A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Yelp Fires Back at Small Business Extortion Claims, Says It’s Not, and ‘Never has Been’, True (TheNextWeb)
Yelp and its review service have once again come under fire, this time over stories where business owners claim that reviews are “too self-centered and not trustworthy” and that it hides reviews. In a blog post, Yelp’s Vice President of Communications & Public Affair Vince Sollitto, offered up what he says is evidence that contradicts the claims reported to the media.
LION President: ‘Indie’ Readership, Revenues ‘Reaching New Heights’ (Street Fight)
“There’s no ‘proven model’ other than the precept that local news works when it is just that,” said LION president Dylan Smith. “Every community is different; attempting to cover every town and city by ticking a few boxes in a top-down plan is foolhardy at best, and insulting to local readers at worst – as well as being a great way to lose millions of dollars.”
Walmart Exec: Mobile Can Revive Personal Touch for Shoppers (CNet)
Where e-commerce brought the store to the Web, smartphones are bringing the Web to physical stores, with each consumer able to access data from their phones, according to Gibu Thomas, head of mobile for Walmart. Thomas believes that mobile-influenced sales in stores will soar to nearly $700 billion, double the market opportunity for e-commerce.
Case Study: Promoting Loyalty With Outrageous Rewards (Street Fight)
At Vino Vidi Vici, an Italian restaurant in Massena, N.Y., owner Crista Makdouli wanted to offer something extra to help her program stand out. “For 50 [purchases] you can get your name engraved on one of our tables, so you’ll have your own table,” said Makdouli. “For a million [purchases], we will deliver a free Ferrari with a large pizza.”
Square Arrives in Japan, Its First Market Outside North America (Verge)
At a press event in Tokyo today, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey announced the long-awaited Japanese debut of Square, the smartphone credit card processing service with the iconic white dongle. It’s a big deal for Dorsey’s four-year-old company — its first expansion outside of North America, and in the third-largest economy in the world.
Bill Gross’ UberMedia Launches UberAds, Using Social and Location Data to Better Target on Mobile (PandoDaily)
Bill Gross, one of the forefathers of intent-based digital advertising, is looking to create the same kind of disruption with a new mobile advertising platform called UberAds that utilizes social signals and location data for ad targeting. While not making it all the way to intent, UberAds offers one of the more compelling mobile targeting solutions and has seen click through rate increases that validate its approach.
Is Hyperlocal Reporting Over? (TheDailyMeal)
Companies in the once-locally dominated food media are now dropping hyperlocal coverage in favor of national coverage. Just as Grub Street is shying away from hyperlocality, other news media sources are shying away from food-focused blogs.
Foursquare Introduces ‘Super-Specific’ Search And Filter Options For iOS And Android To Help You Find New Venues (TechCrunch)
Foursquare updated its iOS and Android apps with an advanced search option that lets you control how the service seeks out new venues for you. This is a search performed based on all of the data that Foursquare has collected over the years, but its first move into a more conversational search experience.