A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
In an effort to diversify revenue and maintain its rapid growth, Groupon is fast evolving its business model. Recently Groupon deals have gone mobile, real-time, and location aware. Now the company has launched “Groupon Goods,” an ecommerce product that marks the company’s most aggressive departure away from its core daily deal offers. (CNET)
Daily deals service Signpost is growing its sales force at a rapid pace that could surpass competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial by the end of the year, according to the company’s CEO, Stuart Wall. Signpost employs local contractors, called Deal Scouts, to sign up local businesses for the service. (SocialBeat)
It doesn’t feel like Gowalla’s overhaul has added anything new to the location space, Chris Thompson: “The ‘stories’ are little more than checkins as far as I’m concerned and the guides are nice, but have a long way to go to become really useful.” (AboutFoursquare)
Hyperpublic has some big news today that should catch the eye of developers looking to do anything with local: they’re opening access to a new Point of Interest (POI) database called Places+, and they’re also giving developers a straightforward and easy way to start monetizing. (TechCrunch)
Loc-Aid wants to become a go-to resource for developers looking to add location data to their mobile applications. Loc-Aid calls itself “location as a service.” It sits between the cellular carriers and developers and aggregates location from one and pushes it through an API to the other. (ReadWriteWeb)
In the first half of 2011, Internet ad revenues rose to a record $14.9 billion, according to new data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC. The rate of growth was 23.2 percent, more than doubling the 11.3 percent growth rate that online ad revenues had in the first half of 2010. (GigaOm)