Microsoft’s Vista Offers ‘Assurance’ to Small Businesses with FM Sponsorship

Federated Media Publishing partner blog Small Business Trends has created a Microsoft-sponsored section, Small Business Trends Assurance, in support of Windows Vista.

Vista will host a special section of the blog for a six week period running through the end of September. The section includes special content and interactive banners, case studies, and a landing page with information on the OS. “Windows Vista is trying to reach small business owners. They have the landing page, Small Business Assurance, case studies,” said Jared Katzman, director of sales at Federated Media.

The message: “Basically, there’s enough risk. Your operating system shouldn’t be one of them,” Katzman said.

FM Publishing is a network of blogging and community sites known for aggregating audiences and brokering unique sponsorships. Among its recent accomplishments is the creation of social ad metrics to help advertisers track their community-driven campaigns.

With the Microsoft sponsorship comes a hosted section of the Web site, partnerships with other bloggers within the network — including those from VentureBeat, Duct Tape Marketing, and Technologizer — reader-generated group writing projects centered around small business themes, and reader polls to leverage the wisdom of crowds.

Banner ads are included in the initiative. One uses RSS to highlight Microsoft’s latest contributed content. Another poses questions with a space for users to type in answers, which are then posted to the site. “It is amplifying the conversation through the banner ads,” said Katzman.

In the two weeks since the special section launched, approximately 20,000 readers have visited the site. “It’s not like a big consumer program; this is a niche audience,” Katzman said. He notes, “When people are coming to the site, they are really engaged. We are seeing over three page views to the average user.”

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