Street Fight Daily: 12.14.11

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.

TaskRabbit Picks Up $17.8M Vote of Confidence for the Do-It-For-Me Economy (Betabeat)
TaskRabbit’s head start in the market, and its emphasis on services over goods, has helped the startup establish a culty, feel-good culture. Although it remains to be seen whether TaskRabbit and Zaarly are a viable alternative to pervasive underemployment, both companies tout that in their pitch.

How Fast Is Local Ad Market Growing? Depends How You Define ‘Local’ (PaidContent)
A recent study from eMarketer looks at one very active discussion area of the online space, local, and finds that how local is defined will greatly impact any predictions about its future growth.

Digital Giants Closing in on Local Media (Reflections of a Newsosaur)
Alan Mutter: Next year will be the year that the big technology companies go after local publishing and broadcasting businesses more fiercely than ever before. Most local media companies have no idea what’s about to hit them – much less a plan to respond.

Google Sharpens Local Plans With CleverSense Buy (GigaOm)
Ryan Kim: It’s clear Google wants to be the lens through which people see the local world around them and the layer between consumers and local merchants. By putting together reviews, content, recommendations and deals, it can draw in consumers who are increasingly using mobile devices to search for local results and explore the world around them, and it can pitch itself as an advertising channel and customer acquisition tool for merchants.

Digital First Launches Investment Arm (NetNewsCheck)
The new division, Digital First Ventures, announced by CEO John Paton, will make investments in tech startups focused on content, advertising and audience development. “We are going to marry our scale with start-up innovation to build success,” Paton said.

Next Directions in Deals Space (Local Onliner)
At ILM West, Belo Interactive GM Joe Weir noted that deals remains a great space to be in. But CBS Local Media President Ezra Kucharz said that deals need to change because merchants and consumers are fatigued. Kucharz’s solution is to provide a richer experience embracing SoLoMo (social local media) and segmenting deals differently.

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