A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
‘Times’ Will End Partnerships with NYU, CUNY on Hyperlocal Blogs (Capital New York)
The New York Times’ three-year-old experiment in hyperlocal community journalism is coming to an end — for now, at least. The Times has decided to terminate its collaborations with the journalism schools of New York University and the City University of New York on two websites covering the East Village and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
Patch Puts Pressure on Local Editors (Romenesko)
A source inside Patch tells Romenesko that “local Editors now must have seven posts each day — that’s including weekends — and blog posts no longer count toward that total.” The company’s spokeswoman, Janine Iamunno, denied the claim, saying “there are absolutely no mandates to this effect, period.”
Groupon China Venture To Merge With Tencent-Backed FTuan (Bloomberg)
Groupon is combining its Gaopeng online-commerce venture in China with FTuan, a company backed by local partner Tencent Holdings. The deal comes more than 16 months after Groupon started Gaopeng with Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, entering the world’s fastest-growing major economy to offer deals on apparel and travel packages.
Social-Mobile-LOCAL: “Local” Will Be The Biggest Of The Three (Above the Crowd)
Bill Gurley: “Much less attention has been paid to the third concept, “local,” which is ironic since it may be a much larger real business opportunity than either social media or Smartphone application revenue. Over the next five years, this massive opportunity will come into focus as local businesses embrace the Internet and adopt new interactive technologies that increasingly automate the connections between their customers and themselves.”
CityMaps Wants to Bring Social Maps to the Masses, Lands in Chicago (The Next Web)
After hitting NY, San Francisco, Boston and Austin, CityMaps has officially launched in Chicago (online and on iOS), with plans to expand to Milwaukee, Las Vegas and as many as 13 more cities by the end of the year.
Gannett Says Paywalls are Generating Strong Revenue, Despite Circulation Declines (Poynter)
Gannett, the largest U.S. publisher with papers that have a combined weekday circulation of 4.9 million, says its digital subscription plan, paired with metered paywalls, is now active in 49 of the company’s 80 community newspaper markets. The digital subscription strategy is on pace to contribute $100 million of revenue by the end of next year.