Commentary | Street Fight - Part 92

Patch-HuffPo Wants Hyperlocal Traffic? Here’s How

Rick Robinson

Patch-HuffPo Wants Hyperlocal Traffic? Here’s How

Last week I talked to a number of people about Aol’s Patch network and pointed readers to one Patch in particular that ostensibly seemed to be going for (human) form over (hyperlocal) function. It was a little unfair to single them out perhaps, especially with plenty of other examples of click-baiting to highlight, but I’m guessing I wittingly provided them just what they wanted by sort of calling them out: more pageviews, more clicks, more buzz…

What Kinds of Businesses Do Daily Deals Benefit Most?

Lynn Roulo

What Kinds of Businesses Do Daily Deals Benefit Most?

Business owners are always looking for a silver bullet — a killer feature that will bring in new customers. The recent daily deals craze has held out the promise of this kind of customer acquisition, but when is a deal feature a silver bullet, and when is it is shot in the foot?

Why Niches Are Becoming More Important for Deals

Justin Cener

Why Niches Are Becoming More Important for Deals

In the month since Groupon’s S-1 filing, there has been a lot of criticism directed at the nascent daily deals industry. Some say that the deals model is unsustainable, while others claim that running a deal can cripple a small business. But before jumping on that bandwagon, it’s important to remember that online deals are still in their infancy…

Hyperlocal Is Only as Good as Its Talent

Alex Salkever

Hyperlocal Is Only as Good as Its Talent

Ted Mann made a lot of smart points in his recent post on the lessons he learned from two years running InJersey, a network of 17 hyper-local blogs across the Garden State. There was one big, simple and very important takeaway: In a small town, having a single, passionate voice who is prolific and visible in the community can make the difference between flourishing and folding…

‘Social Journalism’: News You Can Take to the Bottom Line

Tom Grubisich

‘Social Journalism’: News You Can Take to the Bottom Line

The LJ World in Lawrence, Kan., has been a fount of innovation in digital journalism — especially in how to build and foster more and deeper community connections. Jane Stevens, the site’s director of media strategies, is herself a nonstop innovator. In 2010, she and her team launched LJ World’s WellCommons, a highly interactive site where “community and journalism work together to create a healthier Lawrence and Douglas County”…

Hyperlocal Post-Mortem: Lessons Learned From InJersey

Ted Mann

Hyperlocal Post-Mortem: Lessons Learned From InJersey

When we made the decision this week to shutter InJersey.com — a network of hyperlocal sites across the garden state that I helped build, nurture, and raise like a child -—my biggest fear was that the effort would be branded a failure. In the age of Twitter, I was braced for the #epicfail hashtag. It came instead via Slate, in the form of a Jack Shafer missive…

Google+ is Part of Something Bigger — Much Bigger

Alex Salkever

Google+ is Part of Something Bigger — Much Bigger

The much-ballyhooed launch this week of Google+, a social network that was created to go up against Facebook, has drawn tons of media attention. What most pundits seemed to miss in the all the noise is that Google is smartly positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for multiple facets of local advertising, all sold through its automated self-service sales machine. What’s more, they should all feed off each other…

The ‘Wishes and Dreams’ of Hyperlocal News Consumers

Tom Grubisich

The ‘Wishes and Dreams’ of Hyperlocal News Consumers

The data explosion offers plentiful opportunities to develop new news. But to blend that data into a compelling content cocktail, hyperlocals have to be continually innovative, and that’s not happening. Social networking is a big part of the new news, but it is nowhere near connecting to the user’s meaningful preferences…

Inside National Public Radio’s Play for Local Online

Rick Robinson

Inside National Public Radio’s Play for Local Online

I’ve been writing about large media brands and their hyperlocal efforts for the past few weeks, looking at Gannett, Tribune and PBS for example. Balancing things out with another not-exactly-for-profit property, I recently asked NPR’s digital services GM, Robert Kempf, to talk about his organization’s forays into hyperlocal…

Hyperlocal’s Automated Future

Alex Salkever

Hyperlocal’s Automated Future

At the hyperlocal level, the value is in the information, not the presentation. You read the local to learn, above all, what’s going on in your town or your nabe. If a computer can help collate and present that to you in a more digestible fashion, more the better. Will this kill the community journalist? I doubt it. The journalist still must be present.

Taking ‘Broccoli Journalism’ Hyperlocal

Tom Grubisich

Taking ‘Broccoli Journalism’ Hyperlocal

Mediameister Jeff Jarvis is the pluperfect phrasemaker. “There’s no why there,” he memorably summed up the Mark Zuckerberg-Facebook biopic The Social Network. But I wish his jibe about “broccoli journalism” didn’t prove so hardy. Jarvis coined the phrase in 2009 – in an attack on a report calling for federal subsidies to prop up the cost of reporting “serious” news stories…

Gannett Casts About in Local, Expands ‘Deal Chicken’

Rick Robinson

Gannett Casts About in Local, Expands ‘Deal Chicken’

Why did the chicken cross the road? Apparently, deals were on the other side. Gannett is an enormous company with over 50,000 employees managing scores of properties that include hundreds of national and local Web sites, print publications, marketing consultancies, a careers site, not to mention a little thing called USA Today. It’s the typical corporate megalith trying to hold onto customers from the old world as they lurch headlong toward the future, simultaneously ramping up some divisions while laying off hundreds elsewhere…

Surveys All Say: Hyperlocal’s Taking Over Ad Spending. Duh.

Laura Rich

Surveys All Say: Hyperlocal’s Taking Over Ad Spending. Duh.

A new survey released this week by the hyperlocal network Topix says what is increasingly clear in every new data that emerges: ad dollars are shifting to local, and of that, most are going online. The Topix survey of ad agencies found 90% said they are buying more local ads (“geographically-targeted”) than they ever have.

Google Offers: Not a ‘Groupon Killer’ (But Still Pretty Killer)

Mike Boland

Google Offers: Not a ‘Groupon Killer’ (But Still Pretty Killer)

It’s been widely reported over the past few weeks that Google has launched a deals platform known as Offers. But most of this coverage has missed the point — falling into the tired but pervasive trope of “[insertnamehere] Killer” claims (in this case, Groupon). Offers will be similar to Groupon in some ways, but its economics and mobile integration are quite different. Comparisons aside, the real story is how Offers plugs into Google’s massive distribution network of search, Gmail, mobile and about 26 other products.

Post-IPO, Will Pandora Go Hyperlocal?

Alex Salkever

Post-IPO, Will Pandora Go Hyperlocal?

Over a year ago I got a chance to sit down with Pandora founder Tim Westergren for a long interview about the company. In our conversation about business models and Pandora, the most compelling feature he discussed was a hyperlocal, blue-sky idea that sounded incredibly cool. It left me thinking back then that Pandora could become a hyperlocal powerhouse when that ad market developed…

Social Purpose Hyperlocals: Go for Gumption

Tom Grubisich

Social Purpose Hyperlocals: Go for Gumption

Grand Rapids, Mich., was decreed to be “dying” in January. The report, by Mainstreet.com, turned out to be greatly exaggerated. But exactly how healthy is the “Office Furniture Capital of the World,” the second largest city in a state that has been reeling economically since before the great recession? To find out, I went to The Rapidian, which bills itself as “a hyperlocal news source powered by the people of Grand Rapids.”

TribLocal Quietly Blooms to 88 Hyperlocal Sites — And Growing

Rick Robinson

TribLocal Quietly Blooms to 88 Hyperlocal Sites — And Growing

Tribune Company has long demonstrated its interest in reaching people on a local level — whether it’s through the company’s many local TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, their classifieds products or even their digital subsidiaries. The company was far ahead of other media in the early ’90s when they pushed content out over AOL and then the Web. And over the years they’ve also partnered with a number of local online efforts like Digital City. While that experience might be useful to carry over from Local 1.0, the fact is nobody from that period is present today at TribLocal, a relatively new (2007) effort that has online and sites and weekly print companions sprouting up in Chicago neighborhoods like colorful, polished digital plumes…

Hyperlocal Case Study: Efficiency, Aggregation, and Profit

Ken Hawkins

Hyperlocal Case Study: Efficiency, Aggregation, and Profit

There’s one thing every publisher of a local news site knows: making enough ad dollars to get paid is hard. In fact it’s really hard. But it’s been my experience that if we look at why the Web is so dang good, we can make the struggle to keep the lights on a stiff hike rather than a mountain climb. At TheDigitel, which I founded in 2008 to offer a central place for hyperlocal coverage in Charleston, S.C., we’ve managed to carve out a niche among a saturated market (we have several conventional media outlets and a vibrant local blog and Twitter community) by taking an evolving approach to creating content and winning advertisers…

Using Mobile Inventory Data to Drive Foot Traffic

Nitin Gupta

Using Mobile Inventory Data to Drive Foot Traffic

It’s no secret that local brick and mortar retailers have been heavily competing with online shopping for years now. So, how do these stores stay competitive in an environment where Amazon offers free shipping, no taxes, and consumers can shop from the comfort of their own home? In other words: how do retailers localize their presence, stand out from the crowd and bring shoppers right to their front door?…