A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
With New Delivery Service, Uber Declares War on Google and Amazon (Wired)
Uber announced a pilot program for what it calls Uber Corner Store, a service that would allow Uber users in the Washington D.C. area to get staple items like toothpaste and bandages delivered from local stores.
Traditional Businesses Still Failing to Reach Online Consumers (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: An infographic from Marketecture offers a useful compendium of statistics pointing both to the great opportunity in local and the persistent gap between that opportunity and the actual practice of marketing by many small business owners.
Square Expands Its Cash Advance Service (New York Times)
Square will broaden the scope of its cash advance program through a multimillion-dollar deal with a Chicago-based firm known for backing small-business financing ventures. The deal will be focused exclusively on expanding Square Capital, which extends short-term cash advances to small and medium-size businesses.
First Data, a Payment Processing Giant, Looks Beyond the Swipe (Street Fight)
The largest payment processing company in the U.S. is officially in the marketing business. Last week, First Data Ventures, the payment processing giant’s venture wing, announced a partnership and strategic investment with social marketing platform LocalVox — the latest in a string of investments meant to help the payment processing giant enter new markets.
Google Tests A New Local Knowledge Graph Interface (SearchEngineLand)
Google is testing a new interface for their local knowledge graph. Instead of the local carousel interface that launched a year ago in June 2013, Google is testing more of a ‘card’-like approach that is vertical as opposed to horizontal scroll.
Lyft COO Out After Tensions With Founders (Recode)
Lyft COO Travis VanderZanden has left his job, after some level of tension with its founders. Sources close to the situation said the exec, who came to the ride-sharing company after it acquired his on-demand car wash service Cherry last year, said that VanderZanden was not the right fit for the company going forward.
Delivery Start-Ups Are Back Like It’s 1999 (New York Times Magazine)
After the dot com crash, conventional wisdom hardened: Web-enabled delivery was not a good business. Despite the early demise of Rewinery and the shrunken ambitions of others, such as eBay Now, similar start-ups with names like Caviar, SpoonRocket and DoorDash have raised half a billion dollars in investment in the last year.
If You’re A Media Company, Your Mobile Competition Isn’t Other News Entities, It’s Google Now (GigaOm)
Mathew Ingram: Many media outlets have figured out that they need to focus on mobile, but for the most part their apps fail to take advantage of the smartphone’s potential, and if they aren’t careful Google will get there before they do.
Craigslist Cracks Down on Outside Services (GigaOm)
Classified ad site Craigslist regularly lashes out against companies that use data from its site, and now the service is moving to impose harsh preemptive penalties: users who wish to post an ad must now agree to pay Craigslist up to $25,000 a day for violating its terms of service.
The List Killer: How Thumbtack Plans To Be Your One-Stop Local Services Shop For Plumbers, Chefs And Belly Dancers (Forbes)
Five years on, Thumbtack has far outgrown its early roots and, thanks to the startup’s newly lined pockets and clever business model, is poised to join some of the biggest names in local commerce, such as Yelp and Angie’s List , and beat back the advances of giants such as Amazon and eBay.
Michael Halbherr Steps Down As CEO Of Here, Nokia’s Location And Mapping Division (TechCrunch)
Yet more changes for Nokia, the Finnish wireless behemoth that was split apart earlier this year when Microsoft acquired its devices and services business for $7.2 billion. Michael Halbherr, an eight-year veteran of the company, is stepping down as the CEO of Here, Nokia’s mapping and location services division.