In previous posts I’ve talked about emerging pieces of Google’s HyperLocal strategy – see here and here. Here’s a link to Google’s Local Business customer service site – Local Business Center. And here’s a nice, quick video intro:
Just stumbled across this app today called vFlyer, a tool for submitting online listings to popular marketplace websites – such as Craigslist, Oodle, Trulia, etc. Pretty cool.
Here’s a video overview of the product.
*** Last Updated February 14 2010 ***
I will be continually refining and updated the Framework presented in this post. Please subscribe to this post, or revisit this post, to follow the elaboration of this Framework.
*** End of update ***
HyperLocal – a Framework
Many moons (4 months) ago I posted this post trying to define the meaning of HyperLocal. Not a bad first try, but I’ve since come to understand HyperLocal in a somewhat different way. I’ve come to understand HyperLocal strategy as being comprised of a number of different “dimensions”, each of which comprises some part of the overall picture. My initial list of these dimensions are (using Local and HyperLocal interchangeably):
- Local News/Journalism
- Local Business/Commerce
- Local Advertising
- Local Community
- HyperLocal Business Models
These are the core dimensions. At the same time, there are various technologies that are key enablers of the solutions developed for these above dimensions. An initial list covering some of the capabilities I am most interested in is:
- Identity and Personalization
- Social Media/Social Web
- Real-time Web
- Machine Learning
- Structured Data/Semantic Web
BTW, for a very nice examination of different aspects of the HyperLocal space, see Alex Isgold’s post on RWW from November 2007 titled The Rise Of Hyperlocal Information. A more recent analysis of the Hyperlocal space from Mark Briggs reporting from the Interactive Local Media conference in December 2009 can be found here: Look to ‘local online’ for the business model of local journalism.
I will explore these distinct dimensions, or perspectives, in a series of follow-up posts:
- Hyperlocal – Core Dimensions (Part 1)
- Hyperlocal – Core Dimensions (Part 2)
- Hyperlocal – Key Technologies
Hope you enjoy this series of posts.
As HyperLocal emerges as a key trend for Media in 2010, The Guardian’s Mercedes Bunz has a nice piece discussing the momentum of HyperLocal going into 2010, and highlights some concerns as well around local news reporting.
Large Media Companies acquire HyperLocal startups in 2009
Bunz first highlights key acquisitions of HyperLocal startups by larger media companies in 2009. Specifically:
- AOL bought two local startups with Patch, which brings local news to communities, and Going, a local event listing platform
- AOL’s big rival, MSNBC, acquired the hyperlocal aggregator EveryBlock
- CNN is investing $7m in the aggregator Outside.in
- The Clarity Media Group of billionaire Philip Anschutz, who owns the local news network Examiner.com acquired the citizen journalism site NowPublic
Google and HyperLocal
Of course, Bunz also mentions recent moves by Google in HyperLocal, which I’ve discussed extensively on this blog. Here’s what Bunz has to say about Google and HyperLocal:
If you’re still not convinced, look at Google. Today an increasing number of consumers use their PCs or mobile phones to find local products and services, and quite a few recent developments at the search engine giant took that into account. Apart from Twitter’s integration into Google with the option to get to know what is happening around you at any one point, Google offers Goggles, a mobile video and image search aimed at local information. In addition, it is testing Favorite Places. It has identified 100,000 businesses in the U.S. who receive a window decal with a unique QR code to be scanned with a phone handing out customer reviews.
And what of HyperLocal reporting?
Interestingly, observes Bunz,
If you take a closer look, you quickly figure out that the actual hyperlocal investment is mainly business-related. … But while the business side is taken up, the reporting side isn’t.
As the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, said earlier this year, we face a “collapse of the structure of political reporting”. While businesses get their favourite place on Google, there won’t be any reporting on councils, council committees and the courts. This may mean corruption and inefficiency go unreported.
Despite all the investments above, local news still needs to be supported.
Top Hyperlocal News Sites – A list
As I was writing this post, I also stumbled on a nice listing of top HyperLocal news sites (not from the Guardian).
In Summary …
Look for a lot of innovation to happen around HyperLocal in 2010.
Here’s the video:
Yet another piece of Google’s over-arching Local strategy.
It’s pretty awesome (in a borg-like sort of way).
Google and HyperLocal – Jeff Jarvis opines
In typical fashion, Jeff Jarvis has a couple of great blog posts on recent announcments by Google, and what it foreshadows for the future of Hyperlocal.
In the first of these posts – Google’s synchronicity – Jarvis describes a coherent emerging Local/Mobile strategy from Google that leverages geo-location, place profiles, real-time search, image recognition, entity-based content aggregation, social search, and recent acquisitions/interest in AdMob, Yelp, and Trulia.
In the second post – The annotated world, Jarvis further explores Google’s Hyperlocal/Mobile strategy, and embeds some videos highlighting some of these capabilities. (For additional Google-related topics/videos, see my previous blog posts here, here, here, here, and here).
Web meets World – the pace accelerates
The above initiatives by Google, while very cool, are really concrete examples of a deeper trend identified earlier this year by Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle as Web Squared, or as it was originally termed “Web meets World“. Web Meets World, as I understand it, is the notion that the Web will extend its reach into the world of things (through real-time device-based sensors), will feed that data into the Cloud, whereupon intelligence derived from that data (contextual to our identity, interests, activities, location, social graph, etc.) will inform our real-time actions and decisions.
Anyway, powerful trends that in time will change the way we experience and relate to our physical and social surroundings.