A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
U.K. regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe Media wants publishers to pay to be part of its hyperlocal network. The group is beginning a “franchise” model, where “franchisees” must pay Northcliffe at least £6,995 ($10810.24) plus VAT to run their own local site. For that, they would get keys to the site, the “ability to sell advertising space” themselves, a “marketing pack” and “handbook” and a whole three days’ training. (Paid Content)
While AOL’s Tim Armstrong recently reiterated his promise that some Patch sites will cross into the black in 2011, the company is no longer guaranteeing that it will reach another oft-stated year-end benchmark, the goal of being in 1,000 towns. (Forbes)
“It’s not worth trying to be comprehensive” in hyperlocal, writes publisher Richard Jones. “Focus on doing what you’re able to do and do it well, rather than trying to take on the impossible.” (Richard Jones Journalism Blog)
Local.com today rolled out a new service to help small and medium-sized businesses expand their online presence. The company’s Exact Match service helps SMBs reach ready-to-buy consumers who are searching online for local businesses, products or services. (NetNewsCheck)
Perka wants to offer merchants a new spin on loyalty rewards programs in an effort to become the “antidote” to the 300-plus daily deal sites out there cannibalizing each other’s revenues and user bases. The company is essentially bringing those “buy 10, get 1 free” punch cards we know and love online — and to our mobile devices. (TechCrunch)
A “Foursquare virgin” writes about his first week of using the service: “What do I actually get out of checking in every place I travel to? What’s the point of earning badges and becoming the ‘Mayor’ of my local bar?” (Business Insider)
Perkville is taking a different approach to providing local merchants with a loyalty solution by turning customers’ email addresses into virtual reward cards. That means no more cards to carry and forget at home, no apps to download — just an email address. (TechCrunch)