A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Google Maps to Get a Major Design Overhaul (SearchEngineLand)
A new reports says that Google is testing a new Google Maps interface, possibly to be launched next week at Google I/O. The design and interface changes touch everything from the map colors, icons and text formats to dropping the navigation elements on the left hand side and adding in Google+ integration.
In the Era of Networked Local Journalism, Everyone Can Contribute to Community News (Street Fight)
Patrick Kitano: A big opportunity exists for local publishers and media networks to curate and aggregate everything happening in a locality. This is the journalism of inclusion. If local contributors are curated and authorized to post in real time, content distribution is more efficient. As readers learn to understand this format, local media starts to look more like a community bulletin board, with users expected to factor in the credibility of the posters.
PlaceIQ Raises $6.75 Million To Serve You Ads Based On Your Location (PlaceIQ)
Hyper-local ad startup PlaceIQ has raised an additional $6.75 million in Series B financing to enable marketers to target their messages to users based on location. The company was founded in 2010 as a way to leverage both the increasingly granular data that can be found about the physical location of different shops and restaurants and whatnot, as well as all the location data that is now shared via our mobile phones.
Why Local Media Companies Must Practice ‘Self-Cannibalism’ to Survive (Street Fight)
Terry Heaton: Instead of protecting our products, we should look instead to protecting our customers, their experiences, and our relationships with them. Never begin a discussion about the future with a focus on our products or services. What does the customer want and need, even if our existing products are not a part of the answer? The world is changing and it begins with empowered consumers.
Yelp and the Wisdom of “The Lonely Crowd” (The New Yorker)
Gideon Lewis-Kraus: The problem with Yelp is not the role it plays, for Siegel, in the proliferation of monoculture; most people of my generation have learned to ignore Yelp entirely. It’s the fact that, after about a year of usefulness, Yelp very quickly became a terrible source of information.
Yext Redesigns App in Shift from Data to Content (Street Fight)
A week after expanding its service to Facebook, Yext has redesigned its mobile application to focus on content creation. The move comes as the company looks to expand the functionality of its network from a tool that merchants use to occasionally update a phone number or address across multiple properties to something akin to a content marketing network where brick-and-mortar businesses can create and distribute posts and multimedia from a single entry point.
Urban Compass Comes Out Of Stealth With A Hyperlocal Social Network, And A Disruptive Rental Portal That Will Serve As A Magnet (Business Insider)
Urban Compass, a New York-based startup that last year raised an $8 million seed round while still in stealth mode, is coming out of the shadows and debuting its first services in public beta: a hyperlocal social network, called the Urban Compass Network, and a housing rentals platform that brings online the whole process of finding, securing and subsequently paying for a place to live.
Survey: ‘Lack of Customer Demand’ Main SMB Reason for Not Gong Mobile (Screenwerk)
Constant Contact found that 34% of respondents had a “mobile optimized website.” In fact the average across the broader SMB market is still likely to be sub-15% if not sub-10% in most categories. Social media and email marketing were the dominant two “uses of mobile technology” among survey respondents: 73% and 71% respectively.
A New Site Puts The Hyper Into Hyperlocal (FastCompany)
A startup based in downtown Boston, BlockAvenue has divided up the U.S. into a small pieces, and then aggregated as much data as it can find to start telling stories about them. On top of that, BlockAvenue pulls in geo-located updates from Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, SeeClickFix, and others. And, if that’s not enough, you can read what your neighbor thinks, and post your own reflections.
Revel Adds Fraud Prevention to iPad Point-of-Sale System (ZDNet)
This week, ePOS maker Revel is introducing a unique, patent-pending identity theft feature that will show an image of the credit-card holder every time his or her card is swiped through a Revel POS system. The idea is to help reduce the incidence of fraud related to stolen cards.
The Only Question That Matters (Inc.)
Howard A. Trullman: Belly is doing a lot of things right. We see the Belly CEO, Logan LaHive, everywhere we look. And yet. If your prospective customers know all about you and your business, but they aren’t using your service, you’ve got a lot more work to do.