A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
AOL’s Armstrong Fires Patch Creative Director During Conference Call (New York Magazine)
On Friday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong convened a 1,000-person conference call to announce the company’s decision to shutter or outsource about half of its hyperlocal Patch news sites. The plan will of course mean layoffs (or “impacts”), and Armstrong got started early by abruptly dismissing an employee who took a photo of the CEO during the meeting – and it got caught on tape.
Local Stack: Keeping Customers Coming Back Through the Power of Data (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs Gone are the days where the only record of a visit to a local business was a credit card transaction, loyalty punch, or cash receipt. Now, from our search for a business, to the aisles we roam in the store, to the goods and services we purchase, our activities become user profiles, cookied paths and stored purchase history that help real-world businesses to track us — as much to retain their customers as to make that customer experience better suited to the individual and less frustrating.
Twitter Goes ‘Offline’ with DataLogix (Screenwerk)
Like Facebook Twitter has now partnered with Datalogix to track the influence of Twitter advertising on offline, in-store sales. In a preliminary study with CPG advertisers on Twitter the social site found that users who engaged with a brand’s Promoted Tweets purchased more from that brand than a statistically identical control group, resulting in an 12 percent average sales lift.
7 Key Lessons From AOL’s Struggles With Patch (Street Fight)
Josh Fenton: Why did a well-heeled usurper to newspapers find itself imploding last week? Ultimately, Patch could still reinvent itself — but if it does not there are plenty of lessons to be learned and applied to all of us working to produce the next model of local journalism. Here are seven.
Mobile Ads Favor Coexistence, Not Disruption (Financial Times)
Strong growth in mobile advertising helped Facebook convince even its harshest critics that it is able to make money from the more than 800m people who access the social network on their mobiles phones every month. It, and Google, are proving that their services are just as indispensable on mobile devices as they are on PCs – even if they are not quite as dominant.
New Groupon CEO: Morale Is ‘Dramatically Better’ Than It Was Under Andrew Mason (Business Insider)
“I think employee morale is dramatically better than it was when I got here five and a half months ago,” Groupon’s newly named CEO Eric Lefkofsky told Business Insider in an interview. “I think people feel like they’re on a winning team and they feel like we have a very clear sense of purpose and mission and it’s still a fun place to work.
Recycling Bins Track Passing People via Wi-Fi (Mashable)
Targeted advertising is moving beyond the desktop to Internet-connected devices around the world. The latest example comes from Renew, which has developed “smart” recycling bins that detect passing smartphones’ Wi-Fi signals, and could soon be used to serve ads to specific individuals.
YC-Backed LocalOn Works With Newspapers To Give Small Businesses A One-Stop Shop For Online Marketing (TechCrunch)
LocalOn offers tools for merchants associations and newspapers too, including website hosting, a member directory, member billing, and a widget where real estate agents can submit listings for vacant properties — so the organizations are be both resellers and customers. It has already partnered with 40 merchants associations and two newspapers in the Bay Area — apparently the partnership has generated $50,000 in new business for the East Bay Express newspaper over the past six months, and the OaklandGrown merchants association has seen a 20 percent increase in revenue from annual memberships.
Why We Should Be Wary Of Free Wi-Fi (Salon)
Jen Cohen Crompton: Location-based technology is far from a new concept, but it is absolutely kicking its capabilities up a notch as it integrates with consumers day-to-day activities. As retail companies continue leveraging mobile and moving toward this technology, be weary/excited about that free Wi-Fi.