A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Foursquare’s New Ads Tap Twitter And Require $100K Commitment (AdWeek)
Foursquare has a new ad product that invites users to tweet marketing messages when they check into businesses. The company is looking for more advertisers to join the beta tests, and it is asking for commitments of $100,000, according to an email sent to potential partners.
For Local Tech, Fragmentation is a Problem to Solve — Not Avoid (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: There’s been a noticeable increase in the number of partnerships, ecosystem-driven startups, and overall coordination among the companies looking to help us buy and sell stuff in the real-world. The shift could have deep implications for existing companies, and may create new opportunities for younger startups.
Airbnb Cozies up to Cities (Fortune)
For all of Airbnb’s rapid growth, reports of its latest mega-valuation and its pioneering place in the sharing economy zeitgeist, the company’s reception in the cities in which it operates has been less than smooth. Airbnb will unveil a new ambitious plan for a concept it calls “Shared City,” a multi-faceted collaboration designed to give back to the communities it serves.
Case Study: Local Bakery Chain Scales With Hyperlocal Tools (Street Fight)
At Cako, a mini bakery chain in the midst of expansion, co-owner Albert Chen says it’s difficult to provide the same level of customer service when he can’t be present inside all of his stores on a 24/7 basis. One way that Chen is working to avoid the mistakes that other growing businesses have made is by utilizing hyperlocal tools that provide him with data about what products and flavors his customers are buying.
Charting the Years-Long Decline of Local News Reporting (Washington Post)
It’s not that people aren’t interested in their communities — local news usually ranks as the top priority in surveys — it’s that the economics of the digital age work strongly against reporting about schools, cops and the folks down the street. In drawing readers and viewers from a relatively small pond, local news outlets struggle to attract enough traffic to generate ad dollars sufficient to support the cost of gathering the news in the first place.
Outdoor Ads That Can Count Faces are Useful for Advertisers, Terrifying for Everyone Else (Pando)
Between the pervasive eyes of CCTV, the lurking phenomenon of Google Glass, emerging facial recognition technology and stores reaching out with bluetooth beacons to communicate with our smartphones unknowingly, the distance between real physical lives and digital existences is shrinking. It’s hard to be excited about another source of surveillance that could possibly be corrupted and used against us.
Why “Barnacle SEO” Is Making A Big Comeback In Local (SearchEngineLand)
Aside from the obvious link equity that these large directories and review sites have built up over the years, what would cause Google to increasingly favor them in recent months? There are actually a number of algorithmic factors that have affected SERPs in all disciplines that can be used to explain the changes.
Handybook Wants To Be The Uber For Your Household Chores (Forbes)
The service, founded by Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua, lets you order a home cleaner, plumber or handyman with tap on your iPhone. In today’s the Mad Lib’s style of start-ups descriptions, Hanrahan calls Handybook the Uber of home maintenance. And in many ways, it’s similar to the transportation platform—minus the surge pricing.
VMBeacon Is Wearables For Mannequins, Sends Clothes Info To Customers (TechCrunch)
VMBeacon is a new product enabling store mannequins to transmit information to shoppers about the clothes on display, via their smartphones as they browse in store or through a shop window. In other words, we are talking Wearables for mannequins.
FireChat Sees 100K App Downloads a Day With a Huge Uptake Overseas (GigaOm)
Open Garden’s new anonymous, hyperlocal messaging app is sparking a lot of interest around the world, rising to the top of the iTunes social networking charts in several countries. It uses Apple’s new multipeer connectivity framework in iOS7 allowing iOS devices to establish direct connections over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi without an internet connection acting as intermediary.