A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Square’s Dorsey Returns 10% of his Shares (Fortune)
Jack Dorsey, the founder and CEO of Square, has voluntarily given 10% of his shares in the company back to Square. The highly unusual move will expand significantly the pool of shares available for employee compensation and acquisitions while minimizing dilution for shareholders.
When Will Big Retail Rethink Point-of-Sale? Sooner Than You Think (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Revel Systems wants to bring the tablet-based point-of-sale model upstream and disrupt the entrenched cadre of existing business software providers, which generated billions in revenue last year. Revel’s founder Lisa Falzone, a Stanford grad and one-time hedge funder, spun the company out of an online ordering app in 2010. Since then, Falzone and her team have raised over $14 million in venture funding, and have activated over 5,000 accounts.
For Groupon, The iPad is its New Passport to Global Markets (Washington Business Journal)
Groupon, the Chicago-based online deals company, announced today it is now iPad-friendly in a lot of new global markets — 12 to be exact. Groupon hopes that by expanding its iPad footprint in more countries around the world it can train customers to turn first to the digital deals company when they want to buy just about “anything, anywhere, anytime,” according to Groupon.
5 Tools Local Retailers Can Use to Build Digital Storefronts (Street Fight)
The majority of local retailers — including those with basic websites that are optimized for mobile — still aren’t offering customers tools to browse listings and complete purchases with their smartphones. Here are five platforms that local businesses can use to quickly (and cheaply) set up digital storefronts where customers can purchase goods and services via mobile.
UrbanSpoon Hires New Top Exec, Hopes to Emerge from Restaurant Discovery Pack (PandoDaily)
Four-and-a-half years after being acquired by IAC, and two-and-a-half years since its founders exited the company, UrbanSpoon finally has new and dedicated leadership. Today, the company announced the addition of Keela Robison as SVP and General Manager of the UrbanSpoon brand. With UrbanSpoon part of the Ask.com group at IAC, Robison will hold the top spot at the company and report directly to Ask CEO Doug Leeds.
Sponsored Content: How Instagram Ads and Selfies Deliver Results for Retailers and Brands (Street Fight)
For the uninitiated, sponsored products on Instagram include photos or videos published with media spend to increase distribution. Instagram users may see sponsored content in their feeds regardless of whether they follow a brand; they are auto-selected based on users’ interests. And sponsored products are always highlighted as ads.
The New Haven Independent seeks to expand its hyperlocal mission to low-power radio (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The New Haven Independent, which launched eight years ago amid the first wave of online-only community news sites, may soon expand into radio. The nonprofit Independent is one of three groups asking the FCC for a low-power FM (LPFM) license in New Haven, Conn. If successful, editor and founder Paul Bass says that “New Haven Independent Radio” could make its debut at 103.5 FM in about a year.
Uber and the Macro Wars (New York Times)
Paul Krugman: It turns out that people are OK with fluctuating prices when it’s really an impersonal market — but they get really angry at any hint that someone with whom they have some sort of ongoing relationship is exploiting their distress. In fact, Uber’s surge pricing is really bad public relations, and I won’t be surprised to see the company modify its strategy if only for marketing purposes.
2014: The Year Foursquare Will Finally Be In The Right Place At The Right Time (ReadWrite)
Now Foursquare has done something unexpected: It has not just survived but seemingly thrived. The company just raised $35 million in fresh cash, wiping some of that debt off its books. Its revenues are growing quickly. And its usage is expanding around the world, in surprising places like Beijing and Istanbul—wherever there is a mess of urbanity to be mapped.
Smart Cities: Opportunities for Startups (GigaOm)
The policies and technologies that will help cities meet their growing challenges have come to define the concept of “smart cities.” The impetus to do more with less affects all types of cities, from the largest that might be struggling with mobility to the smallest that might be looking to reduce environmental footprint. We take a look at how startups like Waze, Nest, Canary, Embark, Aunt Bertha, FirstFuel, Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Public Stuff, coUrbanize, and Citymart.com can harness this new ecosystem and help solve urban challenges.
Talk of the Town (On the Media)
In Batavia, a small city in upstate New York, and neighboring towns in Genesee County, residents turn to their hyperlocal news source named, naturally, The Batavian, to learn lots of the latest local news. Yes, the Batavian is both filling a need and paying its bills.