Street Fight Daily: Yelp Hits The Hill, Google Kills Another Local App

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.

yelp-stickerYelp Lobbying on Patent, Copyright Reform (The Hill)
Yelp’s first lobbying campaigns are on patent reform and copyright laws, according to government records. The online urban city guide hired former House staffer Laurent Crenshaw as its first lobbyist last month. The company previously supported lobbying through trade groups like TechNet but had kept a generally low profile when it comes to lobbying on its own.

Google’s Local Social Conundrum (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Google’s attempt at ushering in the Facebook-ization of search, local and otherwise, depends on a major shift in perception and engagement. It may be difficult to bring about such a shift with a “build it and they will come” approach — given the current volume of content, the emphasis on social turns Google’s rich local result set into a desert.

Google to Discontinue Schemer, the Goal-Sharing Service That Time Forgot (VentureBeat)
Launched as an invite-only service back in 2011, Schemer offered a website and mobile apps wholly enmeshed in the Google+ ecosystem that let users create “schemes” — plans for places to go and things to do that can be shared with friends and strangers. And now the folks at Google Operating System are reporting that the service will be discontinued sometime in the future.

5 Ways to Help SMBs Measure the Value of a Hyperlocal Campaign (Street Fight)
Nearly half of merchants surveyed in Street Fight’s “2013 Report on the State of the Local Merchant” said uncertainty about results was the single largest obstacle preventing them from investing more in hyperlocal channels. Here are five strategies vendors can use to help clients quantify the value of hyperlocal.

Uber Warned About New Year’s Eve Surge Pricing, But Everyone Complained Anyway (Business Insider)
Steve Kovach: As expected by anyone keeping tabs on on-demand car service Uber, there were a ton of complaints on New Year’s Eve from customers caught by surprise by some hefty fares. In fact, if you look at Uber’s Twitter feed right now, it’s dominated by a series of apologies for the “sticker shock” it caused last night.

2014: The Year Marketers’ Big Data Gets Real (Wired)
Gurbaksh Chahal: In 2014, for the first time we’ll see marketers begin using big data to optimize their digital advertising in ways that integrate seamlessly with people’s busy lives generating highly relevant, meaningful interactions. RadiumOne predicts marketers’ data-centric demands will power three major ad tech industry evolutions in the coming year.

Daily Voice to Add Paid Print Weeklies to Digital News Sites (Street Fight)
Daily Voice is going back to the future in its affluent but hotly competitive markets in the suburban Westchester and Fairfield counties, north of New York City. The 41-site hyperlocal network will begin publication of paid print weeklies in those two markets on March 13.

Target’s Latest Holiday Shopping Problem (CNN)
The retailer confirmed on Tuesday that some customers are having problems using their Target gift cards at the cash register. This comes just after Target revealed it was the victim of a massive credit card hack that breached 40 million customer accounts, and stole encrypted PINs.

Startups Scrape Your Financial Data for Good. (No, Really!) (AllThingsD)
SaveUp and Mogl are two companies that have figured out formulas for rewards that are byproducts of normal activity. SaveUp users who save money and pay off debts can enter into sweepstakes for TVs, cars, trips and cash. Mogl users who pay at participating restaurants get 10 percent cash back that they can keep or donate to a local food bank.

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