A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Google Launching Goofy Game to Promote Location Products in Google+ (ReadWriteWeb)
Google has resorted to gamification to drive interest in its location services. It posted a YouTube video last week promoting a Google Maps-powered game coming to Google+ Games in February. It involves rolling a ball around a cube covered with 3D Google maps. Players apparently get extra points for hitting Zagat-rated businesses, promoting Google’s acquisition of the review publisher last year.
Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Defends His Decisions on ’60 Minutes’ (AllThingsD)
“The difference between me and other CEOs is that I’ve been unwilling to change myself or shape myself around what’s expected,” said the 31-year-old founder. “Am I as experienced or as mature or smart as other CEOs. No probably not, but there’s something useful about having the founder as a CEO.”
How Well Your Deal Sells is Inversely Proportional to Its Amount of Fine Print (Zuupy)
Consumers generally only start reading the fine print of a deal — which, needless to say, is a chore and a potentially-killjoy activity — when they have somewhat made up their mind to purchase the deal. If an item in the fine print is not essential, remove it.
With SimpleGeo’s Shutdown Imminent, Parse Swoops In With A Life Preserver (TechCrunch)
Parse is a well-funded, developer-facing service that’s designed to help build applications efficiently. It aims to handle the back-end tasks associated with creating mobile applications (things like user accounts and, in this case, server-side storage), which allows mobile devs to focus on the app itself.
Can Real Estate Save Hyperlocal News? (Inman)
Real estate professionals may be the answer to a struggling hyperlocal news industry, according to journalist and author Jeff Jarvis. Hyperlocal sites give real estate professionals a place to spread their message and become part of their community, Jarvis said.
Uberlife – The Next Foursquare, But for Future Real-world Meetups? (TechCrunch)
Mike Butcher: This is what I call a real world, location-based social network for near-time location planning. After bubbling under in London’s tight-knit tech scene for the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to give the service a try and all the building blocks for a great application are there.