A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
eBay is Back! (Fortune)
Under John Donahoe’s leadership eBay has undergone a remarkable transformation, shifting from its original (and flailing) mission — online auctions — to a full-service e-commerce operation that helps big retailers such as Home Depot, Macy’s, and hundreds of others navigate the complex world of mobile payments, online comparison shopping, and same-day delivery. In other words, eBay is quickly emerging as the shopkeeper’s best answer to Amazon.
NBCU Shutters Pioneering Hyperlocal Network EveryBlock (Street Fight)
EveryBlock’s original goal was to collect as much local data as possible, sort and filter it, and then present it to its audience. EveryBlock’s president, Brian Addison, who was hired by NBC in mid-2011, changed all that. In announcing the closure, Vivian Schiller, a senior vice president at NBC News, said, “The decision to shut down the site was difficult. But in the end, we didn’t see a strategic fit for EveryBlock within the portfolio.”
Redbeacon Founder Launches MyTime, A Booking And Ecommerce Platform For Local Services And Open Appointments (TechCrunch)
Ethan Anderson, the co-founder Redbeacon (which was acquired by Home Depot last year), is debuting his newest venture in Los Angeles today — MyTime. In short, the startup wants to be the go-to destination for appointments for local services. As Anderson describes it, he wants to build the Amazon for local services and open appointments.
EveryBlock Was Experiment in Data Journalism That Fell Short (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: When it was launched in 2007 by digital wunderkind Adrian Holovaty, EveryBlock was hailed as one sure part of hyperlocal’s future. As a result of Holovaty’s coding, the site was able to tease out for publication petabytes of government-collected data that otherwise might not ever see the light of day. EveryBlock was a pioneer in collecting, sorting, and filtering data. But it hadn’t progressed to turning its digital buckets of information into knowledge. Its vaunted coding, which located every overturned garbage can, couldn’t do that.
Why Credit Card Companies Need Some Madison Avenue Style (AllThingsD)
Alistair Goodman: Financial institutions are embracing digital offers out of necessity because revenue from current sources is in decline. The future of the payments industry is shifting quickly to monetizing consumer relationships — particularly through mobile devices — and away from extracting new value from the payments value chain.
Mark Armstrong: The Death of EveryBlock and Why I Suddenly Care about Local (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Mark Armstrong: I think the app or company that “solves” local will probably be a parenting app. Not necessarily a “local” app. Parenting is something that can force a passive resident (like myself) to suddenly pay closer attention to what’s going on around me. It’s what made me realize there is a lot of local information missing from my media diet. And I want a remedy.
Time To Plug In, Retailers: Smartphone Use To Double In Two Years (ReadWrite)
In 2011, global mobile transactions totaled about $241 billion. By 2015, that figure is projected to jump to more than $1 trillion. Smartphones are the wallets of the future, and commercial organizations need to figure out a way to tap into this new source of revenue, fast.
Ford Embeds Location-Based Services Into MyFord Mobile App (Mobile Entertainment)
The vehicle maker has now integrated location-based services into its MyFord Mobile app and teamed with public charge station aggregator PlugShare. The move will push real-time station mapping, info and updates to drivers looking to recharge the batteries of their hybrid cars, with Ford looking to support US and Canada-based users of its new C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi.
The Value in Post-Couponing (MediaPost)
Like most of all else ported to a new medium, paper-based coupons moved to the net and then to mobile in traditional ways, allowing them to be digitally ‘clipped,’ printed, stored and shown at stores. But perhaps next generation of deals can come from post-couponing, which provide value to the consumer after the purchase in the form of rewards.
PODCAST: This Week in Location-Based Marketing — Urban Airship (Street Fight)
In this week’s episode, hosts Rob Woodbridge and Asif Khan bring you stories about new photo polling app Voto; 42Floors, the AirBnB for office rentals; LivingSocial’s painful year; Pepsi’s next generation vending machine and the mobile food market starts to sizzle (sorry!); plus, Scott Kveton, CEO of Urban Airship.