A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Square’s ‘Business in a Box’ Offers a Digital Register for $300 (Wall Street Journal)
The company is launching “Business in a Box” — a package that includes a cash drawer, an iPad stand, card readers and an optional printer for printing receipts. It doesn’t include an iPad, but that’s because they are easy enough to find, said Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s Vice President of Register.
After Harrowing Ride, LivingSocial Raises $110 Million to Press On (Street Fight)
In a memo to employees on Wednesday, CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy said the company raised a new round of funding from “existing investors.” O’Shaughnessy did not say whether Amazon, which wrote down its $175 million investment in the company in Q3, had invested in the latest round.
Google Will Offer Its Glasses to Select Few (New York Times)
Google is letting a larger segment of the public test its futuristic eyeglasses. On Wednesday, Google said it was accepting applications for people who wanted to try the glasses, which had previously been available only to software developers who signed up for them at Google’s developer’s conference last year.
A Decade Old, iBrattleboro.com Keeps Journalism First, Profits Second (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: For co-founders Chris Grotke and Lise LePage, the bottom line is not what’s found in the last entry on a profit-and-loss statement.. “Journalism is a little more important than money,” Grotke says. “If you’re doing [hyperlocal] to make money, I suggest you not do it in a small town. Go to a big city.”
Patch Reportedly Cuts Editors in Lead Up to Pivot (Business Insider)
Sources say the AOL division is pivoting away from an editor-centric model, toward one where local sites (“Patches”) are built to be content-sharing and community-organizing tools for their areas. Editors won’t go away entirely, but there will be fewer of them, writing for more sites.
In an Effort to Woo Brands, Verve Mobile Launches Audience Solution (Street Fight)
The targeting tool allows advertisers to use location data to reach specific audiences – say, middle-aged moms or travelers – with a higher-funnel branding message, rather than the lower funnel “call-to-location” messaging endemic of traditional geo-fencing campaigns.
Think Nationals Will Drive Local-Mobile Ad Spending? Think Again (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: A new study from the CMO Council argues that national brands are far behind in their adoption of mobile as a “localization strategy.” It’s less a question of execution, and more, a fundamental matter of understanding — a conceptual/intellectual foundational kind of thing.
Ahead of SXSW, Highlight Makes Another Bid For SoLoMo Supremacy With Photos And Events (TechCrunch)
It’s South By Southwest time again, and social-local-mobile app Highlight is doing another round of updates to its app, allowing users to share photos and events with others around them. The big addition to the app is photos, which will allow users to share photos based on location and providing the context around that.
Auto Insurers Bank on Big Data to Drive New Business (Wall Street Journal)
Insurers are hoping that customers have become comfortable enough with other location-based applications such as Google Maps, which track their whereabouts, to give usage-based car insurance programs a chance. Though these programs may not be widely used today, insurers are expending considerable resources to fine-tune the programs for the time, in what they hope is the not-too-distant-future, when they enjoy more widespread adoption.
The Local Deals Market Version 2.0: Syndicated Commerce (Forbes)
Patrick Grady: There’s got to be a next generation engagement mechanism that connects personalized deals customers actually want with offers merchants actually make. There is – and it’s called syndicated commerce.
How Location-based Tools Will Help Us ‘Look Smarter’ (Atlantic)
Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake talks with Alexis Madrigal about how new location-based tools will help us to see our surroundings with fresh eyes. Her new start-up, Findery, is designed to help users share stories about their surroundings.
More Departures At Foursquare, As Two Moonlighting Designers Leave To Pursue Their Side Project (Business Insider)
Two engineers recently left Foursquare to turn a side project into the main event, adding to a flow of talent out of the location service. Pierre Valade and Jeremy Le Van have created Sunrise, a calendar they hope will put Apple’s built-in one to shame.
Home Depot-Owned Redbeacon Now Lets You Pay Contractors Online (TechCrunch)
RedBeacon has just released an update to its services that effectively closes the loop on the company’s home services marketplace. The company announced the update on its blog, bringing mobile and online payments to the platform.