A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy Stepping Down (Washington Post)
LivingSocial co-founder Tim O’Shaughnessy announced Friday that he is stepping down from the online deals company, bringing to a close a seven-year run that saw the company go from start-up to Internet e-commerce darling, only to pull back as it struggled for profits. O’Shaughnessy, 32, explained his plans in a Friday morning e-mail to staff. He will remain chief executive until the company finds a replacement in the first half of 2014.
Phone Leads for Local Businesses: The Unsexy Cousin of the Click (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: We’re seeing tech and media worlds finally come around to what we’ve been saying for years: phone calls are what businesses want. That’s especially true in high-value categories like professional services, autos, travel and insurance. Clicks and impressions, despite a sexier image, aren’t as valued in lots of cases.
Court Rules That Yelp Must Unmask the Identities of Seven Anonymous Reviewers (Atlantic)
Over the past few years, seven people have been so dissatisfied with the service they received from Hadeed Carpet Cleaning of Alexandria, Virginia, that they took to Yelp to air the details of their dissatisfaction. The right to complain—anonymously or not—is a right that Americans enjoy (and they do seem to enjoy it). But such complaints, in order to receive legal protection, must be factually true.
8 Ways Hyperlocals Can Nurture Existing Customer Relationships (Street Fight)
The question that many hyperlocal vendors struggle with is how to keep their current customers satisfied without slashing prices or devoting too many resources to a single client. Here are eight strategies from hyperlocal experts, with specific advice on how to grow and nurture existing customer relationships.
What Does the Closure of O2 Wallet Say About the Future of Mobile Payments? (GigaOm)
British carrier O2 has axed its mobile wallet service less than two years in. The firm has suggested this has to do with newer initiatives, but Juniper Research analyst Windsor Holden reckons there’s a business model problem.
iBeacon Could Be Apple’s Secret Gaming Weapon, Developer Says (Recode)
To date, very few games have figured out how to entertainingly integrate a player’s location. But Dave Bisceglia, CEO of The Tap Lab, says there’s a lot of unrealized potential for game developers — especially those working on multiplayer experiences — in millions of phones. An internally tested version of its mobile simulation game Tiny Tycoons uses Apple’s iBeacon positioning system.
Why Commercial Drones Won’t Deliver Tacos Anytime Soon (TechCrunch)
Amazon scored one of the greatest tech PR coups in recent history when it got CBS to put its quadcopter-powered delivery service on air the day before Cyber Monday. Sadly, CBS pretty much ignored that this was a pretty unrealistic proposal for the time being, not in the least because commercial drone flights will remain illegal in the U.S. for the next few years.
As Sites and Services Become Product Aware, the Age of Pervasive Commerce Begins (GigaOm)
Innovations in e-commerce, supply chain and logistics technologies have transformed the way we buy and sell products today. As a result of these investments, we are now entering the era of pervasive commerce – where every interaction in the physical world or on the web is an opportunity to inform, educate and buy or sell products and services.
QR Codes Are Alive and Well and Living in China (AdAge)
QR codes have been called many names. Ugly. Has-been. A failure. Marketing expert Scott Stratten even has a book out called “QR Codes Kill Kittens.” But not so fast: In China, those checkerboard-like codes are enjoying a renaissance. That’s thanks to WeChat, Tencent’s hot mobile app, which has 272 million monthly active users and features a QR code scanner.