A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Top Executive At AOL’s Local News Business, Patch, Resigns (BuzzFeed)
Mark Josephson, head of marketing and revenue for AOL’s local news network Patch, has resigned from the company after being there for about two years. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, despite pouring resources into the local network of news sites, has had trouble finding traction for it that matches the success of its other media outlets like The Huffington Post.
The Local Stack: Powering the Payment Stream (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The systems on which local businesses rely to manage day-to-day operations have remained offline, relegated to legacy tools or silo-ed in digital products not built for the web. But that’s changing. Thanks to a number of new companies that are reimagining the way consumers shop and reprovisioning the systems that business owners use to monitor and transact the exchange of goods locally, that “source code” is coming online, filling a critical gap in the local commerce stack.
Mobile Payment At U.S. Starbucks Locations Crosses 10% (TechCrunch)
Starbucks is seeing impressive adoption of mobile payments in its U.S.-based store locations, the company revealed during its quarterly earnings conference call. Mobile payments crossed the 10 percent mark in the U.S. as a percentage of in-store purchases, indicating efforts like the Starbucks mobile app, Apple’s Passbook and Square Wallet are popular among users.
Is Foursquare’s SMB Monetization Here for Real? (Street Fight)
Mike Boland: The company may discover that SMBs paradoxically prefer the simplicity of flat pricing over relatively complex (albeit more efficient) performance-based ads. The latter requires some degree of ongoing maintenance which challenges non-tech-savvy or time-starved (read: majority) SMBs. This is one reason for famously high churn for SMB self-serve advertising.
I’m Still Waiting for My Phone to Become My Wallet (New York Times)
Jenna Wortham: A truly mobile wallet — one that would let you easily pay for restaurant meals, subway rides or beers at a bar with a quick wave of your cellphone — has long been described as imminent. But it remains elusive. Some innovations have begun to bridge the gap, but most have been a disappointment or have not yet worked well enough for mainstream adoption.
LivingSocial Narrows Losses In Q2 (Street Fight)
Losses at LivingSocial slowed in the second quarter as the company began to rebound from a tumultuous start to the year. The company posted a $31 million net loss last quarter — a 38% decrease from the quarter earlier — as operating expenses and revenue sank slightly over the same period, according to a quarterly filing by Amazon, the company’s lead investor.
Predicting Is The New Black: The Latest Trend in Marketing (VentureBeat)
Puneet Mehta: Everywhere we look, the concept of “predictive analytics” is taking hold and is now becoming the most powerful tool in marketers’ increasingly sophisticated toolboxes. By using sophisticated algorithms based on the results of historical and real-time campaigns, marketers can now predict with a high percentage accuracy a range of indicators about consumers.
Retail Stores Plan Elaborate Ways To Track You (Fox News)
Location-based tracking is getting much more precise. New technologies like magnetic field detection, Bluetooth Low Energy, sonic pulses, and even transmissions from the in-store lights can tell when you enter a store, where you go, and how you shop.
Introducing Esri, Where The World’s Biggest Organizations Come Together To Build Maps (GigaOm)
The company has hundreds of thousands of members — governments, major companies, the biggest NGOs — that collaborate in real time to make some of the most data-intensive maps anywhere. That collaboration is already having an impact on the types of maps that get made.
How QR Codes Are Morphing Into Artificial Reality (PandoDaily)
Many marketers have been left scratching their heads, wondering where the QR code went wrong, and how future technologies can avoid a similar fate. The rise of mobile and increasing brand interest in finding new ways to interact with users led to the proliferation of QR codes on everything from packaging to magazine ads.