Street Fight Daily: Senator Probes Uber, Apple Maps Adds Partners

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

UBERSenator Questions Uber on Privacy Practices (New York Times)
Senator Al Franken sent a scathing letter to the ride-sharing start-up on Wednesday evening, publicly questioning how Uber treats the location and ride history of its passengers. Senator Franken asked how the company uses the data it collects on the many passengers who use the service on a daily basis.

Brooklyn Site’s Loyalty Pitch Tries to Answer: ‘How Many Customers Did You Bring Me?’ (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: A soon-to-be launched section in Bushwick Daily — called Village — will seek to build more and deeper connections between residents and merchants of Bushwick. The centerpiece of Village is an in-house loyalty program where users will get a bonus when they make their first purchase.

Apple Maps Announces New Business Listings Data Partners (Mac Rumors)
Apple has continued its efforts to improve its Maps app with the addition of ten new data providers, according to a new report from Apple Maps Marketing. While some were already known to be providing Apple with data for its Maps app, there appears to be over ten providers which Apple has inked deals with more recently.

Sponsored Post: Best Practices in the Cloud-Based “Local Service Layer” for National-to-Local (Street Fight)
Thanks to evolving tech tools, national marketers are in a powerful position to harness their web of data to deepen their relationships with consumers via their local agents. Best practices set a baseline of data, create a parent-child structure, monitor performance — and iterate, iterate, iterate.

Reviewers Mostly Positive, 67% on Yelp Are Either 4 or 5 Stars (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: There’s an “anecdotal” perception in the market that most reviewers are motivated by anger or frustration and that the bulk of reviews accordingly are critical. But there has been growth at the extremes: five star reviews have grown and, to a lesser degree, so have one-star reviews. Yet the majority of reviews on Yelp are positive: 67% are either four or five stars.

What Do The Internet and Your Commute Have In Common? A Lot More Than You Think (Street Fight)
A handful of ex-engineers from Google and a specialist from Stanford want to take their learning from playing traffic cop on the web to solve the congestion problems plaguing some of the world’s business cities. Their insights into managing congestion at Urban Engines could have valuable lessons for managing local commerce.

CPG Brands Moving To Location-Based Advertising, Supporting Retail Strategies (MediaPost)
Consumer packaged goods companies continue to shift budgets to mobile to increase retail store traffic and influence consumers as they traverse from search to Web sites. A report new report estimates a 219% increase in CPG-related mobile spending from 2012 to the middle of 2014, supported by location-based advertising, which has become an important tool.

Facebook Has Finally Killed Organic Reach. What Should Marketers Do Next? (Forrester)
Nate Elliott: After years of pushing brands’ reach lower with one hand (and opening marketers’ wallets with the other) Facebook has finally announced the end of organic social marketing on its site. If you have to choose between adding a subscriber to you email list or gaining a new Facebook fan, go for email every time.

How Allison Checchi Is Helping Boost YP’s Bottom Line (AdAge)
Allison Checchi is charged with increasing awareness of the former, rebranded YP last year. Since being promoted to the CMO slot in January, Ms. Checchi is helping small businesses use YP’s tools to grow their businesses, including online advertising, search-engine marketing, list management and reputation monitoring.

Forget AAA. Honk is a nationwide on-demand towing platform fueled by technology (Pando)
Honk is a Santa Monica startup working to modernize roadside assistance via an on-demand mobile platform that puts tow trucks at the touch of a button. Unlike membership models like AAA and Roadside America, there are no upfront fees for access to the Honk network.

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