A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
How Gawker Turned into Groupon (Motherboard)
Daily deal “blog posts” are being seamlessly integrated into the content farm, and they’ve become a prominent part of Gawker Media’s monetization strategy — one-third of its revenue comes from native ads and ecommerce. If played right, one major content farm might be the next great big-box retail store.
Amazon Buys Thousands of Truck Trailers as Its Transportation Ambitions Grow (Recode)
Amazon goes to great lengths to get packages into customers’ hands as quickly as possible, even if it means employing drones. Those efforts will now include putting thousands of Amazon-branded trucks on the road.
Waze’s Growth Chief: Even Driverless Cars Need a Better Route (USA Today)
Waze is the app for finding the best route around town, usually by offering side streets you’ve never considered. Google nabbed it in 2013 for $1.1 billion, and it could play a bigger role for Google in going beyond just directions. With a worldwide user base of 50 million, Waze fits into the Google ecosystem by having loyal users who spend precious minutes with the app every day and view the many display ads that appear onscreen.
Swiftype’s Riley: Site Search Can Make News More Compelling (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The importance of relevant searches extends beyond search engines. For publishers, custom site search that helps make better decisions about how to maximize the impact of their content, know and understand the likes of their users, and increase their level of engagement can make a material difference in their business. “The key to building a relevant search experience is blending complex signals together and ensuring your site search algorithm is always improving,” said Swiftype co-founder Matt Riley.
Postmates Is Coming to London (Business Insider)
Delivery company Postmates is planning to launch in London, CEO Bastian Lehmann announced Monday morning. Looking forward, Lehmann suggested Postmates, which currently is doing around 1 million deliveries a month, could one day rival companies like FedEx. The Postmates model is “defensible at scale,” he said. “The more scale you have, the more you can drive down the costs.”
Google Ventures Dials Down Seed Deals, Urges Mature Startups to Go Public (Wall Street Journal)
Google Ventures has reduced its involvement in seed-stage startups, said Bill Maris, president and chief executive of the venture firm that draws capital from Alphabet and has about $2.4 billion under management. “I think there’s less opportunity here,” he said, adding that this part of the venture market is overheated.
Case Study: Salon Leverages Free Wi-Fi to Evaluate Digital Promotions (Street Fight)
Collecting customer email addresses and generating Facebook “likes” are two tasks that are at the top of virtually every small business marketer’s to-do list. Edges Salon & Spa has a system in place to streamline this process and encourage customer loyalty at the same time. For the past seven months, it has been offering customers free Wi-Fi in exchange for the chance to learn about their behaviors and engage them on mobile.
The Business Case for Augmented Reality (TechCrunch)
Todd Chusid: The pieces of a mature augmented reality (AR) ecosystem are rapidly emerging. Within the next three to five years, we’re going to see more brands roll out AR apps to deliver more immersive and personalized experiences — whether it’s bringing a static print ad to life, watching a movie trailer by pointing your smartphone camera at a poster, or seeing how a new couch may look in your living room.
Groupon Shuffles Leadership Posts (Wall Street Journal)
Groupon is shuffling key leadership posts as it revamps operations under its new chief executive, Rich Williams. The company has been pushing to drive business in the U.S., Canada, and other key markets, while paring down operations in Asia. It plans to cut 1,100 jobs over the next year as part of a restructuring of its international business. (Subscription required)
In Search of a European Google (The Guardian)
The cultural differences between Europe and the rest of the world may ultimately be why no Google, Apple, or Facebook has come from the lands that gave us the telescope, the steam engine, and the printing press.