A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
TripAdvisor Fined $610,000 in Italy for Failing to Prevent Fake Reviews (New York Times)
TripAdvisor, the travel review website, has gotten a bad comment from the Italian competition authorities. The American company, which allows travelers to rate hotels and restaurants around the world, has been fined 500,000 euros, or about $610,000, by an Italian regulator for not doing enough to prevent false reviews on its site.
5 Keys to Small Business Success From 2014 (Street Fight)
Stephanie Miles: Given all the hyperlocal solutions aimed at small businesses, it’s no wonder merchants took a varied approach in 2014. Over the past year, merchants have become savvier about online marketing solutions, and as a result, many are now willing to try platforms they would not have been comfortable using in previous years.
South Korea Charges Uber CEO With Breaking Transport Law (Recode)
South Korea has indicted the chief executive officer and local subsidiary of Uber for violating a law governing public transport, becoming the latest jurisdiction to challenge the U.S. ride service provider. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office issued the indictment against CEO Travis Kalanick and the firm’s Korean unit for violating a law prohibiting individuals or firms operating without appropriate licenses.
How The Digital Wallet Will Drive Mobile Commerce in 2015 (ReadWrite)
Bill Ready: Over the next five years, we’ll see digital wallets—apps and hardware that will let us buy things directly, without the need to fumble for a credit card—becoming the primary way people buy on mobile. That shift is going to begin in earnest in 2015. But it won’t be because people want to scrap the physical wallet they carry in their purse or pocket.
Yes, Amazon’s One-Hour Delivery is Magic. No, WunWun Isn’t Throwing in the Towel (Recode)
Amazon is actually a bit of a latecomer to the instant delivery space. Over the past two years, startups such as Postmates, WunWun and Instacart have sprung up to ferry stuff from local stores to your doors in an hour or less with just a tap on your smartphone.
HomeAway CEO Defends Turf as Airbnb Makes Inroads (Wall Street Journal)
Brian Sharples, the founder and chief executive of Austin, Texas vacation-rental company HomeAway, has helped drive a big change. Since going public in 2011, the $2.76 billion company has acquired numerous vacation-listing sites and now boasts over a million property listings, though the younger Airbnb has stolen some of its thunder.
Only in San Francisco: You Can Now Get On-Demand Cookies Delivered In Under 20 Minutes (TechCrunch)
Doughbies, an on-demand, freshly baked cookie delivery service from 500 Startups that promises to deliver right to your door in less than 20 minutes. That is, if you live in SoMa or the Mission districts of San Francisco. For those inside Silicon Valley, it certainly makes it easy to cram our faces with a dozen chocolate chip and sea salt cookies almost as soon as we have a hankering for them.