September 2011 – Street Fight

Bing is Good for Daily Deals — And Deal Buyers

Alex Salkever

Bing is Good for Daily Deals — And Deal Buyers

A few weeks back Microsoft’s Bing! was the first search engine to roll out a daily deals search feature. The deals feed includes 200,000 offers perusable by geography and timing. It’s impressive. The Bing! Team has been aggressive about quickly putting in place customer-centric features like enhanced travel search and visual shopping search that address the way we live now with useful tools. This is the logical extension of the daily deal aggregation game, where the big fellas in the online search biz take the lead. And it both validates and improve my deal experience…

Street Fight Daily: 09.30.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 09.30.11

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

AOL appears to be preparing us for some kind of neighborhood-based social network built around MapQuest. It has registered a bunch of domains this year that all point to a page that says something called “mqVibe” is coming soon. (ReadWriteWeb)…

Facebook Deals official last day was Sunday, but sources say the company’s withdrawal is not a bad omen for the industry. All of the companies in the space, including newbie Google, are rapidly creating mobile solutions that will recognize when people are close to a deal and allow them to redeem it immediately. (AllThingsD)…

Local Quotables: Susan Mernit, Steve Buttry, Jeffrey Kalmikoff, and more

Joycelene Fernandez

Local Quotables: Susan Mernit, Steve Buttry, Jeffrey Kalmikoff, and more

A weekly roundup of thoughts about and around the hyperlocal industry.

Susan Mernit chastises the ONA; a Groupon manager says businesses don’t understand their product; SimpleGeo’s Jeffrey Kalmikoff expresses doubts about Facebook’s new interface; and Hearsay Local’s Clara Shih talks about social networks in the organization. More:

Case Study: Portland Salon Uses Scoutmob to Increase Exposure, Not Financial Risk

Stephanie Miles

Case Study: Portland Salon Uses Scoutmob to Increase Exposure, Not Financial Risk

As a new business owner in Portland, Ore., Robin Carlisle has relied heavily on local press and word-of-mouth to promote her salon, Holiday Hair Studio. She initially shied away from daily deal promotions out of fear that an influx of customers would overwhelm her studio, located inside a vintage trailer. She ultimately decided to give Scoutmob a try this past July, in part because the company was new to Portland . Carlisle felt confident that she would be able to use the promotion for exposure without taking on more financial risk than she could handle…

Street Fight Daily: 09.29.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 09.29.11

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

In an effort to diversify revenue and maintain its rapid growth, Groupon is fast evolving its business model. Recently Groupon deals have gone mobile, real-time, and location aware. Now the company has launched “Groupon Goods,” an ecommerce product that marks the company’s most aggressive departure away from its core daily deal offers. (CNET)…

Daily deals service Signpost is growing its sales force at a rapid pace that could surpass competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial by the end of the year, according to the company’s CEO, Stuart Wall. Signpost employs local contractors, called Deal Scouts, to sign up local businesses for the service. (SocialBeat)…

Patch Pushback: Warren Webster Fires Back Amid Analysis and Criticism

Rick Robinson

Patch Pushback: Warren Webster Fires Back Amid Analysis and Criticism

Rick Robinson gets the lowdown from Patch’s president about why they’ve lost sales execs; the network’s plans to “stand on its own financially; and a reply to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s suggestion that Patch could possibly, at some point, be considered for a sale. He also comments on the HuffPo-Patch dynamic, neither confirming nor denying that Patch will merge editorial operations with HuffPo.

CEO Josh Williams Explains Gowalla’s Overhaul

Steven Jacobs

CEO Josh Williams Explains Gowalla’s Overhaul

Last Thursday, Gowalla released a much-anticipated revamp of its location-based application, capping off a blockbuster summer for the geo-social space. The company’s CEO Josh Williams announced the redesign in early September, citing a return to Gowalla’s fundamental mission of encouraging people “to go out and explore.” The driving force behind the Austin-based company’s renaissance appears to be elsewhere — less an ideological about-face and more, an extensive retrofitting aimed at making Gowalla a potentially profitable company….

Street Fight Daily: 09.28.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 09.28.11

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

New data from Yipit finds that in August each of the industry’s top five deals was from a different category – and all were from Groupon. The top-grossing deal last month was a travel deal from Groupon Getaways, a new category that Groupon entered less than six weeks before. (Yipit Blog)…

Groupon is about to roll out a new product called Groupon Rewards that tries to give merchants a way to increase customer loyalty. With a Groupon Reward, a business that offers a regular Groupon deal will be able to follow up with another reward that gets unlocked after the customer spends a certain amount of money. (TechCrunch)…

Street Fight Daily: 09.27.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 09.27.11

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

September can’t end soon enough for Groupon. The month brought a string of staff departures, SEC spats and the indefinite shelving of the company’s long-awaited IPO. Now a second class of employees has filed a class action against Groupon over unpaid overtime. (PaidContent)…

Facebook is offering up to $10 million in free advertising to small businesses in the middle of slight changes to how the social networking site allows brands and consumers to interact on its Pages. (ReadWriteWeb)…

#SFS11 Company Profile: Urbantag

Steven Jacobs

#SFS11 Company Profile: Urbantag

The local review and recommendation space is in need of some tidying up. User-generated reviews on sites like Yelp fail to incorporate taste, and often are littered with disingenuous reviews created by the merchants themselves. Meanwhile, recommendation engines like Bizzy and Foursquare Explore require users to share their location on a geo-social network — an activity that remains uncommon in the general public. Urbantag wants to help solve the problem…

Street Fight Daily: 09.26.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 09.26.11

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

Margo Georgiadis is leaving her job as Groupon’s COO after just five months on the executive team to return to Google, her former employer, as President, Americas. The company has also filed an amended S-1, which includes revised revenue numbers based on a change in accounting. (TechCrunch)…

One self-described “riled” Patch editor from the East Coast says that in addition to his or her normal job responsibilities, this editor has also been asked to start drumming up ad sales leads. (Business Insider)…

Narrative Science – Closer to a True Robot Reporter?

Alex Salkever

Narrative Science – Closer to a True Robot Reporter?

The New York Times recently published an in-depth article about Narrative Science, a fascinating startup founded by two computer scientists who are also journalism professors at Northwestern University, and a veteran executive from DoubleClick. Their product is a software engine that can, given a box score, a crime log, or a real estate transaction, generate a brief , well-written news article in the classic who-what-when-where-why canon. While not works of art, these articles are credible and often beat what human scribes have to offer…

Street Fight Daily: 09.23.11

David Hirschman

Street Fight Daily: 09.23.11

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

Google Offers didn’t do particularly well in August – but the daily deal product radically improved in September. Through just the first three weeks of the month, Google has already surpassed last month’s total revenue of $265k and is on track to more than double this figure by month’s end. (Yipit Blog)…

A source says that AOL is using “smoke and mirrors” trying to get 10 Patch sites profitable by the end of the year. It all has to do with some clever accounting, pushing a bigger chunk of ad dollars from regional campaigns into the target towns at the expense of the rest. (Business Insider)…

Twitter Local: @PaulCarr, @AndyEllwood, @LizaBarista and more

Joycelene Fernandez

Twitter Local: @PaulCarr, @AndyEllwood, @LizaBarista and more

All the tweets that fit… listening in on the hyperlocal Twitterverse.

This week, Erin Carlon, Andy Ellwood, and Clara Shih point their words at customer experience. Vin Vacanti has some grounding advice for startups. Paul Carr, who made waves this past week with the news of his TechCrunch resignation, makes some thinly veiled barbs. And more…

Tippr Launches Affiliate Network: ‘AdSense for Deals’

Steven Jacobs

Tippr Launches Affiliate Network: ‘AdSense for Deals’

Group-buying service Tippr has announced the launch of an affiliate network program this morning to supplement the company’s featured white-label product. Publishers who use Powered by Tippr software to host daily deals will be able to syndicate these offers across a network of affiliate sites — including major aggregators like Yipit and Yahoo Deals as well as over 1,000 hyperlocal and vertical niche publications…

Nielsen’s Undercount of News: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Tom Grubisich

Nielsen’s Undercount of News: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Social networking has become the 800-pound gorilla of the Internet. That’s what Nielsen is trumpeting in a new report. And news, it says, is a tiny mouse.

Or is it?

Nielsen’s Social Media Report says news accounts for just 2.6% of Internet use compared to 22.5% for social networking and blogs.  But that news number doesn’t hold up under examination…