May 2011 – Street Fight

Main Street Connect’s Tucker Responds to Criticism

David Hirschman

Main Street Connect’s Tucker Responds to Criticism

In an interview published two weeks ago, Main Street Connect’s founder Carll Tucker told Street Fight that hyperlocal Web sites need the efficiencies of scale to truly become profitable businesses rather than “passion or hobby” sites. His words clearly touched a nerve, sparking a slew of impassioned comments, as well as reactions on Twitter and elsewhere. Ahead of his network’s Wednesday launch of 32 new sites in Westchester County (N.Y.), Tucker wrote a long comment in response to some of the criticism that was lobbed his way…

Case Study: Hotel Uses Deals to Fill Rooms Without Diluting the Brand

Stephanie Miles

Case Study: Hotel Uses Deals to Fill Rooms Without Diluting the Brand

Laura McIver knows her demographic. As the general manager at the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, California, McIver targets an upscale clientele by advertising in strategic publications and by offering exclusive deals online. She’s also found success in her partnership with SocialStay, a mobile application that lets users check-in and connect with fellow guests at select hotels…

Street Fight Daily: 05.31.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 05.31.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.Groupon is either creating a new approach to commerce that will change the way we eat and shop and interact with the physical world, or it is a sure sign that Internet mania is once again skidding out of control. Or both. (New York Times)… Amazon is entering the daily deal space with myhabit.com, a members only daily deal site focusing on designer clothing. (Daily Deal Media)…

Relocations: 05.27.11

Laura Rich

Relocations: 05.27.11

Comings and goings in hyperlocal.

Yatown, a hyperlocal social network, has named Yahoo Search senior vice president Tuoc Luong to its board. … Hyperlocal marketing agency Geomentum had some moves this week: Todd Curry becomes chief digital officer. He was previously founder and managing director of trading desk Accuen Media. Lisa Bradner has been upped to chief client services and growth officer from president. (Bradner spoke recently with Street Fight about the need for scale.) … Former San Diego Union-Tribune executive Matt Chaney has joined Second Street, a provider of white-label daily deals platforms for local companies, as director of affiliate deals success. … In a return to an old position, Michael Sawtell became COO of Local.com, a position he held there from 2000 to 2005, after the departure of Bruce Crair.

Send job announcements to info@streetfightmag.com.

Groupon and Foursquare: A Happy Combo

Laura Rich

Groupon and Foursquare: A Happy Combo

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

Who: Groupon and Foursquare

Why: For considering a partnership that ties check-ins to daily deals

Daily deals leader Groupon and social location innovator Foursquare are in partnership talks, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The arrangement is likely to see Groupon deals targeted to Foursquare users’ check-ins. Mobile app users who tell their friends that they’re in the vicinity of a venue offering a discount are obviously prime customers...

Street Fight Daily: 05.27.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 05.27.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.… Google yesterday introduced Google Offers, its new daily deals service. Aimed at local small businesses, the service will launch in Portland, Ore., then spread outwards to other cities. (The Next Web)… Online ad spending surged in Q1, rising 23 percent over last year’s figure, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. At the moment, every major media company is trying to figure out how to better tap local online advertising dollars, especially with the explosion of local deals that have brought in smaller merchants. (Paid Content)…

Can Yelp Save Itself from Its Users?

Alex Salkever

Can Yelp Save Itself from Its Users?

A friend at work is a serious cheap eats hound. He has eaten at more ethnic restaurants in the South Bay than I even knew existed. I asked where he was going for lunch yesterday. He told me. I Yelped it, and he laughed at me. Why? “All those reviews are useless to someone like me. I have different taste than people who use Yelp. And I’m sure that a ton of those reviews are gamed,” he said…

WSB’s Tracy Record: You Can’t Do Hyperlocal on a Template

David Hirschman

WSB’s Tracy Record: You Can’t Do Hyperlocal on a Template

When West Seattle Blog launched, the site didn’t carry any ads — not even Google Adsense ads which co-founder Tracy Record thought were “ugly and cluttery.” At the time, the site was more of a passion project than a business. But when they finally got advertising two years later, Record says it didn’t take very long before she and her partner were turning a profit: “It was rather rapid in terms of people embracing us and we were in the black in the first year.” …

Street Fight Daily: 05.26.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 05.26.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups… Facebook’s local chief Emily White says that local businesses should post to their wall three times per week. She also talks about the network’s push for check-in deals on Facebook Places. (USA Today)… Google is keenly interested in location data, and it seems like its work in maps and location is paying off, particularly on mobile phones. Google Maps on mobile devices, which makes up about 40 percent of all Google Maps usage, is on pace to eclipse desktop usage for the first time next month. (GigaOm)…

Case Study: Restaurant Chain Builds Loyalty With Check-In Discounts

Stephanie Miles

Case Study: Restaurant Chain Builds Loyalty With Check-In Discounts

Scott Wise is the president and CEO of A Pots & Pans Production, a management company that runs seven restaurants in Indiana. He says businesses need to approach online media like they would a cocktail party, and that it’s better to take notes and learn from what other people are saying than to “go in screaming, drinking, and trying to enter everyone’s conversation.”

Hyperlocal Launch at TechCrunch Disrupt: Meporter

John Hazard

Hyperlocal Launch at TechCrunch Disrupt: Meporter

Among the 29 startups to launch their products at TechCrunch Disrupt this week in New York was Meporter, an iPhone app that offers citizen journalists another platform to publish and tag news by location. What makes it different and perhaps more promising is the the ability of event organizers and news organizations to create news events to which citizens on location can check-in and report details. Meporter is calling itself a local mobile newsdesk, turning witnesses at the scene into reporters by allowing them to “pinpoint news as it’s happening in a local community, down to the street level…

AirRun’s ‘Runners’ Perform Your Tasks

Rick Robinson

AirRun’s ‘Runners’ Perform Your Tasks

The field of radius-based, phone-centric, hyperlocal services is getting more crowded. I won’t venture to list all the players for fear of leaving some out — “pop,” there’s another one. A few, however, are drawing particular attention in the race to gain enough scale and nomadic-market penetration to deliver on the promise that when a user wants something, someone will be there to deliver it…

Street Fight Daily: 05.25.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 05.25.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups. Groupon seems to be dancing around the issue of mobile. Location-based social networks like Foursquare can be great partners, but they can also be competitors. (Business Insider)… Real estate website Trulia is set to roll out a new feature that will allow users to view crime statistics for 50 metro areas in the U.S. The crime maps are based on data collected from more than 1,000 different sources, aggregated into more than 5 million data points on the maps. (GigaOm)…

Partnership With Foursquare Is a Natural Step for Groupon

John Hazard

Partnership With Foursquare Is a Natural Step for Groupon

Earlier this week All Things Digital reported that Groupon and Foursquare were discussing a partnership to push local deals targeted to location-aware check-ins. The media world has been buzzing about the rumor, but neither company has broken an official silence to confirm (or deny) the partnership or discussions. Perhaps it’s just a foregone conclusion, though, that Groupon would add immediacy and social distribution to its model. In fact it already has…

Where Hyperlocal Meets Digital-Out-Of-Home

Rob Gorrie

Where Hyperlocal Meets Digital-Out-Of-Home

The digital out-of-home advertising sector — all those networked screens you see on top of gas pump tops and in elevators, 7-11s, waiting rooms and the back seats of taxis — couldn’t be happier about the rise in popularity of location apps and daily deal coupons. Finally the hyperlocal targeting that is a part of what these networks of screens can do has some consumer-driven energy and contextual relevance behind it…

Street Fight Daily: 05.24.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 05.24.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups… Dennis Crowley says Foursquare is growing at a rate of 1 million users per month. The company currently boasts 600 million check-ins total, averaging 3 million per day from its nearly 10 million users. (The Next Web)…

Patch President Warren Webster says the company’s criteria for growth in new communities is sound and sustainable, as is its locally centric business model. He says early reader metrics are exceeding expectations. (NetNewsCheck)…

Deals Get Personal With Tenka’s DIY Platform

David Hirschman

Deals Get Personal With Tenka’s DIY Platform

Self-service hyperlocal advertising platform Tenka was founded when Google vets Nhon Ma and Tim Zhou, who had previously focused on display advertising, saw a “huge opportunity” in leveraging data to enhance the value of daily deals. The idea was to make Groupon-like offers more relevant, more personalized — and more local — by empowering merchants to create their own offers and distributing those offers via location-based services and social media platforms…

Street Fight Daily: 05.23.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 05.23.11

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

Groupon’s new partnership with Loopt looks like an aggressive move to extend its mobile availability before Facebook Deals gets out of the gate. This sort of partnership could work well for Location Based Services like Loopt because it puts a dedicated sales force on the task of selling deals. (ReadWriteWeb)…

Groupon and Foursquare are in partnership talks. The arrangement is likely to see Groupon deals targeted to Foursquare users’ check-ins. (All Things Digital)…

Local Deals’ Second Act: Dynamic, Mobile

Mike Boland

Local Deals’ Second Act: Dynamic, Mobile

In the tech and media worlds, it’s no secret that local deals and mobile are exploding — both in terms of revenue growth as well as in the attention and investment being lavished upon them. Surprisingly, though, the two elements haven’t yet come together to the degree that they probably should…