Commentary | Street Fight - Part 94

Is TapIn the Future of Hyperlocal?

Alex Salkever

Is TapIn the Future of Hyperlocal?

To be honest, I hate writing about this startup because it was an idea I wanted to pursue myself. But over the past week I’ve been playing with TapIn, a hyperlocal news application created by Silicon Valley software startup Tackable. Available in the iTunes store, TapIn allows users to overlay a variety of pieces of information (deals, news, events) over a local interface. But what I was really interested in, more than anything, was the photo assignment engine behind Tackable.

Hyperlocal Scoreboard: Two Close Watchers Total It Up

Tom Grubisich

Hyperlocal Scoreboard: Two Close Watchers Total It Up

The Poynter Institute’s Mallary Jean Tenore and Rick Edmonds are must-reads in the digital media world. Their pieces on hyperlocal, while not numerous, have been extensively linked, tweeted and commented on. Tenore came of age in the digital era, while Edmonds entered his first newsroom when the IBM Selectric typewriter was still the standard…

Arlington Hyperlocal Picks Its Own Patch, Turns a Profit

Rick Robinson

Arlington Hyperlocal Picks Its Own Patch, Turns a Profit

Scott Brodbeck, the editor of hyperlocal ARLnow.com (Arlington, Va.), which is part of the “authentically local” movement, claims he has a steady thrum of profitable traffic, and an empathy-bordering-on-sympathy for his competition (read: Patch). I thought it would be worthwhile to dig into this apparent and positive anomaly…

Should Hyperlocals Incorporate Content From Local Merchants?

Patrick Kitano

Should Hyperlocals Incorporate Content From Local Merchants?

Today’s local merchant is learning to build a more contextual, social relationship with their customer base through social media, and it’s making the simple banner ad less effective. Simply put: business is integral to engaging the community because they have the commercial incentive to create content that builds their brand equity, directly or indirectly…

In Hyperlocal News, Mom-and-Pop Shops Will Win

Alex Salkever

In Hyperlocal News, Mom-and-Pop Shops Will Win

Economies of scale do not apply in hyperlocal news. Rather than going up with scale, CPMs not only go down—they disappear. If Gap buys an ad across a network of hyperlocal sites, the CPM will likely be lower than if a local store advertises, because the Gap can buy that region from any number of sources. Conversely, the corner grocer will pay a comparatively premium CPM when they know for sure their ads show up in the right place.

The Alternative Press: A Successful Hyperlocal in the Garden State

Tom Grubisich

The Alternative Press: A Successful Hyperlocal in the Garden State

The story of why InJersey went out has been told in so many conflicting ways it could be called “Garden State Rashomon.” I’d like to tell the story of another New Jersey hyperlocal, The Alternative Press, that is less maddening, and more optimistic. Would-be hyperlocal publishers and editors, give TAP founder and CEO Mike Shapiro five minutes of your time.

Patch-HuffPo Wants Hyperlocal Traffic? Here’s How

Rick Robinson

Patch-HuffPo Wants Hyperlocal Traffic? Here’s How

Last week I talked to a number of people about Aol’s Patch network and pointed readers to one Patch in particular that ostensibly seemed to be going for (human) form over (hyperlocal) function. It was a little unfair to single them out perhaps, especially with plenty of other examples of click-baiting to highlight, but I’m guessing I wittingly provided them just what they wanted by sort of calling them out: more pageviews, more clicks, more buzz…

What Kinds of Businesses Do Daily Deals Benefit Most?

Lynn Roulo

What Kinds of Businesses Do Daily Deals Benefit Most?

Business owners are always looking for a silver bullet — a killer feature that will bring in new customers. The recent daily deals craze has held out the promise of this kind of customer acquisition, but when is a deal feature a silver bullet, and when is it is shot in the foot?

Why Niches Are Becoming More Important for Deals

Justin Cener

Why Niches Are Becoming More Important for Deals

In the month since Groupon’s S-1 filing, there has been a lot of criticism directed at the nascent daily deals industry. Some say that the deals model is unsustainable, while others claim that running a deal can cripple a small business. But before jumping on that bandwagon, it’s important to remember that online deals are still in their infancy…

Hyperlocal Is Only as Good as Its Talent

Alex Salkever

Hyperlocal Is Only as Good as Its Talent

Ted Mann made a lot of smart points in his recent post on the lessons he learned from two years running InJersey, a network of 17 hyper-local blogs across the Garden State. There was one big, simple and very important takeaway: In a small town, having a single, passionate voice who is prolific and visible in the community can make the difference between flourishing and folding…

‘Social Journalism’: News You Can Take to the Bottom Line

Tom Grubisich

‘Social Journalism’: News You Can Take to the Bottom Line

The LJ World in Lawrence, Kan., has been a fount of innovation in digital journalism — especially in how to build and foster more and deeper community connections. Jane Stevens, the site’s director of media strategies, is herself a nonstop innovator. In 2010, she and her team launched LJ World’s WellCommons, a highly interactive site where “community and journalism work together to create a healthier Lawrence and Douglas County”…

Hyperlocal Post-Mortem: Lessons Learned From InJersey

Ted Mann

Hyperlocal Post-Mortem: Lessons Learned From InJersey

When we made the decision this week to shutter InJersey.com — a network of hyperlocal sites across the garden state that I helped build, nurture, and raise like a child -—my biggest fear was that the effort would be branded a failure. In the age of Twitter, I was braced for the #epicfail hashtag. It came instead via Slate, in the form of a Jack Shafer missive…

Google+ is Part of Something Bigger — Much Bigger

Alex Salkever

Google+ is Part of Something Bigger — Much Bigger

The much-ballyhooed launch this week of Google+, a social network that was created to go up against Facebook, has drawn tons of media attention. What most pundits seemed to miss in the all the noise is that Google is smartly positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for multiple facets of local advertising, all sold through its automated self-service sales machine. What’s more, they should all feed off each other…

The ‘Wishes and Dreams’ of Hyperlocal News Consumers

Tom Grubisich

The ‘Wishes and Dreams’ of Hyperlocal News Consumers

The data explosion offers plentiful opportunities to develop new news. But to blend that data into a compelling content cocktail, hyperlocals have to be continually innovative, and that’s not happening. Social networking is a big part of the new news, but it is nowhere near connecting to the user’s meaningful preferences…

Inside National Public Radio’s Play for Local Online

Rick Robinson

Inside National Public Radio’s Play for Local Online

I’ve been writing about large media brands and their hyperlocal efforts for the past few weeks, looking at Gannett, Tribune and PBS for example. Balancing things out with another not-exactly-for-profit property, I recently asked NPR’s digital services GM, Robert Kempf, to talk about his organization’s forays into hyperlocal…

Hyperlocal’s Automated Future

Alex Salkever

Hyperlocal’s Automated Future

At the hyperlocal level, the value is in the information, not the presentation. You read the local to learn, above all, what’s going on in your town or your nabe. If a computer can help collate and present that to you in a more digestible fashion, more the better. Will this kill the community journalist? I doubt it. The journalist still must be present.

Taking ‘Broccoli Journalism’ Hyperlocal

Tom Grubisich

Taking ‘Broccoli Journalism’ Hyperlocal

Mediameister Jeff Jarvis is the pluperfect phrasemaker. “There’s no why there,” he memorably summed up the Mark Zuckerberg-Facebook biopic The Social Network. But I wish his jibe about “broccoli journalism” didn’t prove so hardy. Jarvis coined the phrase in 2009 – in an attack on a report calling for federal subsidies to prop up the cost of reporting “serious” news stories…

Gannett Casts About in Local, Expands ‘Deal Chicken’

Rick Robinson

Gannett Casts About in Local, Expands ‘Deal Chicken’

Why did the chicken cross the road? Apparently, deals were on the other side. Gannett is an enormous company with over 50,000 employees managing scores of properties that include hundreds of national and local Web sites, print publications, marketing consultancies, a careers site, not to mention a little thing called USA Today. It’s the typical corporate megalith trying to hold onto customers from the old world as they lurch headlong toward the future, simultaneously ramping up some divisions while laying off hundreds elsewhere…