Turf Talk | Street Fight - Part 2

Taking ‘Local’ Right Down to the Keystroke

Rick Robinson

Taking ‘Local’ Right Down to the Keystroke

A new group of companies are finding ways into local services by getting in between consumers’ desires and fulfillment of their desires at the core level: where their thumbs are hitting the glass. Startups like PopKey and Slash have found what feels like a Trojan Horse into our stream of communication.

Patch: Here’s Ten Things We’re Doing RIGHT

Rick Robinson

Patch: Here’s Ten Things We’re Doing RIGHT

Anyone paying attention to this column knows I’ve dedicated plenty of thought to AOL’s efforts in local, primarily via its Patch effort. Some at Patch/AOL were unhappy. Others mailed me with even more colorful complaints, or “can-you-believe-this” vignettes. So I wanted to turn the tables on myself a bit and challenge Patch to sell us on what is going right…

Just Another Chat With a Frustrated Patch Editor

Rick Robinson

Just Another Chat With a Frustrated Patch Editor

“We have had two conference calls in a row the last two weeks with the people at HQ excitedly talking about big ideas that are going to get us to profitability, but the ideas sound like bad ones, not to mention ones that they have already tried,” said this editor, a mix of frustration and exasperation in his voice. “They are getting farther away from the hyperlocal vision and really pushing generic SEO content to try and get unique visitors…”

Location + Mobile + Ads: Verve CEO Says People Are Set to Get It

Rick Robinson

Location + Mobile + Ads: Verve CEO Says People Are Set to Get It

“I think 2013 is the year that people will begin understand that mobile advertising will soon be the premium channel for all digital advertising,” says Verve Mobile’s chief, Tom MacIsaac. “If you want to reach users when they are out and about, interacting with the real world, closer to the buying decision than ever before, mobile will be the preferred channel. Mobile will begin to do to online advertising what online did to print.”

USA Today Publisher Larry Kramer Looks to a Local Future

Rick Robinson

USA Today Publisher Larry Kramer Looks to a Local Future

“This whole company is hyperlocal,” Kramer says when asked about Gannett’s locally targeted news. “We’ve got 81 newspapers and 23 TV stations, all with local news operations.” At the new multipurpose “breaking news” desk he is developing, editors from the flagship paper will work face to face with representatives from local papers and other Gannett media properties…

Creating a City Guide from Scratch? Maybe if You’re a ‘Cool Kid’

Rick Robinson

Creating a City Guide from Scratch? Maybe if You’re a ‘Cool Kid’

Carlos Gutierrez and and Erika Leal, founding editors of thecoolkidsguide.com, are building a city-guide-cum-entertainment-site for not only big metros but also for smaller, under-served towns (at least that’s the plan). I asked Gutierrez the obvious question first: So many have come and gone; others are moving along (Patch, Yelp, Zvents, Foursquare); still others (LivingSocial, etc.) are morphing toward city guides. Why a city guide?

Guess Who Has a Hyperlocal Foothold in 156 Locations?

Rick Robinson

Guess Who Has a Hyperlocal Foothold in 156 Locations?

So what exactly is the CBS Local product for consumers, merchants and advertisers? “We are local media business that is focused on four areas: News, Sports, Music and Lifestyle content,” said CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz in an email interview. “We reach consumers online, mobile and over-the-air. Merchants and advertisers work with us to reach consumers whether on a national or local level.”

Shining a Light: ByteLight Goes After ‘Holy Grail’ of Indoor LBS

Rick Robinson

Shining a Light: ByteLight Goes After ‘Holy Grail’ of Indoor LBS

Forget about the “last mile,” this Cambridge, Mass.-based company plans to close the last meter, with light-based technology to target shoppers within a a few feet. Street Fight sat down with CEO Aaron Ganick after the dust had settled on their recent funding announcement to find out whether his product could change hyperlocal commerce — or if it was just technology searching for a problem…

We’ve Seen the Past — And It Is ‘The Neighborhood’

Rick Robinson

We’ve Seen the Past — And It Is ‘The Neighborhood’

For the past few years, social startups have been spiraling inward toward a smaller and smaller target: your neighborhood, your block. Now Patch is going all in by to leverage neighborhoods through communities of interest. But maybe neighborhoods are an artificial constructs, with borders that mean little even to those they bind. If that’s the case, we need to rethink a lot more than design and tools and lessons of the past…

How to Run Hyperlocals that Make Money — An Email Mini-Debate

Rick Robinson

How to Run Hyperlocals that Make Money — An Email Mini-Debate

Recently the good folks at the American Press Institute asked if I’d help lead a discussion about “Strategies for Sustainable Hyperlocal Business Models.” So I did what I do best: ask other folks what they think. Here are some thoughts on the matter from Rick Blair, ex-CEO of Examiner.com, GoLocal24 co-founder Josh Fenton, Scot Brodbeck from ARL Now, Street Fight columnist Tom Grubisich and Street Fight CEO Laura Rich…

Patch, Others Seek Holiday Cheer Updating Tried and True Guides, Deals

Rick Robinson

Patch, Others Seek Holiday Cheer Updating Tried and True Guides, Deals

Holidays are a sparkling time to test out the effectiveness of one’s local penetration. And it seems Patch is going all in. I asked Mark Josephson, SVP of revenue, to talk about what Patch is pitching for the holiday (among other obvious questions). Turns out the network of local sites has a Ye Olde Fashioned Gift Guide of its own…