A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Doctor Appointment Booking Site ZocDoc Opens Up $55 Million in New Convertible Debt (GigaOm)
New York-based ZocDoc, a company that helps patients find nearby doctors and book medical appointments online, said Monday that it had issued a $55 million convertible debt note, of which it has already closed $2 million. CEO and co-founder Cyrus Massoumi said the company doesn’t need the money but wanted to bring in strategic investors that can help the company as it expands into new geographic areas and builds new products.
Twitter Looks to Monetize Location, But Is It Cart-Before-Horse? (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: A few days after Twitter acquired local discovery app, Spindle, last week, news surfaced that the microblogging service was developing a long-awaited geo-targeting product for brands. The developments mark the latest episode in an ongoing saga, in which the two largest social networks — Twitter and Facebook — have briefly flirted with local before pulling back to recalibrate. A hyperlocal ad product is welcome news to advertisers, but Twitter needs to sure it does not neglect the user side of the equation.
Centro Expands Locally Focused ‘Brand Exchange’ to Mobile, Tablet Inventory (AdExchanger)
Centro is bringing mobile and tablet ad inventory to its programmatic display ad serving system, called Brand Exchange. Publishers and agency trading desks AdExchanger spoke with view the offering as a way to further unlock the largely untapped local ad market.
6 Ad Networks With Targeting Capabilities (Street Fight)
Ad networks with advanced targeting capabilities are giving national brands and smaller advertisers a way to drive conversion rates and boost sales. By narrowing their focus and targeting specific audiences based on location, demographics, or interests, advertisers can increase the relevancy of their ads and improve click-through rates (CTRs) by a factor of 2x. Here are six ad networks that offer these targeting capabilities.
Report: Hyperlocals Can Bridge Gap Between Larger Organizations And Public (Journalism.co.uk)
Collaboration between hyperlocal sites, local government and larger media organisations has the potential to bring benefits to all parties, according to a report published by Nesta today. The report said that hyperlocal websites can be a more “cost-effective” way for local authorities to engage with citizens who were less likely to do so through other channels.
Making the Economics of Hyperlocal Publishing Work (Street Fight)
The once-bright prospects for hyperlocal publishing have dimmed somewhat in recent months, leaving some of the most promising ventures shuttered, bankrupt, or scrambling to save face. During a conversation on stage at Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco earlier this month, Chris Tolles, chief executive of hyperlocal news aggregator Topix, and Sacramento Press co-founder and AdGlue CEO Ben Ilfeld discussed the long-term sustainability of hyperlocal media at scale.
An Unlikely Startup Enters the Point-of-Sale Business: Warby Parker (AllThingsD)
As the venture-backed eyeglasses maker prepared to expand its footprint in physical retail — it opened its first two standalone stores this year, with two more on the way this summer — the company’s management started to think about some of the major components of traditional retail stores, including point-of-sale systems. So the New York-based company has made the rare — and somewhat risky — decision to create its own point-of-sale system, with the aim of creating flexible software that will be equal parts payments management and customer management.
Google’s Local Carousel – Trapped in Google’s World? (Blumenthals)
Mike Blumenthal: Besides the Local Carousel, over the past year Google has been making a number of changes to the main search page that include the additional menus, the bright red sign in button and the grey bar. I think we need to assess the Local Carousel in view of the all of the changes on the main search page by looking at a “typical” desktop screen and understanding exactly what was visible to searchers above the fold in this new context.
Data Analytics Startup Topsy Aims for the Local (PaidContent)
Topsy, along with other similar services, offers a set of professional analytics tools for sale, so that customers can find key data points like influential Twitter accounts, relevant content for specific time periods, even sentiment analysis around tweeted terms. The latest offering: Topsy is beefing up its geolocation efforts to help surface exactly where tweets are originating from in the world, based on factors like regular references to physical landmarks or events specific to a particular country, state or city.
Angie Hicks Shares Her Secrets to Success (Inc.)
A lot has changed since the mid-1990s when Google and email were barely in use. Here, the service rating site founder explains what sets her small business apart.