A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Survey: 61% of SMBs Say No ROI from Social (Screenwerk)
A new Manta survey of SMBs found that while 39% said they were seeing ROI from their social media efforts, the majority (61%) said they weren’t. Of those saying there was an ROI from social, the returns were modest. The survey found that 70% saw less than $2,000 in value (sales), though 30% said they saw more than $2,000.
Howard Owens on What It Takes to Sustain a Hyperlocal News Site (Street Fight)
“If there’s any clear message, it’s what I’ve been saying for the past four or five years: Starting and running a local news site is hard work,” says the Batavian editor and publisher. “You need a good model, a solid plan, the ability to work long hours and handle multiple disciplines and stick with it for years and years with no promise of ever striking it rich. If you can do that, you’re on the right track.”
How Joey Coleman Crowdfunded His Work as a Hyperlocal Reporter (GigaOm)
Matthew Ingram: We’ve written about high-profile bloggers like Andrew Sullivan who go directly to readers for financial support — but could a relative unknown in a small town use crowdfunding to build a business covering city hall and other local news? Joey Coleman says yes. He has done not one but two successful Indiegogo campaigns to raise money to cover his home town of Hamilton in Canada, where he writes about everything from the local elections to fires and other breaking news.
TIMELINE: Two Years in Hyperlocal (Street Fight)
On the occasion of our second anniversary, we took a look at the events in hyperlocal since we launched in 2011. Then: All Groupon all the time. Now: Not so much. The evolution of the hyperlocal landscape charts the same path as any new industry, beginning with the pioneers who take risks to prove a model; replications on the idea; consolidation and contraction; entrenchment of the ideas and business models; and legacy companies who buy or build their way in. 2013: Still the wild west, and what a great frontier it is.
Facebook Is Said to Hire Apple Maps Executive Amid Mobile Push (Bloomberg)
Facebook has nabbed another member of Apple’s original iPhone team, hiring Richard Williamson, the manager who had led Apple’s mapping efforts, according to people with knowledge of the hire. Williamson was fired by Apple in November as part of a management shakeup after its mapping product was criticized for misguided directions and inaccurate landmark locations.
On the Web (Especially in Local), Personal Branding Is Everything (Street Fight)
Terry Heaton: Where media companies see themselves as unique, the Web sees, well, sameness. The pureplay companies have found ways to exploit that, while local companies — especially media — dismiss all that effort as irrelevant. To be a brand in the network is to behave unlike a brand and instead like a person. This is the secret to a strategic move into a world of connected human beings.
Study Finds Newspaper Readers are Engaged, but Local Papers Need to Do More on Mobile (PaidContent)
A new survey from the Newspaper Association of America and Nielsen finds that newspaper readers are highly engaged. But local papers have to do more on mobile, particularly as ad revenue plunges.
Never Get Pushed Around By Your Local Repairman Again (Forbes)
This year will see ReachLocal roll out a new offering that will not only allow act as a vetting service and comparative search engine for consumers to find plumbers, locksmiths and repair personnel , but a means to control and pay for the entire transaction. ReachLocal’s new adventure – called ClubLocal – is requires the company to use its own personnel to go to a locality, pick the best businesses, pre-negotiate pricing for all possible services and offer sales of those services online.
Mobile Ads GPS Study: How Far Will You Drive for a Deal? (VentureBeat)
Consumers will drive 2.8 miles for a sandwich, but 7.1 miles for a great Italian restaurant. And while we may only go 3.6 miles for a coffee shop, we’ll easily go almost nine miles for just the right mall. Nagivation services company Telenav has summarized billions of monthly data points on ads and services that people will drive for in a new report, unveiled today.
Walkbase Now Integrates with Google Analytics to Let Retailers Compare Online and Offline Traffic (TheNextWeb)
Founded in 2011, Walkbase offers sensor-based technology to stores, so they can monitor consumers via signals transmitted from their mobile phones. The company provides retailers with small boxes to install which capture signals transmitted from any WiFi-enabled device. In turn, this data is then sent to Walkbase’s cloud-based analytics platform which delivers location-based data to the retailer via an online dashboard.
UPlanMe’s Secret to Monetizing with Local Businesses? Focus on Events (PandoDaily)
UPlanMe, a startup in New York’s WeWork Labs, believes it has cracked the code on local by focusing on events. The company makes that simple with a calendar that venues can easily plug into their websites. It pushes out the events to social media, and automatically updates each week for repeated events.