A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
AOL’s Armstrong Touts Patch Growth in Year-End Company Memo (Capital New York)
In describing the company’s expanding content/display business, Tim Armstrong noted the Gremlin-like multiplication of Patch sites, whose numbers have grown from 30 just two years ago to more than 850 today. Patch “added over 10 million unique consumers, and increased to over 5,000 new customers,” wrote Armstrong.
Uninsured Turn to Daily Deal Sites for Health Care (Associated Press)
Daily deal sites are increasingly moving beyond little luxuries like facials and vacations and offering deals that are helping some people fill holes in their health insurance coverage. Visitors to these sites are finding a growing number of markdowns on health care services such as teeth cleanings, eye exams, chiropractic care and even medical checkups.
Real Estate Agents Look Beyond the Check-in (Inman)
Matthew Shadbolt: What’s past the check-in, and how that information can be used becomes the really interesting thing about Foursquare, from loyalty initiatives and what’s fast evolving into the future of couponing, to the rapid buildout of some of the world’s most robust city guides.
Predictions For Local Search In 2012 – Year Of The Dragon (Search Engine Land)
Chris Silver Smith: You can expect more ongoing significant changes in the local search landscape this year. The trends are not slowing down, and the fractured nature of local online marketing shows little sign of getting simpler! Predictions include Twitter’s turn to local, Facebook check-ins try to compete with Foursquare, and yellow pages companies continue to fight for local relevancy.
eBay Uses WHERE to Send Shoppers to Local Chain Stores (Ecommerce Bytes)
WHERE CEO Walt Doyle explained on the PayPal blog last week how WHERE fits in with PayPal’s vision of helping brands reach consumers in multiple ways. WHERE’s patented technology enables advertisers to deliver mobile ad campaigns that are both hyper-local and hyper-relevant.
The Real Reason Daily Deals Are Doomed (Motley Fool)
Many retailers think they are only creating an expectation of continued discounting, and the new customers will just hop on to the next deal when they’re done with theirs. The deals seem to instill loyalty to the website offering them instead of the end businesses.