April 2011 – Street Fight

Text Me an Open Table

Alex Salkever

Text Me an Open Table

Another true story. I was meeting an old family friend for dinner in downtown San Francisco. I had told him to meet me at ZeroZero, a very popular newish Italian joint with killer pizzas and a reasonable menu. We get there and I ask the hostess how long the wait for a table. She smiles sweetly: “One hour.” Well that won’t do. Oh, by the way. The family friend? Works at Uber, a private car-on-demand company, as a business development guy. He’s newish to San Francisco and doesn’t know where else to go to eat. I’m likewise not that savvy on the Moscone Center locale and also was “budgetarily constrained.”…

Street Fight Daily: 04.29.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.29.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

For AOL to have real success with Patch, the company will need to employ the model of companies that probably want Patch to fail. (Forbes)…

“The problem with local is that everything is local,” writes CityVoter’s Josh Walker. “An agency should be able to talk intelligently about the combination of these approaches and be comfortable working with multiple vendors to reach the audience in the geography a client needs to activate.” (Business Insider)…

In the midst of a busy month of expansion, LivingSocial has announced its expansion into nine new U.S. markets. (Daily Deal Media)…

Facebook’s Deal

Laura Rich

Facebook’s Deal

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week.

Who: Facebook

What for: Giving the deals business a shot.

“While many Deals on Facebook offer discounts, it’s more important to us that you find interesting experiences around you to do with friends. We’ve worked with partners and local businesses to help deliver the best social activities in your area. And once you’ve found a deal you like, having the deal on Facebook makes it easy to share, buy and plan with your friends.
Emily White, Facebook

Choosing a Data Partner for Local: What to Ask

Jeff Wood

Choosing a Data Partner for Local: What to Ask

Jeff Wood is a guest author. To submit a guest post, go here.

With all of the talk about data in our industry, I’m surprised that so few of the people I talk to in the Local space have a true data strategy — one that gives them real control over their own data and, most importantly, access to this data for decision-making.

It’s the nature of Local that a publisher loses the scale of large network buys. However, you gain the value of a centralized audience. With granular data, a site focused on the hyperlocal market can quickly understand the value of small pockets of inventory, and make educated decisions around how to package and allocate that inventory for sale across appropriate channels.

It’s amazing how many people simply don’t know who owns the data collected on their sites.

..

Street Fight Daily: 04.28.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.28.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

Guardian News & Media is ending Guardian Local, a project it launched in 2010 to try and figure out the future of local journalism. “Unfortunately, while the blogs have found engaged local readerships and had good editorial impact, the project is not sustainable in its present form,” writes the publisher’s digital engagement head Meg Pickard. (PaidContent)…

Though two years old, the Daily Deal market is now worth billions and specialty layers are forming to slice apart that value. Jim Moran offers “The Daily Deal Stack” a visual representation of the different segments forming within the market. (Yipit Blog)…

Sparkfly, a provider of promotion redemption and tracking technology has raised $2.5 million in funding for SparkQuest, its patented mobile engagement platform that connects consumers deal redemption with merchants at the point of sale. (Daily Deal Media)…

The Batavian’s Owens: Start Selling Ads the Day You Launch

David Hirschman

The Batavian’s Owens: Start Selling Ads the Day You Launch

The veteran newsman says hyperlocal networks like Patch are at “a disadvantage” when it comes to selling local ads, because there is “a certain barrier of trust that must be overcome” in order to get local businesses on board as advertisers. He also weighs in on the long-term viability of advertising as a business model for local online content.

Street Fight Daily: 04.27.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.27.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

Consumer-reviews website Yelp is declining to seek another round of financing and instead has its sights set on going public, the start-up’s chief executive officer, Jeremy Stoppelman, said in an interview. (WSJ)…

Facebook Deals isn’t a Groupon-killer, writes Yipit co-founder Vinicius Vacanti. That’s because, among other reasons, Facebook doesn’t have a sales force and small businesses won’t self-serve. (Yipit Blog)…

Parsing the data on daily deals customers, Nielsen found that visitors to Groupon and Living Social are nearly two-thirds female and that they are more likely than the average U.S. Internet user to be affluent. (NielsenWire)…

Street Fight Daily: 04.26.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.26.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

Facebook is planning to introduce a new service called Deals, an effort to tap into the consumer frenzy over online discounts. With Deals, the social networking giant is entering a crowded market led by overnight sensations like Groupon and LivingSocial. (NYT/Bits)…

Mobile advertising inventory still goes largely unfilled because the relevance and targeting isn’t that good. PlaceIQ sifts through tons of data about locations to give marketers a mini-zipcode-like profile of each block. (TechCrunch)…

Even experts acknowledge a serious lack of hard data about the commercial power of location-based services. “There are none of the data and feedback mechanisms that businesses need in order to know that location-based services are a good idea.” (BBC News)…

EveryBlock’s Adrian Holovaty: Enabling Community Conversation

David Hirschman

EveryBlock’s Adrian Holovaty: Enabling Community Conversation

Journalist and programmer Adrian Holovaty has been building out local news databases for a while now. A former Washington Post staffer, Holovaty is also the creator of the open-source platform Django, as well as chicagocrime.org (which later was folded into EveryBlock).

His site, EveryBlock, was founded in 2007 and supported by a grant from the Knight for two years before being acquired by MSNBC in 2009. After several years of being focused on the data of hyperlocal, the site’s recent relaunch signaled a major change of course, with the understanding that community also needs to be part of the equation.

Here, Holovaty answers some questions by email with Street Fight about EveryBlock’s revamp, who is winning the hyperlocal game, and says it’s “too early to tell” on what local advertisers want from hyperlocal...

‘Newsonomics’ Author Ken Doctor: ‘The Play Is for Tablets’

David Hirschman

‘Newsonomics’ Author Ken Doctor: ‘The Play Is for Tablets’

Media industry analyst and consultant Ken Doctor has been watching the local news space for decades, long before “hyperlocal” was coined. He spent 21 years at Knight Ridder, where he first observed that consumers are willing to pay for local content — and contends that they are doing so even now, as they pick up their local paper. Doctor, an analyst for Outsell, a global research and advisory firm, and for his own firm, Content Bridges, frequently appears at conferences about the transformation of the news industry, and writes regular columns both on his own Newsonomics blog and for Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab. He is non-plussed by hyperlocal efforts like EveryBlock and Topix but sees potential in AOL’s Patch…

Street Fight Daily: 04.25.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.25.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.… Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley is reportedly exploring a new funding round at a $500 million valuation. The company’s last round of funding, in the summer of 2010, valued it at $100 million. (WSJ)…

Both Foursquare and Gowalla are making inroads in marketing entertainment properties via mobile platforms to users who check in at various sites recommended by the broadcast television networks or their talent. (Variety)…

Michael Arrington thinks the massive valuations for Web services like Groupon signify that we’re in the middle of another tech bubble that is waiting to pop. (TechCrunch)…

2011: The Year the Check-in Reached Puberty

Mike Boland

2011: The Year the Check-in Reached Puberty

Michael Boland is a guest author. To submit a guest post, go here.

In the location wars of the past two years, one of the battle cries has been the need to continually innovate “beyond the check-in” — building things on top of the core check-in function, driven by evolving device capability and user demand (or boredom).

Companies have taken this in various directions — “checking in” to TV shows, for example. Sector leader Foursquare has dabbled in things like Superbowl check-ins.

At least week’s Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California, Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley talked about how the check-in grows up even as it stays focused on “the relationship between people and places.”..

Where eBay Gets Local

Laura Rich

Where eBay Gets Local

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week

Who: eBay…

What for: Buying location-based service and ad network Where…

“Local commerce companies like Where are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping. By giving people hyper-local, relevant retailer information and deals on their mobile phones, we see a huge opportunity for local merchants to reach more buyers, and for consumers to get more choice and value when they shop.” Amanda Pires, eBay

Mobile Search’s Sleazy Side

Alex Salkever

Mobile Search’s Sleazy Side

Mobile search is one of the handiest inventions to hit smart phones – except when you really need it to work.

For me, it was a frightening locksmith experience that revealed mobile search’s serious shortcomings.

My wife was out of town and the spare key was in the car she took to the airport. In a rush to get the kids into the car for pizza dinner, I had pulled the front door shut and locked us all out.

“No problem,” I figured, pulling out my smart phone. I punched in a search for a local locksmith and waited. Dozens of results came back at me, all with local exchange phone numbers and local addresses. This was fishy: we live in a small ‘burb in Marin County and there’s no way that many locksmiths are working in this neck of the woods…

Street Fight Daily: 04.22.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.22.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

Google Offers, the company’s long-awaited response to Groupon, has gone live with a signup for beta program in Portland, Oregon. The service promises “50% off or more at places you’ll love.” (Mashable)…

According to a survey conducted last month by Harris Interactive, 10 percent of the American adult population or approximately 23 million people purchased deals from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial last year. (Daily Deal Media)…

Groupon has hired Margo Georgiadis, a vice president of global sales operations at Google, to be its new chief operating officer. (NYT/Dealbook)…

Gowalla Eyes Entertainment to Drive Check-Ins

Rick Robinson

Gowalla Eyes Entertainment to Drive Check-Ins

Earlier this month, Gowalla tried something new: it signed deals with indie band The Freelance Whales and small but superior film “Win Win” in a bid to take the check-in service is taking into local music and film promotion – and drive check-ins up 500%.

Street Fight got the low-down on this new direction from Gowalla’s Jonathan Carroll, the music and community manager who handles the service’s events, the Gowalla blog, interaction with the street teams and helping build a worldwide user base. (Read our interview with Gowalla CEO Josh Williams here.)…

Street Fight Daily: 04.21.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 04.21.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups… EBay is buying location-based service and ad network WHERE in a deal that gives it added ability to drive more local and offline commerce. (GigaOm)… Foursquare has grown to almost 10 million users by connecting them to where they are now. But the company now will focus on the future movements of its users, said Dennis Crowley.(GigaOm)… Whatser, the location-based service that lets users share their favorite locations with friends, is launching a “marketing platform” in which local merchants and brands can “claim” a location that they operate and then communicate with users. (TechCrunch)…