.S. economy.

Ms. McCarthy publishes the FamilyTravelForum.com and travelBIGO.com websites for Family Travel Forum Inc., an independent media company based in New York City. These online travel communities are typical of what’s been called The Long Tail of the Internet; successful niche sites that cater to a limited number of highly engaged users by offering exclusive content or products.

At a press conference at the National Press Club, the IAB announced news across a number of initiatives from the two-day event:

  • The Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem–Commissioned by the IAB and produced by Harvard Business School professors John Deighton and John Quelch, it is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of this ever-more important medium. Among its findings: 2.1%, or $300 billion, of the total U.S. GDP is contributed by the ad-supported Internet, which has created 3.1 million jobs, including 20,000 small businesses.
  • Long Tail publishers met with Congress and members of the press to tell their own stories of how they have turned their passions into a medium revolution—and into businesses that are helping them achieve the American dream.
  • The formal launch of the IAB’s Long Tail Alliance, an initiative to give voice through the IAB to small ad-supported, publishing and technology sites in the digital ecosystem.
  • The debut of “I Am the Long Tail,” a seven-minute video, created by the IAB, that ties together vignettes from Long Tail publishers across the nation, such as Family Travel Forum. To share the Long Tail story in video and online, see iamthelongtail.com.

“We wanted the Long Tail Publishers to use their voices to speak to their Congresspeople about what interactive means to them, their employees and their families. Small businesses have been created and transformed in massive numbers across the U.S. with the advent of the ad-supported Internet,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of IAB. “It is vital that our legislators and regulators, when considering potential regulations, understand that ad-supported publishers are responsible for profound economic value throughout the U.S. Federal and state representatives should not diminish the diversity of voices and ideas in this most diverse of communications media.”

"Having an opportunity to speak directly with Congresswoman Caroline Maloney of New York and other movers and shakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee, who are responsible for regulating the telecomm industry, was very empowering," notes Kyle McCarthy. "All of the representatives we met were very sensitive to the needs of small business owners, the jobs that Family Travel Forum creates for journalists, and the scholarships we offer young writers; all of which are supported by advertising that's relevant to our travel community."

For more information on the Fly-In, and for a complete copy of the Economic Value of Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem, please go to iab.net. To view “I Am the Long Tail” and nearly 30 videos from Long Tail publishers including Family Travel Forum, please go to iamthelongtail.com.

About Family Travel Forum (FTF):
Family Travel Forum's vacation websites - familytravelforum.com and travelBIGO.com - contain vast libraries of expert and community written destination research, including first-hand reviews of tropical and ski resorts, cruises, reunion ideas, vacation packages, health, safety tips and more. FTF offers custom trip-planning advice and exclusive vacation discounts, licenses best-of-breed content to other websites, and consults to the trade on marketing to families.

About the IAB:
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 375 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit http://www.iab.net.

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