Street Fight Daily: Yelp Settles ‘Best of’ Suit, Groupon Fights for Survival

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

Village Voice, Yelp Settle ‘Best Of’ Trademark Suit (PC Mag)
Village Voice Media and Yelp have come to an agreement over alleged trademark infringement. Less than a month after VVM filed a complaint against the reviews site regarding its use of the “Best of” phrase in various cities, Yelp has agreed to stop using the trademarks.

Groupon Fights for Its Life as Daily Deals Fade (Reuters)
Groupon last week reported another quarter of disappointing earnings as its core business stagnated, sending its stock down 30 percent to an all-time low of $2.76. Critics say the torrid growth that enabled Groupon to go public at $20 a share just a year ago was fueled by merchants buying into a new type of marketing that they didn’t fully understand.

Learning From a Failed IPO (Venture Beat)
Rocky Agrawal: Shortly after the company’s IPO, the stock tanked. Marketing costs were threatening the very existence of the company. Wall Street had pretty much written it off. That sounds a lot like the story of Groupon, but the story I’m talking about today is that of Varsity Books, a high flier in the first dot-com boom.

Sites Offer Small Firms Short-Term Deals (The Wall Street Journal)
A new crop of websites promise to help small businesses cut costs—by offering them coupons. Small companies sign up for the sites, such as OrderWithMe , Rewardli and GroupPrice , and get email offers of limited-time deals, usually lasting a week or so. The sites negotiate those discounts with vendors that want a simple way to connect with lots of potential customers.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand… Pennies? SMB Social ROI Platform SumAll Adds Instagram support (PandoDaily)
Plenty of companies offer enterprise grade analytics solutions, such as GoodData, Omniture, and Google Analytics Premium, but few in the SMB space compare to SumAll’s comprehensive yet accessible platform. Instagram in particular is becoming an increasingly important marketing channel for brands, as it becomes the social network of choice for more and more consumers – particularly the younger, more socially engaged crowd.

Jumptap: Targeting Both Place And Time Critical To Mobile Ad Effectiveness (Media Post)
As Boston-based ad network Jumptap highlights in its latest MobileSTAT metrics report, hyperlocal targeting has to account for time of day — even time of year — to get the most bang for the buck. Using traffic across its large network of publishers and mobile ads served each month, Jumptap finds that all mobile platform use spikes in the evening, but mobile phones are used at about 9% above the hourly average during the noon to 4:00 p.m. period and 16% above average use between 4:00 and 8:00 P.M.

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  • Frank D.

    Have you heard the story of the three men in the lifeboat? They note particular areas in the boat that “belong” to each as they make their way on their journey, each hoping for land and safety.

    Each personalizes their area as best they can with seaweed, driftwood, and such using tools in a little kit in the lifeboat.

    One day, one of the men begins drilling in the floor of the boat. The other two, obviously alarmed, ask him what in the world he thinks he’s doing. He replies that it’s his section of the boat and he’s making his own modification. Of course, the other two point out that if he drills a hole in his section, the entire boat will sink!

    How often have you found yourself in that situation, where somebody else’s actions put you at risk?

    Obviously, if it’s something as clear cut as a hole in the bottom of a boat, we’d probably all speak up, but what about when somebody’s callousness, self-centeredness, or just plain obliviousness causes harm that’s not quite so clear.

    Would you have the courage to speak up in that kind of a situation? I bet you would.

    You’re come across as the type of person who does not keep his opinions to himself. I think your intelligence and your strong-willed self-reliance are probably your two most prominent personality traits, and there’s no doubt that you’d address something that could hurt you or a loved one right away.

    Do you ever wonder if you might be the person holding the drill? I know there are plenty of times when I’m focused on something so much that the consequences of my behaviors to other people seem to be lost on me.

    Sometimes, it’s just a refusal to willing relinquish any rights of my own at all. It can be as simple as me not enjoying a meal as much as I should and complaining to management. I have no idea if I’ll be causing someone to lose his job, but I think it’s easy for us to put ourselves ahead of everyone else.

    What do you do when you catch yourself being the person with the drill? Do you respond by putting it down or do you insist on your rights and flood the boat?

    I think how we respond when we know we’re wrong probably says more about us than how we respond when somebody else is wrong.

    I realize that I’m rambling a bit, and I hope you’ll forgive the way I’m going all over the place. But the implications of acting on what we believe to be our rights, while simultaneously hurting other people just kind of hit me when I thought about the story.

    I think it’s good food for thought for anyone, though, and I hope that the story has a good and life-affirming impact on you as well.