Street Fight Daily: Facebook Expands Wi-Fi Check-Ins, Angie’s List Cuts Prices

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

fb_icon_325x325Why Facebook Is Giving Out Free Wi-Fi For Check-Ins (CNet)
Facebook and Cisco are jointly announcing that they’ve partnered to bring the social Wi-Fi option to more businesses after a small but fruitful pilot of the system in around 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses. For Facebook, the Wi-Fi-with-check-in initiative is part of a broader plan to attack the local market by encouraging merchants to set up and maintain Pages on the social network.

Why Sacramento Press Hit the Wall – And How It Hopes to Survive (Street Fight)
“Simply put, we can’t depend on either grants or online advertising to support local news,” says editor-in-chief Jared Goyette. “Reader revenue and big sponsors or donors should be part of the picture. I hope we can find a hybrid approach at Sac Press that allows us to keep our client base – we have more than 40 clients and a significant revenue stream – while also finding nonprofit relationships to support our community work. There is no one answer. If I find it, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”

Cheaper Advice: Angie’s List Cuts Prices (Wall Street Journal)
Consumer-review site Angie’s List has slashed membership prices by roughly 75% in several key markets, in a bid to attract new members. Chief Executive William Oesterle told The Wall Street Journal that new members in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Indianapolis, among other markets, are now paying around $10 for an annual membership, down from around $40.

7 Strategies for Boosting Digital Coupon Conversions (Street Fight)
More than 96 million U.S. adults will redeem a digital coupon this year, and nearly half of women ages 35 to 54 say they would like to receive mobile coupons via text. For merchants offering digital coupons, along with the hyperlocal vendors providing this technology, the question becomes how to boost conversions and drive as many coupon redemptions as possible. Here are seven strategies for boosting conversions with digital coupons, presented by experts in the field of digital deals and targeted promotions.

In Test Project, N.S.A. Tracked Cellphone Locations (New York Times)
The National Security Agency conducted a secret pilot project in 2010 and 2011 to test the collection of bulk data about the location of Americans’ cellphones, but the agency never moved ahead with such a program, according to intelligence officials. The project used data from cellphone towers to locate people’s cellphones.

GoDaddy Buys Ronin, Makes Inroads Into Accounting Services For Small Businesses (TechCrunch)
Another week, another acquisition for GoDaddy. The domain registration and hosting company announced today that it has bought Ronin, a company that specializes in online invoicing services to help businesses bill customers and keep track of how they get paid. The deal actually closed in April, says GoDaddy, but the company is making it public today because it has now integrated the service into GoDadddy Online Bookkeeping, its SMB-focused accounting business.

MasterCard Moves Into Hyperlocal Merchant Discounting With Parkeon (Finextra)
MasterCard is to offer hyper-local shopping coupons to motorists through the Parkeon network of car parking payment terminals. The aim of the scheme is to present offers from locally relevant retailers to motorists as they are paying for their parking spaces, providing “relevant rewards to shoppers at the right moment and in the right place”, says MasterCard.

Pantech’s Fingerprint-enabled Mobile Payment Points Down The Road To Apple’s Future (FastCompany)
The fingerprint system inside the phone seems to feature a traditional design much like many other commercially available fingerprint sensors. What makes the system unique is the BarTong app, which lets users pay for items in stores as if they were using cash–plus the fact that the user is positively identified by their fingerprint, rather than relying on a PIN code or signature.

Telenav Adds Group Navigation Features To Its Scout Android App (GigaOm)
Telenav continues to trick out its turn-by-turn navigation apps social coordination features. This week it launched a tool that allows multiple people to navigate their way to the same destination on the same map. It’s been loading up Scout with a raft of social features and coordination tools that let friends, families and colleagues plan their activities on a map.