Street Fight Daily: Facebook Redesigns Places, Local News Searching for Answers

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

FacebookFacebook Takes a Big Step Toward Competing in Local Search (Local Search Insider)
Greg Sterling: I’m not sure exactly when it happened but Facebook has apparently redesigned its Places Directory, making the site considerably more usable as a local search and discovery tool. I’ve been wondering for a long time when Facebook was going to release a stand-alone Places app and this new site seems an almost certain prelude to that eventuality.

Interconnectivity and the Mobile Mind Shift (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The transition to mobile is an undeniable reality, but it would be a mistake to assume that it’s just about mobile devices themselves. What the smartphone has done is to enable a change in mental attitude when it comes to the use and consumption of online services.

Is There Hope for Local News? (Atlantic)
As local newspapers shrink and broader-based national sites grow, who’s going to cover the local news? Nonprofit online journalism is a promising model, if only because for-profit local journalism has failed so miserably. But funding isn’t the only question: Is it possible that people are just less interested in local news these days, not just for funding it, but for reading it too?

VIDEO: Hyperlocal Media 2.0 — Events and Email? (Street Fight)
The sale of AOL’s local media network, Patch, earlier this year marked something of an end to a lot of the optimism that once surrounded hyperlocal media. As local media veteran Jim Brady says, the category entered the “huddle for warmth” phase of its lifecycle. But a more optimistic tone has begun to return to the industry.

Groupon Kicks Off First Analyst Day Amid Pivot to E-Commerce Site (AdAge)
Groupon, which is hosting its first analyst day, will tout profit and revenue growth plans today as the daily-deals company shifts from an e-mail model to a full-blown e-commerce site. CEO Eric Lefkofsky has been working to make Groupon a marketplace for deals where consumers can shop the way they already do on sites like

VIDEO: No Solicitors Please! How to Sell Services to SMBs (Street Fight)
During a panel at Street Fight Summit, GoDaddy’s Rene Reinsberg, Facebook’s SMB director Jonathan Czaja, and Vendasta’s CEO Brendan Kind discussed strategies and tactics to cut through the clutter and build trust with small business customers.

Designer Rebecca Minkoff’s New Stores Have Touch Screens for an Online Shopping Experience (Wall Street Journal)
Designer Rebecca Minkoff is opening two stores this month in New York and San Francisco that aim to do that and more. Each location will feature an oversize screen, where customers can browse merchandise or request items in specific sizes to try on. The store will text shoppers when their fitting room is available. (Subscription required)

Post-Beaconing Begins; Location Info Captured Now, Used Later (MediaPost)
Rather than interacting with a consumer near a beacon in real time, the knowledge that a person was near a specific beacon can be quietly captured and used later for a totally different reason. The beaconing activity still occurs in real time but providing the value is saved for later.

VIDEO: Ebay’s Ramadge Says Winning Trust is Key to Winning in Local (Street Fight)
During a keynote at Street Fight Summit in New York City last week, David Ramadge, head of venture outreach at eBay, offered a fascinating look at the shift in digital economy from global networks to connected “village economies.

Why Uber Was Right to ‘Kneecap’ Lyft’s Fundraising (Fortune)
Dan Primack: Uber’s primary key to success is mass scale, particularly if it wants to ultimately diversify into local delivery. That’s why it’s pushing new launches so aggressively. Even in a venture capital market that is flush with cash, there only are a limited number of firms that can handle such large asks. And Uber needs each and every one of them at the table.

One Way Apple Pay Could Become The Biggest Mobile Wallet In The World? Alibaba (Fast Company)
Alibaba executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai told the Wall Street Journal that the two technology giants are discussing a possible partnership that could help Apple Pay go nuclear in China. It’s certainly an enormous opportunity. Mobile payment transactions in China have showcased steady growth year-over-year since 2010.

Airbnb and Hotels: What to Do About the Sharing Economy? (Wired)
If major brands do attempt to criticize the business model which artfully evades minor matters such as fire regulations, or suggest that the experience may not always be what the customer is expecting, then they can appear like dinosaurs out of step with the hip new economy.

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