A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Square and Intuit Play Nice With New QuickBooks Integration (AllThingsD)
The two companies are announcing that they are partnering with each other to make it easy for Square customers who use the QuickBooks accounting software to integrate their transaction data from Square Register point-of-sale software and the Square Market e-commerce platform. The two companies aren’t providing many details on how the integration will work, but they say it will be an automated process; today, customers would have to do a manual transfer of data from one piece of software to the other.
The Local Sharing Economy Is Here (But Scale Will Prove Difficult) (Street Fight)
Patrick Kitano: Every iteration of things that can be shared, from baby clothes to power boats, has been picked through by college students who have been steeped in the gospel of Zuck and turned into a local service set to scale. The problem, however, is that almost every startup gets stuck at city one. The reason? If the sharing requires some sort of physical exchange of goods or services, then it requires the commitment of two people who live close to each other to complete transaction. And they need to find each other even though the just-launched app won’t reach critical mass for a long time.
Confidence Crisis: 40 Percent Don’t Trust Online Reviews (MarketingLand)
Greg Sterling: A recent Nielsen study indicated that online reviews were among the most trusted sources of information for consumers. And numerous consumer surveys have argued that Internet users routinely consult and rely on reviews to help make purchase decisions. However, in a contradictory set of findings, new survey data from Maritz Research suggest that large numbers consumers don’t trust ratings and reviews that they see on prominent sites.
Finding a Model for Sac Press by Looking at The Hawaii Independent (ScramentoPress)
Jared Goyette: The future of Sacramento Press is on the brink, and on Thursday, we’ll gather to discuss our options and how best to save the site. Big newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian have all tried to enter the “hyperlocal” or neighborhood news market with online ventures that failed. AOL made the biggest push with Patch, which despite some bright spots, has proved a dismal failure financially.
Automating the Search for a Last-Minute Reservation (New York Times)
ancellations and V.I.P. tables are often released into the reservation system at the last minute, for those prepared to call or search online. A handful of new services are finding ways to eliminate that step altogether, automating the process so that people don’t even need to search for open seats. Instead, diners are alerted to those openings — in some cases, in real time.
Thrillist: From a Simple Newsletter to $80 Million in Revenue (Mashable)
With no content and little tech background to speak of, the founders of Thrillist hit the streets of New York themselves, exploring neighborhoods on nights and weekends and writing their own version of a city guide, which they would send along to their friends every few days. As the subscriber count grew, Lerer and Rich began hearing from businesses that had noticed a bump when Thrillist wrote about them.
Mobile Is Huge — But Two Key Elements Could Slow Its Growth (Street Fight)
Terry Heaton: We in the media think we’re in the information business, when the reality is that we’re very much in the advertising business, and advertising is in disruption right now. In their effort to influence and produce results, marketers are simply unable to demonstrate even a modicum of restraint when it comes to the line between useful and nuisance.
Dot-Com Cautionary Tale Kozmo.com Is Back, Baby (BetaBeat)
Kozmo.com claims to be in the process of a relaunch. You know, the online delivery business and notorious early 90s flameout, which was just one sock puppet short of being the cultural synecdoche for the entire damn turn-of-the-century Internet bubble. It’s most recently appeared in the news as a series of references in reviews of Bleeding Edge.
Study: 61 Percent Of Mobile Callers Ready To Convert (SearchEngineLand)
A new survey of 3,000 US smartphone users, conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Google, underscores the critical role of calls in the mobile path to purchase. Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of survey respondents said that “click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process.” And 70 percent of respondents said they had used the “call button” in Google search results.
Now Processing $1B Annually, Swipely Announces A Partner Network To Support Growth (TechCrunch)
Swipely announced today that the flow of payments through its system has doubled since April, with the firm now processing charges at a yearly run rate of $1 billion. It reported a $500 million annual run rate in April, and a $250 million run rate three months prior. Swipely works with retail merchants – think bars, restaurants, and the like – to improve their payment systems.
Google Offers Now Lets You Clip Coupons Without Paying In Advance (Engaget)
Whereas you’ve previously had to pay for discount vouchers in advance, you can now clip them for free and then pay for purchases in-store, making Offers more convenient to use. The company’s also introducing coupons outside the main Offers app, adding them to Wallet, Maps and Search, as well as programming Google Now to flash a notification whenever you pass by a participating establishment.
NoWait, A Mobile Replacement For The Restaurant Buzzer, Launches Its Consumer App (TechCrunch)
The Pittsburgh-based mobile waitlisting service for restaurants, NoWait, which raised $2 million in Series A funding just over a year ago, is now rolling out its first consumer-facing product with the launch of its iOS app for restaurant goers. The new app shows a list of nearby restaurants, wait times and distances, and lets you join the waiting list from your phone.