Street Fight Daily: Digital First’s Thunderdome Implodes, Mobile Payments Heats Up (Again)

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

digital-first-mediaThe Newsonomics of Digital First Media’s Thunderdome Implosion (And Coming Sale) (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Ken Doctor: Soon, we’ll hear official word of the demise of Project Thunderdome, one of the news industry’s highest-profile experiments in centralized, digital-first, mobile-friendly, new-news-partner content creation. The move signals the fatigue of majority DFM owner Alden Global Capital — and that it is readying its newspaper properties for sale.

LivingSocial Sells Remaining Assets in Southeast Asia for $18.5M (Street Fight)
Three months after selling its Korean deals business TicketMonster to Groupon, LivingSocial has divested the remainder of its assets in Southeast Asia. The company announced Tuesday afternoon that it has sold the its assets in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to iBuy, a Singapore-based ecommerce company, for $18..5 million dollars in cash.

Tech Titans Are Vying to Be Your Pocketbook (New York Times)
Big technology companies have barely made a dent in changing the way people actually pay for things. New payment methods could start to gain traction soon, however. Some of the biggest technology companies are now making how they are paid a priority. VP: For Consumers, The Digital Divide Does Not Exist (Street Fight)
In the war to win the digital consumer, Walmart is betting that an all-of-the-above strategy will win out. During a speech at AdAge Digital in New York Tuesday, Brian Monahan, vice president of marketing at, said that world’s largest retailer remained committed to its brick-and-mortar stores and is focused on using technology to bridge the company’s digital and physical assets.

TaskRabbit For Business Service Portal Quietly Disappears (TechCrunch)
TaskRabbit for Business, the errands marketplace’s business-focused web portal announced at the beginning of last year, has quietly disappeared. However, TaskRabbit claims that the business offering was not shut down, exactly — they’ve just migrated users to a “more unified product experience” instead.

With New Product, ReachLocal Looks to Turn the Corner on SEO (Street Fight)
Among the many cutting-edge innovations in local marketing, search engine optimization is getting to be old hat; in fact, its age and relative familiarity can result in a widespread lack of interest and dedication to using SEO as a primary marketing tool. But ReachLocal is looking to assert SEO’s continuing relevance and lasting power with its new product, ReachSEO.

Online Reviews? Keep This in Mind (New York Times)
The size and racial makeup of a city, the price of a meal and even the weather can skew the quality and quantity of online restaurant reviews, according to the first large-scale academic study to analyze how outside factors affect crowd-sourced review sites. The most negative reviews were written when it was colder than 40 degrees or warmer than 100 degrees, or if it was raining or snowing.

Google Maps Brings Back “Search Nearby” Feature (SearchEngineLand)
Amidst all of today’s Google April Fools’ joke announcements, the company tweeted the feature’s resurrection earlier today. Ever since Google relaunched Google Maps in February, users have been complaining about the disappearance of that particular feature.

How Your Location Data Is Being Used To Predict The Events You Will Want To Attend (MIT Technology Review)
The next generation of recommendation engines will use your location data to suggest music festivals, sporting events and conferences you will want to attend. Event recommendation engines look set to become a more prominent part of our online experience, not least because the people who stand to gain most are the event promoters and ticket sellers themselves.

How Uber Changed The Way They Hire (Fast Company)
Charisma, humor, and charm can go a long way in an interview, but at its core, Uber is an engineering company fueled by data. The team needed people who were comfortable with analyzing the multiple data points that the company pulls from various sources, including its apps and software platforms.

Taxi App Summon Appeals to Drivers With a Cheap Credit Card Swiper (Pando)
Summon, the Uber-like cab service formerly known as InstantCab, announced today a proprietary credit card swiper meant to help drivers accept fares from their passengers. The swiper is Summon’s latest attempt to address some of the concerns drivers and riders have about alternatives to taxis.

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