A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Location Privacy Bill Gets Another Push (AdAge)
A Senate subcommittee heard witnesses Wednesday on the latest version of the Location Privacy Protection Act, which aims to make it harder for stalkers to use mobile tracking technology to find their targets. The proposed law could also curb a lot of emerging mobile location tracking activity that straddles the line between offering consumer conveniences and infringing on consumers’ privacy.
3 Models That VCs Are Buying in Local Tech (Street Fight)
Venture investment continues to pour into local tech, but tastes are changing. During a panel at Street Fight Summit West on Tuesday, investors spoke about where the hyperlocal industry is heading and where they expect the next billion-dollar local startup idea to come from.
ZocDoc Tackles a New $600 Billion Market (Fortune)
Over 5 million Americans already use ZocDoc to find doctors and book medical appointments online. Now the service is getting an upgrade so that it’s more useful to businesses and their employees. The new service helps employees choose doctors and make medical appointments while potentially saving their company money.
Caterina Fake: The ‘Finding a Restaurant in This Town’ Problem Has Been Solved (Street Fight)
The co-founder of Flicker told Jeff Bercovici that the restaurant discovery problem — a hobby horse of local tech of the past few years — has effectively been solved. Earlier this year, Fake released her newest venture to the world in Findery, a service that allows users to share content, or “notes” about places across the world.
iOS 8 Includes a New Location-Aware Lock Screen Button (GigaOm)
Apple’s new operating system prompts you to open certain apps when you are in the right location. So if you’re in Starbucks, you’ll see a Starbucks logo in the bottom left hand corner of your lock screen.
Tinder and Grindr Share Their Secret (Local) Sauce (Street Fight)
During a panel at Street Fight Summit West on Tuesday, Local SEO Guide proprietor Andrew Shotland spoke with Tinder co-founder Jonathan Badeen and Grindr’s global head of sales, Steve Levin, about what’s working for the mobile personals industry and what other hyperlocal vendors can learn from their successes.
Beta-Testing Clinkle’s New App Sounds Like a Nightmare (ValleyWag)
Clinkle, the payments app run by a tyrannical 22-year-old Stanford grad, is cloaked in roughly the same amount of mystery as the island in Lost. A source tells Valleywag that the app, which raised between $30 million in venture capital without a product, may deliver the same disappointing ending.
Why American Express Wants to Kill Credit Cards (Wired)
Even American Express believes the plastic in our wallets eventually will go away. At a recent event on the future of retail, American Express’ Leslie Berland pointed out that there are two things you always have with you: a credit card and a smartphone. The day is coming when we combine them.
Airbnb Wants You to Eat Dinner With Strangers (CNBC)
Airbnb is encouraging hosts to throw dinners for strangers as part of a new pilot program in its home city. The company would take a cut of the proceeds, similar to how it makes money from its core business of letting people list spare bedrooms or homes on its website.
Mobile Shopping & Location, Location, Location (MediaPost)
One of the missing links in the process is the precision of the location data used to target the messages, as I wrote about here some six months ago. Eli Portnoy, founder and general manager of Thinknear, speaks about location data and gauges the market reaction of his company’s research that shows that some location data is quite far off the mark.