Alex Salkever | Street Fight - Part 2

Why Mobile Can’t ‘Save’ Local News

Alex Salkever

Why Mobile Can’t ‘Save’ Local News

The only thing that saves local news is really good, unique local content and community allegiances that make it clear the news product is more than just a way to make money. The commitment has to be obvious. This is why a handful of mom-and-pop hyperlocal blogs have flourished as lucrative small businesses. And this is why the best growth at Patch is driven by the most committed local editors who weave themselves into the community fabric…

Apple Crashes the Hyperlocal Party

Alex Salkever

Apple Crashes the Hyperlocal Party

The maps product that Apple showed goes a long ways towards effectively replacing Google Maps. And its just the latest salvo in a developing campaign by both sides to capitalize on the hyperlocal market. Apple Maps, iTunes, Passport and the other developing applications on iOS are a clear path to entering the hyperlocal market in a very smooth, sophisticated and gradual way — the Apple Way…

Google+ Takes a Big Step Toward Hyperlocal Integration

Alex Salkever

Google+ Takes a Big Step Toward Hyperlocal Integration

I would say this to Marissa Meyer and the Google team: The more tightly you can integrate Google Plus with other social networks, they greater the chances are that could both make your own users happy and bring in others. People go where their friends are, and Google Plus can make it easier to tap into latent local knowledge via social graphs while simultaneously augmenting frequency of Google Plus usage…

In Wake of Layoffs, a 4-Step Plan for Patch Success

Alex Salkever

In Wake of Layoffs, a 4-Step Plan for Patch Success

The Patch layoffs today are actually a very good thing. This is an indication that the management at Patch is getting a better handle on what hyperlocal must look like in order to succeed. While I am not bullish on hyperlocal networks and national chains, I am even less bullish on hyperlocal networks with significant management layers. Here’s my map for the highest chance of success for a national hyperlocal network — and my quick turnaround program for Patch.

Will Retargeting Destroy Hyperlocal Chain Models?

Alex Salkever

Will Retargeting Destroy Hyperlocal Chain Models?

Ad retargeting damages the economics of hyperlocal networks hoping to make any real ad revenues selling to larger buyers. These same buyers can – and increasingly do – use retargeting to get the same Internet users at a fraction of the cost. This is another example of how hyperlocal actually scales down better than it scales up…

Will Mobile Payment Companies Expand Into SMB Marketing?

Alex Salkever

Will Mobile Payment Companies Expand Into SMB Marketing?

Transaction processing will become only a moderately profitable business. Where the big POS guys will make money is in value-added marketing services. Square has already started to add in loyalty programs. It’s only a matter of time before digital loyalty card startups start to tap into the POS APIs to enable tight integration between their loyalty efforts and the POS vendors…

What Intuit’s Demandforce Buy Says About the Future of Hyperlocal Marketing

Alex Salkever

What Intuit’s Demandforce Buy Says About the Future of Hyperlocal Marketing

The acquisition means that hyperlocal marketing has arrived in terms of market and investor recognition — and that hyperlocal marketing is something that will likely be baked deep into existing SMB products such as QuickBooks. Consider this move to be the precursor of a comprehensive SMB dashboard incorporating cash flows, balance sheets, text and tweets…

Facebook Connect Network Could Dramatically Extend Local Ads’ Reach

Alex Salkever

Facebook Connect Network Could Dramatically Extend Local Ads’ Reach

Where Facebook starts to get spooky powerful is in its capability to deliver local ads to a Facebook Connect network that will be personalized and reflect the actions, comments, likes and dislikes of your friends. This will tap into a recognizable social graph as Facebook seeks to do – and it could turn into an extremely lucrative, higher CPC line of business for Mark Zuckerberg and his team…

Addressing Foursquare’s Engagement Problem

Alex Salkever

Addressing Foursquare’s Engagement Problem

Foursquare has an engagement problem driven by the fact that users don’t view the application as communications platform. Two-way communications have become more important as overall engagement in social media has risen. A check-in, by default, is a one-way communication and not a conversation…

How Hyperlocals Can Build Community and Source Stories With Meal Meetups

Alex Salkever

How Hyperlocals Can Build Community and Source Stories With Meal Meetups

Having watched the successful construction of communities brick-by-brick in politics, in meals, and in high-tech around topics of interest, I know that the power of simply sitting down with a small group to learn their views can result in powerful changes and truly viral sharing of genuine user generated content of the highest quality…

Can Twitter Make Local Pay?

Alex Salkever

Can Twitter Make Local Pay?

In the next few months, Twitter plans on rolling out tools to help local merchants buy tweets. Many local merchants that are already Twitter savvy are already tweeting deals and messages to their followers and responding to comments — so the obvious question is, will they pay for what they are getting for free? And how can Twitter add additional value for local merchants bombarded by marketing tools claiming to solve their problems.

The Myth of the Digitally Dumb Mom-and-Pop Shop

Alex Salkever

The Myth of the Digitally Dumb Mom-and-Pop Shop

An old sawhorse of the punditocracy is that one of the reasons hyperlocal is taking off so slowly in terms of advertising revenues is due to the digital noobieness of local merchants. Journalists love to trot out stories reminding the world that X-percent of mom-and-pop shops still don’t even have a Web site. But are these peeps really trapped in the dark ages?

What Non-Profit News Orgs Can Learn From Yelp

Alex Salkever

What Non-Profit News Orgs Can Learn From Yelp

From the get-go, Yelp was 100% citizen journalism, for better or for worse. There were editors, sure, but professional journalists were not tasked with generating content. The crowd was left to self-organize and submit copy. Imagine, if you can for a minute, a Chicago News Cooperative founded completely on the citizen journalism ethos. No professional reporters. Only editors and guides. The trajectory could be quite interesting…

Bob Garfield Is Wrong About Hyperlocal — Here’s Why

Alex Salkever

Bob Garfield Is Wrong About Hyperlocal — Here’s Why

I’d venture online news will enjoy more significant changes in the next decade than it has in the last — and that’s saying something, considering that the last decade saw the rise of the broadband Internet and smartphone saturation. Ironically, the very same week that Garfield nailed the coffin shut on hyperlocal, we read about how NPR used localized Facebook targeting to jack traffic on some of its articles…

Advice for Patch’s New Content Chief

Alex Salkever

Advice for Patch’s New Content Chief

If Patch can create an easy way for communities to report on sports events — with minimal or no effort — and then serve up that content in a relatively readable format, the upside would be huge. Also, get rid of your middle management layer. All of it. Hyperlocal works best in conditions of hyper-autonomy, without an overseer and a style enforcer…

Could Pinterest Follow Yelp Down the Local Path?

Alex Salkever

Could Pinterest Follow Yelp Down the Local Path?

I am fairly certain that a class of local Pinters will begin to emerge who have followers and who specialize either in a city or a part of a city and, most likely, down to a specific specialty. And this will happen because Pinterest is an extension of blogging and tweeting, really. Lots of pins actually drive through to a blog post, in fact, so it’s already seen as a traffic augmentation vehicle. I see Pinterest getting integrated into social media dashboard tools that will make it easy for local merchants running Facebook pages to add a Pinterest stream to their arsenal.

Twitter, Summify and the New Local Relevance Layer

Alex Salkever

Twitter, Summify and the New Local Relevance Layer

We’ve already seen on Street Fight how Flipboard can be turned into a hyperlocal news feed. And that’s exactly where I see possibilities or Twitter in Summify. Flipboard is an amazing presentation layer, but following raw Twitter streams via lists and then dumping them into Flipboard does not surmount the signal-to-noise problem. Drop Summify into the mix and things get more interesting. Further, add the ability to more easily build lists based on geolocation of the tweets and you might actually have a very interesting hyperlocal content stream with huge implications for local businesses…