Street Fight Daily: Massive Layoffs at CityGrid, FTC Expands Regulations On Location Data

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

citygrid_logoIAC’s CityGrid, Parent Of CitySearch And Urbanspoon, Lays Off Two-Thirds Of Staff, As Local Ad Push Bites (TechCrunch)
CityGrid Media, the parent of local ad-based listings portals CitySearch, Urbanspoon and Insider Pages, is laying off two-thirds of its staff, or around 130 people. IAC, which owns CityGrid, confirmed the number to us and described the process as “streamlining.” The news comes about eight months after another round of layoffs at CityGrid: in October 2012, around 15% of staff were let go.

Why Hyperlocal Is Naturally Suited for Investigative Reporting (Street Fight)
Terry Heaton: The “news” has become a mere commodity in today’s world, and the breaking news image — and increasingly, weather — is going to Twitter and other forms of social media. Investigative is one of the big categories left, but AR&D president and CEO Jerry Gumbert says local media companies have got to do something in order to keep their edge.

FTC Updates COPPA With New Restrictions On Location Data (AdExchanger)
The Federal Trade Commission has officially updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) with new restrictions that go into effect today. The changes include a ban on collecting location data from site owners and app developers with properties aimed at children.

7 Strategies for Generating Localized News Stories (Street Fight)
Appealing to a hyperlocal audience means going beyond repackaged press releases and community events listings to uncover truly newsworthy stories happening in individual neighborhoods. We consulted with experts from some of the country’s top hyperlocal publications to round up the best strategies for developing localized story ideas on a regular basis. Here are their best tips..

Is Yelp A Bully Or Just Misunderstood? (BuzzFeed)
The online reviewing behemoth is regularly accused of Mafia-style extortion by disgruntled business owners and the media. But even as Ivy League researchers debunk the conspiracy theories, the company’s shadowy reputation remains intact. Why is it so hard to believe that Yelp might actually be fair?

How Bad Location Data Is Poisoning the Mobile Well (Street Fight)
The success of any mobile targeting campaign hinges, entirely, on the location data powering the messaging that is pushed out to consumers at just the right time in the right place. Its biggest hurdle lies in the quality and accuracy of this data, as an influx of embellished and incorrect location data is pumped into ad networks and exchanges by publishers looking to cash in on rising premiums for hyperlocal inventory.

Most SMBs Use Social Media but Few Find It ‘Effective’ (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: ConstantContact released some SMB survey data on social media adoption, which found that 85% of SMBBs use Facebook as a marketing vehicle. The survey found that 24% of that group said they posted to Facebook daily while 13% posted to Twitter daily.

How Do Brand Advertisers Compete Against the Little Advertisers In Local Search? (Ari Kaufman)
Ari KaufmanLocal or hyper-local digital media is about as hot as it can get now, but how does the BIG guy, who has become a dominant figure locally, leverage digital media to win on a hyper-local level? While large multi-location advertisers do get some help, however, the glove on the helping hand they grasp is lined with fools-gold.

How To Bridge The Gap Between Online And Offline Shopping (iMedia Connection)
As consumers increasingly rely on their smartphones to research products, find deals, buy gifts, and shop for themselves, merchants need to fine tune their mobile strategies to make sure that they are providing a valuable consumer experience that succeeds in growing loyalty and revenue. Otherwise, they risk losing existing customers and prospects to the competition.

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