A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Hyperlocal task/errand site Zaarly has announced that it raised $14.1 million in financing, and that the company is gaining Meg Whitman as a board member. The site works by letting people post requests for an item or service, and then lets other people, businesses and companies bid to fulfill those needs. (New York Times/Bits)
Stocks columnist Herb Greenberg looks at Groupon’s numbers, determining that the company is “technically insolvent.” (CNBC)
Open data platform Factual.com is launching a new API for developers of location-based services called Resolve that makes partial records complete, matches entities against one other and assists in the process of de-duping and normalizing datasets. (TechCrunch)
“You are going to get better engagement [on Twitter] if you can connect with local people who are interested in their community,” writes Journal Register’s Steve Buttry. “The more local engaged followers you have, the more successful your efforts at crowdsourcing, content distribution and local conversation.” (SteveButtry.com)
8Coupons founder Landy Ung has relaunched the deals service to go in some radically different directions, focusing on letting its 2.5 million unique visitors discover services and products. “Now we want to own the lifecycle” of how consumers use deals and offers, she says. “We are more of a service experience,” with a newsletter and other features,” adds Ung. “Even if the deals space collapses today, there is still a need for us.” (Local Onliner)
After Groupon spurned its $6 billion offer last year, Google decided to launch a deal-of-the-day site of its very own. It looks like the hard feelings will continue: Groupon has filed a lawsuit against two former employees who are now at Google’s new venture, saying they “will employ confidential and proprietary information.” (PaidContent)
The prospect of better reaching readers — and advertisers — in a community encourage the Philadelphia Media Network to experiment with curation and open story budgets with new hyperlocal news site Neighbors Main Line. (Nieman Lab)