Local Quotables: Steve Buttry, Jeff DeBalko, Eric Friedman and more…

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The best words about and around the hyperlocal industry.

At the Street Fight Summit, the quote of the event came from Datasphere’s Gary Cowan. Elsewhere, John Byers cautioned on the long-term repercussions of working with Groupon and Yipit’s David Sinsky had some serious analysis on the company. Meanwhile, Journal Register’s Jim Brady and Steve Buttry both chimed in on the topic of community engagement. And there’s more:Jim Brady, Journal Register, October 24, 2011
Twitter: @JimBradySP: If you think “community engagement” is letting readers comment & upload pictures of their pets, you’re unclear on the concept of engagement.

Steve Buttry, Journal Register, October 22, 2011
The Buttry Diary: I don’t get hung up on the actual number of followers, but you are going to get better engagement if you can connect with local people who are interested in their community. That number makes a difference. The more local engaged followers you have, the more successful your efforts at crowdsourcing, content distribution and local conversation.John Byers, professor, October 21, 2011
Business Insider: Offering a Groupon puts a merchant’s reputation at risk. The audience being reached may be more critical than their typical audience or have a more tenuous fit with the merchant.

Gary Cowan, Datasphere, October 25, 2011
Forbes: If somebody came to you and said, I’ll lend you $10,000, but over a certain period of time you’ll have to pay me back two times or three times x, you’d laugh them out of the room… It’s kind of like a credit card, or giving a three-year-old a gun. It can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Jeff DeBalko
, Bay Area News Group, October 17, 2011
Tumblr: Nothing speaks louder to the failure of local media than a long, slow disconnect from the communities they serve. In trying to become more efficient, they have become irrelevant to many.  Even with the financial challenges we face, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Eric Friedman
, Foursquare, October 24, 2011
AdAge: Foursquare represents one metric for [merchants] to take a quick pulse of how their business is doing… And if a merchant uses an integrated dashboard from another service provider, that’s okay with us.Seth Priebatsch, SCVNGR, October 20, 2011
Huffington Post: And frankly, we learned that retaining customers with heavier and heavier discounts might work OK, but it gets you the wrong type of customers. Even worse, it re-normalizes price expectations for the customers. (In other words, once the deals stop, the customers are gone.)

David Sinsky, Yipit, October 23, 2011
Yipit: Given the significantly lower net revenue per merchant, it will be difficult for Groupon to maintain this rigorous level of quality assurance for each merchant. In fact, one reason that Now! has failed to gain traction among consumers is the perception that Now! deals are typically lower quality than traditional Groupon deals. Not only is there likely less effort devoted to making sure that Now! merchants are high-quality, the deals themselves are less appealing to consumers.David Stirling, MVue, October 24, 2011
Street Fight: The whole area relies on the ability to match the right incentive to the right consumer at the right time with the right vehicle – do the math, you’re talking about trillions of permiatations. […] The challenge is figuring out how to keep it simple.