Reuters’ Salmon: Facebook and Twitter Don’t Replace Community Journalism

We all know that Facebook, Twitter and other social media are transforming news in major ways. But Reuters blogger Felix Salmon says social media — especially Facebook — aren’t just changing news as we have known it, but creating an entirely new news product that is defined by “personalization.” I went to Salmon to find out if there’s a place for community news sites in this world of personalized information…

Could a Hybrid Model Scale Community News and Keep the Passion?

Neither big media nor independent journalistic entrepreneurs have succeeded in finding a scalable model for hyperlocal news and information. So why couldn’t we try a hybrid approach that adopts what’s best about each? It begins with editor-publishers who have a passionate commitment to community, and would be balanced by a scaled business model that will pay attention to cost curves and be open to new revenue opportunities…

As Google Updates Places, Could Some Merchants Find Their Listings Deleted?

Local SEO consultants and service providers offer businesses the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone is watching the forums and industry news in order to act on policy changes and new developments quickly. Given the complexity of local SEO and the fast pace of change, it’s unreasonable to place the onus for listing management solely on the small business owner…

Apple’s Next Trick: Making the Retail POS Disappear

The idea is to enable shoppers to conduct roving transactions throughout retail stores by scanning items with their iPhones, paying on the spot via iTunes then going on their way. No checkout aisles, no gum-snapping shopgirl, no 15 items or less. It creates a world where the mobile device is the POS…

One Model for Successful Hyperlocal News: Break the Rules

StuNewsLaguna has become a success in its sunset-renowned coastal community in Orange County, Calif., by ignoring and even violating some of the “best practices” of hyperlocal journalism, and paying no heed to the people-don’t-care-about-local-news critics. Shaena Stabler, the 28-year-old co-owner with founder and veteran Orange County journalist Stu Saffer, explains how she and Saffer are making StuNews succeed…

Consolidation Watch — Where to Look for Deals in Local Tech

The first half of 2013 saw total investment activity, which includes both M&A and private financing, grow from a year earlier, as the number of deals stayed flat but total reported deal value jumped from $5.2 billion to $7.2 billion over the same period. Expect to see more deals — both large and small — in the local space as big firms search for a foothold in the industry and host of maturing startups look for the exit…

Is Guest Blogging Dead? Focus on These Link Building Strategies Instead

While guest blogging used to be a respected link building practice – and still might be okay in some instances – it is now often considered a violation of Google’s quality guidelines. And in the future, Google could penalize websites that accept guest posts if Google believes the business is attempting to gain links without truly earning them. Instead of placing all of your eggs in the guest blogging basket, it is best to focus on authentic link building. Here’s how…

Sheepshead Bites Founder: If You Meet the Market’s Needs, It’ll Meet Yours

Event sponsorships are becoming a double-digit percentage of revenue among some news sites in local digital. At independent hyperlocal news site Sheepshead Bites in Southern Brooklyn, publisher Ned Berke looks at event sponsorships from a wider perspective as he explains in this Q & A on how his six-year-old site is performing…

How the Internet of Things Could Spawn a New Kind of Analytics

A new set of technology companies are working to help transform the way businesses understand consumer behavior in the real world. Powering these new technologies is a burgeoning web of connected devices — from smartphones and thermostats to wireless routers and traffic cameras — that constantly collect a river of information about their surroundings…

How Patch’s New Owners Can Reverse Its Fortunes

Patch doesn’t have to wind up in the “bone yard.” I believe the hyperlocal network recently unloaded by Aol can, within five years, be a seriously profitable venture. It will happen if the company’s new owners, Hale Global, go all out for engagement-worthy community journalism that’s responsibly budgeted. And it will happen if they adopt a revenue strategy that’s responsive to fast-evolving trends in ad spending…

Let’s Simplify and Strengthen Business Listing Verification

Verification is a great idea in theory and, once you navigate the tangled process, it even works well for most business owners in practice. However, there is very little consistency across publishers as to how the process should work or what the result should be, and there is plenty of evidence that the supposed lockdown of business data via owner verification doesn’t always operate as it should…

5 Sales Practices Every Company Should Know

The following sales best practices, inspired by Aaron Ross’ Predictable Revenue, can help companies close more sales in less time. Ross’s framework helped Salesforce.com, one of the most successful startups in history, increase recurring revenues by $100 million…

Phone Leads for Local Businesses: The Unsexy Cousin of the Click

We’re seeing tech and media worlds finally come around to what we’ve been saying for years: phone calls are what businesses want. That’s especially true in high-value categories like professional services, autos, travel and insurance. Clicks and impressions, despite a sexier image, aren’t as valued in lots of cases…

Is Newspapers’ Falling Knife Finally Starting to Rise?

Wall Street thinks the long-term decline of newspaper revenues may be near bottom as print losses are close to being outweighed by consumer and digital revenue increases. With Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos buying into the industry as a long-term play, the broader financial markets are following suit. The newspaper industry is getting some of its most positive signs in years…

Google’s Local Social Conundrum

Google’s attempt at ushering in the Facebook-ization of search, local and otherwise, depends on a major shift in perception and engagement. It may be difficult to bring about such a shift with a “build it and they will come” approach — given the current volume of content, the emphasis on social turns Google’s rich local result set into a desert.

Hyperlocal Execs’ 2014 Predictions (Part Two): Locu, Radius, Placed

As we have for the past couple of years, Street Fight recently asked a number of hyperlocal luminaries to weigh in with their predictions for where local is headed in 2014. We ran the first installment of their responses yesterday — here are a bunch more…

Street Fight Staff and Friends Predict 2014’s Top Stories

As 2013 winds down, it’s clear that the landscape in hyperlocal business has shifted significantly. Looking ahead, we’ve asked Street Fight staffers and a few friends who regularly contribute to the site to submit their prognostications for what’s to come in the next 12 months…

Lessons Learned From the ‘Daily Deal’

According to a study conducted by Street Fight, the two most important factors for merchants evaluating hyperlocal marketing campaigns are the ability to attract new customers and ensure the right people are being targeted. Since daily deals are falling short in accomplishing this, what hyperlocal marketing avenues should local merchants explore?

Mobile Local Media: The State of the Union

The end of the year is upon us and that means top ten lists, year-in-reviews, and predictions galore. Sort of in that spirit but a slightly different format, I’ve been organizing the way I look at the mobile local world into a few buckets. So as this month’s column, here’s my state of the union in mobile local media…

When Big Platforms Go Local

Though Amazon’s plan to have drone delivery by the end of the decade may seem far-fetched, it speaks vividly to the notion that large online platforms are working hard to localize their inventories, and even to redefine what “local” means…