Will Local News Providers Make Virtual Reality an Actual Strategy?

Trying to predict how popular VR will become is difficult because the most accessible virtual experiences so far, like those achieved with Google Cardboard and the New York Times’ “360 videos,” reveal only a glimpse of VR’s potential.

Ad-Tech Expert’s Advice to Local News Publishers: Pivot to Digital Subscriptions

Ratko Vidakovic, founder and principal of the Toronto-based ad-consulting firm AdProfs, spoke with Street Fight recently about the often-rambunctious world of digital advertising and how news publishing fits into it — not always so well.

Facebook Talks About Its ‘Shared Future’ With Local News Publishers

In recent sessions, many publishers – most of them focused on local news – are learning best practices of digital publishing that have helped Facebook attract an audience of more than 2 billion subscribers.

After Fits and Starts, Collaborative News Is Finally Making Headlines

For years, there’s been a lot of earnest talk about digital news sites collaborating to produce editorial content that had more value for users — and to help the collaborators make their often-precarious operations sustainable. But the talk produced as many fits as starts. That’s changing, and for the better.

Macaroni Kid Pushes Stroller Into Big and Site-Packed Local Parent Space

One of the earliest hyperlocal networks for parents is Macaroni Kid, which was founded by “recovering lawyer” Joyce Shulman and her husband, marketing entrepreneur Eric Cohen, in their community on Long Island in 2009. In this Q&A, Cohen talks about the company’s recent acquisition of also-well-established Stroller Traffic.

LifeStream’s Personalized News Empowers Users, Protects Their Privacy

The soon-to-launch news service from Graf Mouen and Bill Densmore plans to deliver highly personalized news and other information to consumers, while still maintaining the privacy they don’t currently have on the rest of the Web.

Can Open Source Thinking Create a Sustainable Business Model for Local Journalism?

Open source software changed the landscape for the entire computing industry. Rather than commoditizing software completely, it actually made software development easier and more productive. I see tremendous parallels in the publishing industry today.

Will the New Political Landscape Reinvigorate Local News?

My look at some local coverage of the election offers encouraging clues to how good journalism can have a positive impact on the business models for local news. It also implies that the coming Trump era is very likely to accelerate the industry’s transformation.

Two Views of Community News — From 30,000 Feet and at Ground Level

There are plenty of bad prognostications about the future of the community news business out there. But if you look at what is actually happening company by company, site by site, the view is not universally grim. There are a number of players making serious progress in digital revenue.

Daily Voice Shows Scale and High CPMs Can Mix in Hyperlocal News

Trying to scale community news has many pitfalls. Sites that go for scale can end up publishing glorified “bulletin boards” as they seek to spread budget-limited journalistic resources across multiple communities. The end result can be bottom-fishing remnant CPMs that can be as low as $1. Carll Tucker, CEO of six-year-old Daily Voice, which recently expanded into North Jersey, says its scaling model has produced average CPMs that “hover a few pennies under $8.”

The Challenge for ‘Indie’ News Sites: Monetizing Highly Engaged Audiences

When they met at their recent Chicago convention, independent community publishers and editors talked a lot about what might be called “reve-news.” On everybody’s mind at the Local Independent Online Newspaper (LION) Publishers’ annual meeting was how to monetize news. Even weddings and obituaries can contribute to local news publishers’ bottom line.

Franchises Make Scale Profitable for TAPinto.net’s Two-State Network

TAPinto.net has taken its New Jersey-centered franchise model for community news to adjacent and competitive Westchester and Putnam Counties in New York State’s heavily suburban Lower Hudson Valley. In this Q&A, founder and CEO Mike Shapiro explains how he’s been able to scale his seven-year-old community network through franchising, and do it largely through self-financing.

How Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Uses Quality Journalism to Pay the Bills

Like other dailies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has taken big hits in advertising and distribution revenue on the print side, but it’s still profitable. To find out how the Journal Sentinel uses quality journalism to stay in the black, Street Fight spoke with editor and senior vice president George Stanley.

#SFSNYC Recap: 5 Key Takeaways from This Year’s Summit

The annual Street Fight Summit assembled more than 350 marketers, solutions providers, technologists, and media executives to discuss pressing issues and developments in the connected local economy. Here are five key takeaways from the day’s keynotes, panel discussions, and fireside chats.

Patch’s St. John: People Crave an Understanding of What’s Happening Right Around Them

“We have about just under 70 full-time salaried editors. Compared to the old Patch, which had a newsroom the size of the New York Times, that may sound small, but when I talk to other digital publishers and I tell them we’ve got 70 full-time salaried reporters in the field, that sounds like a lot to them. Our goal is to add more as we grow. As we get revenue, we put it immediately into expanding because we need to be national to really fully realize Patch’s potential,” said editor-in-chief Warren St. John.

Street Fight Daily: What Dorsey’s Twitter Gig Means For Square, Google to Roll Out ‘Now on Tap’

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Jack Dorsey’s Dual CEO Role Raises Questions for Square (New York Times)… Now on Tap, Google’s Mobile Search Trojan Horse, Is Out of the Gate (Recode)… Pinterest Expands Buyable Pins to More Ecommerce Platforms, Reaching Thousands of Merchants (TechCrunch)…

Street Fight Daily: How Surge Pricing Could Affect Retail, Walgreens’ Mobile Approach

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Uber-Style Surge Pricing May Catch on with Retailers (Forbes)… Why Walgreens Is Partnering with Postmates and Betting Big on Mobile (LinkedIn Pulse)… Kroger Tests ‘Smart Shelf’ Technology (Indianapolis Star)…

Street Fight Daily: Mobile Wallets Can Guide Search’s ‘Next Moment,’ BuzzFeed Wants to Go Local

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Mobile Wallets, GPS and Beacons: How to Dominate the ‘Next Moment’ of Local Search (Search Engine Land)… BuzzFeed Is Planning to Enter the Local News Game in the U.K. (Nieman Lab)… Grubhub, DoorDash, and Caviar Hit with Worker-Misclassification Complaints (San Francisco Business Times)…

Street Fight Daily: Groupon Will Cut 1,100 Jobs, LivingSocial is Planning a Comeback

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Groupon to Cut 1,100 Jobs, Pull Out of 7 Countries (Chicago Tribune)… The Resurrection of LivingSocial (DCInno)… The Commoditization of Ad Tech — How the Cross-Device Landscape is Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better (Medium)…

Street Fight Daily: Yelp Launches Now, Local TV’s Jackpot

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Yelp Ups Its Search Game With “Yelp Now”: Adds Dinner Reservation & Food Ordering Search Filters (Search Engine Land)… Jackpots for Local TV Stations in F.C.C. Auction of Airwaves (New York Times)… Square’s Jack Dorsey Puts It All Together (BuzzFeed)…