A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Groupon Acquires FeeFighters, the BillShrink for Business Services (TechCrunch)
FeeFighters, a three-year old comparison shopping site for credit card processors, is announcing today it has been acquired by Groupon. The Chicago-based startup, which provides businesses with a way to find the best merchant account provider for their needs, has also been offering businesses other tools such as its new payment gateway called Samurai.
Paywalls Create Opportunities for Local News Entrepreneurs (howardowens.com)
Howard Owens: Newspapers are turning to paywalls not because they’re great business models, but because lack of vision and lack of execution over the past decade and a half has left them in a desperate bind to just try and survive. … As newspapers crumble, there should be entrepreneurs ready to pick up the pieces, if for no other reason than our communities deserve good local news coverage.
You Say ‘SoLoMo,’ I Say, ‘I Hate My Life’ (TechCrunch)
Anthony Ha: You’ve got to draw the line somewhere. And for me, the phrase SoLoMo (short for social-local-mobile, if you’re lucky enough to have never heard it) crosses that line and outrages all decency and common sense.
Providence Pureplay Puts Bullseye on Daily (NetNewsCheck)
GoLocalProvidence, an unusually well-funded Internet pureplay, has succeeded with a blend of aggressive local reporting, all-local content, a paywall and beyond-the-banner advertising opportunities including video and integrated sponsorships. Its goal: beat the Providence Journal with a community-focused attitude that harkens back to 1950s newspapers.
NPR Customizes the News With Local Content (Nieman Lab)
NPR is trying another experiment with geotargeted news, partnering with 13 member stations to deliver local headlines on the NPR.org home page. Location-sensing technology detects whether a user is in one of the test markets and, if so, pipes in headlines straight from a station’s website.
Do SMBs Really Need Mobile Apps? (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: No one would dispute that everyone must now have a mobile optimized site or landing page. However there is debate about whether having an app would be meaningful for SMBs. My sense is that individual SMB apps can work well where there’s a recurring or semi-regular appointment or where regular client communications are involved (e.g., Financial Advisor).
Factual’s Gil Elbaz Wants to Gather All the Data in the Universe (New York Times)
In the booming world of Big Data, where once-unimaginably huge amounts of information are scoured for world-changing discoveries, Factual’s CEO Gil Elbaz may be the most influential inventor and investor. … Factual knows more than 800,000 restaurants in 30 different ways, including location, ownership and ratings by diners and health boards.