Street Fight Daily: Hyperlocals at Financial Precipice, Rethinking the ‘Patch Experiment’

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

At Precipice, Hyperlocals Face Financial Realities (NetNewsCheck)
At this year’s Block by Block Community News Summit, revenue has become the new mantra for a group of journalists who are the founders, reporters and editors of hyperlocal sites across the country. “They need to be pushed to start thinking of earned revenue from day one,” the Summit’s founder Michele McLellan said of hyperlocal sites that are currently facing a precipice moment on a harsh and unforgiving economic terrain.

The Patch Experiment: Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid (Amy Jo Brown)
Amy Jo Brown: One of the reasons I left Patch is because it started to believe that if only it changed the editorial mix, it could fix the sales problem. Among the consequences of this thinking was the idea that x number of posts (ahem, poorly conceived “Best in the business” posts) about x kind of content would make it easier for the ad staff to close sales.

The Mobile/Social/Local/Cloud Land Grab Is Over (TechCrunch)
Jon Evans: Oh, there may be a few Shangri-La valleys left in the more obscure and inaccessible regions–for instance, increasing battery life will open up new space for always-on apps like Highlight and Chronos–but the vast majority of this new territory has now been mapped, surveyed, claimed, and occupied. It’s not nearly enough just to take an existing market and go after it with an app and/or a cloud service powered by social-media-crowdsourced data.

The Real Problem with JRC/Advance Free Model and the Unappreciated Benefit of a Paywall (Columbia Journalism Review)
Dean Starkman: Normally, I’d just say, “let a thousand models bloom,” or “may the best model win,” and root for them all. But whether the free online news model succeeds financially is one thing, and, put it this way, bankruptcy is never a good sign. The free model, however, also carries with it real implications for the kind of journalism that it can support.

Report: Highest Mobile CTRs Where User 1-2 Miles From Business (Search Engine Land)
The greatest CTRs (engagement “sweet spot”) happened on mobile display ads for businesses that were between 1 and 2 miles from the user. Otherwise performance was within a narrow range of variation until outside of a 10-mile radius, where it declined.

What Happens When Navigation Giant TomTom Enters the Taxi-Hailing App Space? (The Next Web)
TomTom, the major Dutch manufacturer of navigation systems and software, seems destined to make life difficult for a host of startups focused on making life easier for people in need of convenient ways to hail and pay for taxis in Europe. Dutch media are reporting that the navigation systems juggernaut has kicked off a trial in Dutch capital Amsterdam to let restaurant visitors, hotel guests and whatnot easily order a taxi from a mini-kiosk provided on-site.

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