A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
EveryBlock Is Back From The Dead (Chicago Grid)
Ten months after being shut down and left for dead, community-news website EveryBlock is being resurrected. Comcast, which owned EveryBlock when it was shut down in January, has revived the site and is finalizing plans to launch a new version, according to several sources with knowledge of those plans. The sources say Comcast is considering launching EveryBlock in Chicago first and subsequently adding more cities.
Could Patch Find New Life as a SaaS Platform for Local Publishers? (Street Fight)
Tom Shevlin: At this point, the best path forward for Armstrong to realize his noble goal of delivering high-quality community news might just be to simply throw open the gates and recast Patch as a publishing platform for small and medium-sized publishers.
OpenTable Buys Quickcue to Develop ‘Mobile Waitlist Technology’ (Eater)
OpenTable announced this afternoon that it will acquire “guest management system” developers Quickcue for $11.5 million in cash. The Quickcue platform, founded in 2011, allows front-of-house staff to manage tables, wait times, and track “guest preferences, visit histories, and operational analytics” via an iPad.
Geo-Unicorns: Will Local Spawn More Billion-Dollar Startups? (Street Fight)
Jason Klein: At the Street Fight Summit in New York a couple of months ago, I moderated a panel that looked at the “Billion-Dollar Opportunities in Hyperlocal.” Our thesis in putting the panel together was that the personalization made possible by location-based technologies was still in its early stages of evolution, and that the “geo-web” will be spawning many of the billion-dollar exits that later-stage VCs crave.
Farewell, Cash: Starbucks Gets Ready for Latte Thursday (Wall Street Journal)
According to an announcement, the coffee giant estimates one in ten American adults were given a pre-loaded Starbucks card as a gift in the last holiday season. It has sold 450 million of the cards since their introduction 12 years ago, with $16 billion in credit loaded onto the cards — $4 billion of that in the last year alone.
LivingSocial’s quiet CRM play (Washington Business Journal)
LivingSocial Inc. has been talking for quite some time now about building up its software offering to merchants. So far, it’s seen only limited success. CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy, however, sees one bright spot in the company’s pursuit of merchant solutions: messaging.
ThinkNear CEO Talks Hyperlocal Advertising And The Importance Of ‘Good’ Location Data (AdExchanger)
Pushing hyperlocal mobile advertisements is becoming increasingly viable for businesses as tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter, as well as startups, enter the space. AdExchanger spoke with ThinkNear CEO Eli Portnoy about the evolution of hyperlocal mobile advertising and for a company update.
Foursquare Knows Where You Are Even When You Don’t Check In (Digiday)
Foursquare no longer needs users to “check in” in order to know what places they visit. In fact, the location-based social network doesn’t even need users to be active on their service at all to track their whereabouts. Foursquare, like Google before it, is constantly, passively tracking people’s smartphone locations and showing that data to advertisers, according to agency executives briefed by the company.
The 6 Business Cases for Real-Time Marketing (AdAge)
Real-time marketing can add a ton of value to customer interactions, making brands appear relevant, with-it, informed, dynamic and buzz-worthy. The movement toward RTM is also driven by consumers’ increasing expectations — driven by technology — for immediacy, relevance and access. Here are six business cases for real-time marketing, spanning executions that are planned and unplanned, reactive and proactive.
A New Beacon For Local Advertising Revenue (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Damon Kiesow: Believe it or not, Apple may have let local media back in the race for advertising dollars in 2014. iBeacons, one of Apple’s least-hyped product releases of 2013 — which almost overnight created a potential new revenue model for advertising in 2014. The keys to its potential are location, connectivity, payment, ubiquity, and eyeballs. For local media, the question is: What is our potential advantage?