Google’s Plan for Places: Third-Party Data

How does the saying go? “If you can’t beat them, join them”? Google Places’ market share trails that of rival Facebook, and Yelp, so it’s taking the portal approach: add a feed of any of your check-in services, and it’ll link up with ratings data found on Google Places. It hasn’t officially partnered with Foursquare or any other service, but that’s exactly the kind of data likely to be added.

Making Peace (and Money) with Local Newspapers

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy out there.

Who: Gothamist

Why: Because they’ve turned over their hyperlocal ad sales to a local newspaper, the Village Voice

“It’s still ramping up, but I’ve noticed they’ve been selling more each week. For us, the rationale is that it gives us coverage in three verticals that we can’t easily do ourselves – real estate, restaurants and bars. That lets our sales team focus on the verticals they are good at, and sourcing national deals. As long as their performance continues, we’ll begin expanding to the other cities we both have properties in – Los Angeles will be next,” Jake Dobkin, co-founder and publisher of Gothamist, wrote in an email today.

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The Merging of Location and Daily Deals = Possible Success

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week...

Who: Beyond and Social-Loco

Why: For digging into the data behind check-ins.

There is an opportunity for big brands to engage consumers in location-based apps by tapping into and combing multiple motivations (discounts, learning, promoting, meeting friends). To reach beyond the early adopters, brands should focus their strategies around Facebook and Groupon as the two platforms that will most likely drive adoption. David Hargreaves, CEO, Beyond

Facebook’s Deal

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week.

Who: Facebook

What for: Giving the deals business a shot.

“While many Deals on Facebook offer discounts, it’s more important to us that you find interesting experiences around you to do with friends. We’ve worked with partners and local businesses to help deliver the best social activities in your area. And once you’ve found a deal you like, having the deal on Facebook makes it easy to share, buy and plan with your friends.
Emily White, Facebook

Where eBay Gets Local

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week

Who: eBay…

What for: Buying location-based service and ad network Where…

“Local commerce companies like Where are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping. By giving people hyper-local, relevant retailer information and deals on their mobile phones, we see a huge opportunity for local merchants to reach more buyers, and for consumers to get more choice and value when they shop.” Amanda Pires, eBay

My Green Lake’s Duncan: Hyperlocal Means Shop Local

SeattleSeattle is one of the hotspots of hyperlocal blogs. Its West Seattle Blog boasts 30,000 visitors per month. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog says it gets more than 120,000 visitors per month. My Green Lake is another Seattle blog, with about 16,000 visitors each month, twice the population of the neighborhood it serves, notes its founder, Amy Duncan. Duncan, a former librarian, started the site in 2009 and runs it as a for-profit business currently featuring more than twenty neighborhood-based display ads and participating in three city-wide advertising networks.

Recently, Duncan, who manages both editorial and advertising at My Green Lake, answered a few questions by email...

Check-in Challenges

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week.

Who: Mark Watkins, CEO and co-founder of Goby

What for: A smart call-to-action on the check-in services.

“There’s real opportunity here, and the check-in services have a lot of data they could harness for this. But unless ‘normal’ people find direct, personal value in the service, they’re not going to adopt it and the service will remain as a toy for the tech-obsessed.” “2011: The Year the Check-in Died,” a guest post on ReadWriteWeb, April 12, 2011

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Patch’s Political Potential

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week.

Who: Arianna Huffington

Why: Because she just might have struck upon a way to make hyperlocal blogs super relevant and essential to every single American: Make Patch a front-line source for news on the next election.

We’re launching over 30 new Patches in primary states. I want to know how the government shutdown will effect people at the local level. Arianna Huffington, April 7, 2011

Journal Register’s Brady Hire

John Paton

The single-best deal, assertion, investment or other strategy of the week.

Who: John Paton and the Journal Register Company

Why: Because they made up their own minds about TBD’s demise – that Allbritton simply gave up too early – and hired its founder and general manager Jim Brady to head up “digital transformation” in a project called “Project Thunderdome.” There’s often a significant waiting period before a fired figure’s taint wears off. Journal Register didn’t need it…

EveryBlock’s Community Shift

Who: EveryBlock

Why: Because the company realized that simply shoving aggregated content at people isn’t doing anyone a service.

There’s a solid and growing audience for this, but we’ve realized there’s a much bigger potential here. Simply put, there’s no great way to communicate with your neighbors online. Adrian Holovaty, March 21, 2011