Street Fight Daily: Local News Lost, Groupon Bundles SEO

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

smalltown1American News Consumers Have Gained the World but Lost Their Backyards (Atlantic)
Conor Friedersdorf: State, county, and local coverage almost everywhere in the United States is now significantly worse than it was in the pre-Internet era, when local newspapers enjoyed a virtual monopoly on classified advertising and invested part of the resulting largesse in local reporting. Show me a local newspaper that has laid off a significant number of editors and beat reporters, and I’ll show you a city where a lot of institutional knowledge, built at great cost over many years, was suddenly, perhaps irrevocably lost.

Can Newspapers Evolve Into ‘Local Membership’ Organizations? (Street Fight)
Matt Sokoloff: Newspapers are well positioned to start local membership programs modeled after AAA or AARP. They have great brands in their communities, they already have a membership base in the form of subscribers, and they have strong relationships with local businesses and organizations.

Groupon Offers SEO Deal to Businesses (Upstart)
Here’s an unusual deal from Groupon not for businesses but to businesses: search engine optimization. LA SEO Service announced today that it partnering up with the daily deal company to offer search engine optimization to consumers and small business people at a discount.

Restaurant Chain Looks For Location-Specific Trends in Online Reviews (Street Fight)
Keeping up with customer reviews and social media chatter can be especially difficult for a national chain. As the director of digital marketing at Houlihan’s, a “polished casual” restaurant chain with 85 locations, Natalie Bass is responsible for making sure the company is being found online and communicating with customers through all the most popular digital channels.

Barista Problems: Why Starbucks Isn’t the Energy Shot Square Needed (PandoDaily)
Part of the issue, according to Starbucks, was unanticipated demand to use Square. But it also speaks to two different things. The first is how quickly consumers will adopt new technologies meant to solve annoying real world problems when they are well done. The second is that Square is going to have to rethink any expansion plans via retail chains.

Is NFC Finally Becoming Mobile’s Next Big Thing? (Wall Street Journal)
NFC has been a decade in the making, and has always been about to be “The Next Big Thing”. But it was hard to avoid the message at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: The GSMA, the organizing body, was keen for everyone to believe that Near Field Communication might finally be about to have its day.

How Journalists Can Use Location-based Apps as a Reporting Tool (Poynter)
As geo-tagged information is becoming more widely available, so are the options for how journalists can use it. Location-based service applications designed to use geo-tagged posts — like Banjo, Sonar and Geofeedia — can help journalists find story ideas, develop new sources, and track news events through people posting from the scene.

Google Quietly Pulls Plug on Frommer’s Print Travel Guidebooks (Skift)
Google has ceased production and publication of printed guidebooks bearing the Frommer’s brand name, Skift has learned. The last two Frommer’s books to roll off the presses were guides in the all-color Day-by-Day series devoted to Napa and Sonoma and Banff and the Rockies, and went on sale in early February.

Leaf, The Point-Of-Sale Android Tablet For Brick-And-Mortar Businesses, Launches Its App Store (TechCrunch)
Leaf, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company that offers a point-of-sale solution based on its own Android tablet for small- to medium-sized businesses, announced that it will soon launch an app store for its service. The company aims to build an ecosystem for offline merchants that allows them to connect to their consumers at the point of sales.

PODCAST: This Week in Location-Based Marketing — Ping Mobile (Street Fight)
In this week’s episode, hosts Rob Woodbridge and Asif Khan discuss LinkedIn’s rumored acquisition of the Pulse News Reader. Meanwhile Posse saddles up and moves to the U.S.; the earth’s magnetic field may hold the key to indoor location; and Quri gives brands a little leverage. Plus special guest Shuli Lowy from Ping Mobile on SMS marketing.

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