A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Urbanspoon Launches Dining Recommendations from Both Users and Celebrity Chefs (Pando Daily)
The company is launching a new feature called Urbanspoon Guides, which allows diners to create, share, and browse personal lists of dining favorites in a given city and category. Unlike services like Yelp and others which rely solely on user generated content, Urbanspoon aggregates restaurant content from a variety of sources across the web including professional food critics, bloggers, and diners.
Groupon Fires Back at Shuttered Waffle Business (ABC News)
Groupon is once again defending its business model after a shuttered waffle vendor blasted the deals service online as “money-hungry” and bad for small businesses. “We always hate to hear that a local business has decided to close, but the math does not point to Groupon as the cause,” Groupon said in a statement.
Post Paywall, Greenville’s Media Scene Shifts (NetNewsCheck)
When Gannett’s The Greenville (S.C.) News launched its hard paywall in July 2010, traffic dwindled and let the newspaper’s TV competitors take the lead in the market’s online media scene. Earlier this year, the paper switched to a metered model in an attempt to win back readers.
Why Groupon May Surprise The Bears (Seeking Alpha)
While the bears make valid points, including the issue of how Groupon accounts for its sales, all these issues are fixable as long as Groupon’s top-line keeps growing and it keeps satisfying its growing customer base. With mobile in particular, an area where companies like Google and Facebook (FB) are facing questions on their ability to monetize, Groupon is demonstrating how to do it.
vSplash BuzzBoard Turns SMB Presence Data into Useful Local Sales Tool (Screenwerk)
Called BuzzBoard, the “presence analysis” tool arms the sales rep with volumes of data about the merchant. This includes an estimate of the sales opportunity (potential value of the account based on “what’s missing” from the online portfolio) and how the merchant compares with competitors.