A serious contender and moneyed innovator, Microsoft Sidewalk took to the local Web the way the behemoth did most things: with lots of muscle. It quickly squared off with CitySearch over advertising share and rapidly expanded its editorial footprint across the nation – carrying itself with arguably the most style among the hyperlocal contenders.
This is a the second installment in a series about hyperlocal past and present… An early entrant to the hyperlocal game was the fast-moving (and still going) CitySearch. They focused on data-driven content about entertainment and “things to do,” further crafted by editors in cities around the country. CitySearch went head-to-head with Digital City but saw real competition in Microsoft’s Sidewalk, which they eventually bought. Former CitySearch chief Charles Conn looks back and tells us a little bit about the way it was…
It’s difficult to pinpoint when online hyperlocal came into being. The idea was there with BBSs (electronic bulletin board services) since the early 1980s or even earlier, when local dial-up services allowed callers to access files, games, chat and so on. Long distance charges caused many to dial in to local boards. And thus local communities developed, with some system operators focusing on delivering local information and news. A few local newspapers tried getting into the game with bulletin boards of their own, or via Usenet Newsgroups…
Read the first in a series of interviews with leaders of what we’re calling Hyperlocal 1.0, as well as a bit of a response from a Hyperlocal 2.0 chief.
Local has always been regarded as the sleeping giant in digital advertising, with so much heavy lifting required and so few solutions available at scale. But, at long last, a solution may be at hand. Local publishers are now participating in centralized, single point-of-entry buying platforms that give national brands the tools and data needed to buy premium local audiences with national scale.
Another true story. I was meeting an old family friend for dinner in downtown San Francisco. I had told him to meet me at ZeroZero, a very popular newish Italian joint with killer pizzas and a reasonable menu. We get there and I ask the hostess how long the wait for a table. She smiles sweetly: “One hour.” Well that won’t do. Oh, by the way. The family friend? Works at Uber, a private car-on-demand company, as a business development guy. He’s newish to San Francisco and doesn’t know where else to go to eat. I’m likewise not that savvy on the Moscone Center locale and also was “budgetarily constrained.”…
Jeff Wood is a guest author. To submit a guest post, go here.
With all of the talk about data in our industry, I’m surprised that so few of the people I talk to in the Local space have a true data strategy — one that gives them real control over their own data and, most importantly, access to this data for decision-making.
It’s the nature of Local that a publisher loses the scale of large network buys. However, you gain the value of a centralized audience. With granular data, a site focused on the hyperlocal market can quickly understand the value of small pockets of inventory, and make educated decisions around how to package and allocate that inventory for sale across appropriate channels.
It’s amazing how many people simply don’t know who owns the data collected on their sites.
Michael Boland is a guest author. To submit a guest post, go here.
In the location wars of the past two years, one of the battle cries has been the need to continually innovate “beyond the check-in” — building things on top of the core check-in function, driven by evolving device capability and user demand (or boredom).
At least week’s Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California, Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley talked about how the check-in grows up even as it stays focused on “the relationship between people and places.”..
For me, it was a frightening locksmith experience that revealed mobile search’s serious shortcomings.
My wife was out of town and the spare key was in the car she took to the airport. In a rush to get the kids into the car for pizza dinner, I had pulled the front door shut and locked us all out.
“No problem,” I figured, pulling out my smart phone. I punched in a search for a local locksmith and waited. Dozens of results came back at me, all with local exchange phone numbers and local addresses. This was fishy: we live in a small ‘burb in Marin County and there’s no way that many locksmiths are working in this neck of the woods…
Rick Robinson’s Turf Talk column appears every Wednesday. ..
Zaarly – it’s not a new verb expressing something extra cool. Not yet, anyway. But it’s got a pretty good start if you’re judging by its remarkable first two months alone. In that time they’ve pitched and launched the product, wowed celebrity judges at a startup competition in LA and accepted a million bucks in seed funding from, among others, Ashton Kutcher and venture fund Lightbank created by Groupon’s founders. And that’s all before the semi-official launch at SXSW or making a single dime.
Street Fight recently caught up with with the 32-year-old CEO behind this i-need-it-you-got-it service, Bo Fishback…