Category Archives: Technology

Google Offers’ Nitin Mangtani Set to Keynote at ILM East

Here’s what we’ve been waiting to announce: Google Offers’ head Nitin Mangtani will join our great list of keynoters at ILM East March 26-28 in Boston. We believe Mangtani’s appearance marks one of the first public debuts of Google Offers, which is playing a major role in Google’s vital local strategy, along with Google Places, Google Maps and Zagat ratings and reviews.

Previously announced ILM East keynoters include Groupon Vice Chair +++ Ted Leonsis; American Express SVP of Social Media Leslie Berland; CityGrid Media CEO Jay Herratti; New York Times Research Ops VP Michael Zimbalist; and New York Magazine Digital GM Michael Silberman.

Mangtani joins Google Channel Sales BizDev Head Christine Merritt at ILM East. Merritt will provide Google’s perspective on its emergence in the local ecosystem, and the most effective way to work with Google as a partner.

The next wave of Deals is, in general, a key focus for us at ILM East, along with mobile local media, social local media, video local media, hyperlocal and locally targeted national advertising.

In addition to the keynotes from Google Offers and Groupon, we have a special Day 1 session dedicated to the next wave of deals, featuring EverSave’s Jere Doyle; Find n Save’s Christopher Tippie; Closely’s Perry Evans; and Boomtime’s Bill Bice. That session will be followed by a broader view of deals and ecommerce, which featured NextJump’s Charlie Kim; Cartera’s Jim Douglass; and Bundle.com’s Jaidev Shergill.

Other recent adds to the program include The Boston Globe’s Lisa DeSisto, who joins Boston.com VP of Digital Products Jeff Moriarty as a presenter; and MIT Sloan Associate Professor Catherine Tucker, who gives the low down on the effectiveness of local social media.

Before the show, we’re making a special trip to The Boston Globe’s R&D Lab (Limited Space, RSVP required). Or come to Andrew Shotland’s SEO for the Enterprise session, which also features SEO Expert Will Scott and Advance Digital Media VP John Denny. We’re looking forward to a great show.

Venture Capital
•David Hornik, Principal, August Capital
•Scott Maxwell, Senior Managing Director, OpenView

Mobile Local Media
• Walt Doyle, CEO, Where
• Doug McDonald, Director, dotMobi
• John Valentine, VP, East Coast, SCVNGR/LevelUp

Hyperlocal
• Merrill Brown, Principal, MMB Media
• Josh Fenton, CEO, GoLocal24
• Zohar Yardeni, CEO, Main Street Connect

Social Local Media
• Geoff Cramer, CEO, Social Made Simple
• Adam Japko, President, Digital Sherpa
• Jeff Moriarty, VP, Digital Products, Boston.com
• Mark Schmulen, GM, Social Media, Constant Contact

Video
• Juan Delgado, Managing Director, Americas, Perform
• John McIntyre, CEO, Pixelfish
• Randa Minkarah, SVP, Revenue, Fisher Communications

Deals and Promotional Ecosystem
• Bill Bice, CEO, BoomTime
• Jere Doyle, President and CEO, EverSave
• Perry Evans, CEO, Closely
• Christopher Tippie, CEO, FindNSave

Transactions
• Charlie Kim, CEO, NextJump
• Jim Douglass, EVP, Retail Advertising, Cartera Commerce
• Jaidev Shergill, CEO, Bundle

National/Brands
•Adam Epstein, President, AdMarketplace
•Pete Gombert,CEO, Balihoo
• Steve Sherfy, Local & Mobile Search, GroupMSearch
• Karl Siebrecht, President and CEO, AdReady

Elections 2012
• Andy Slater, VP, Digital Agency Sales, Katz 360

SMB Marketing
• Dave Galvan, President, Schedulicity
• Maria Kermath, Director, AT&T Ad Solutions
• Randy Parker, President, SMBApps
• Darren Waddell, EVP, Reply.com

Sign up now (and hint: reserve your room earlier rather than later).

The Super Lineup at ILM East March 26-28 (Boston)

ILM East is coming back to Boston March 26-28 with a lineup of do-ers and innovators that are transforming and re-defining the local space.

Highlights include a featured keynote from industry legend Ted Leonsis (Groupon Vice Chair/Amex Board Member/Sports team owner/AOL mastermind), along with keynotes/interviews from Jason Calacanis, Leslie Berland, Jay Herratti, Michael Zimbalist and Michael Silberman.

Other highlights of the 2 ½ day event includes a pre-conference rundown on Local search run by Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide; a full plate of Top BIA/Kelsey research and forecasts; a special Venture Capital panel; and innovator panels on Social, Mobile, Deals, Video and Hyperlocal (the latter co-moderated with Merrill Brown.)

KEYNOTES/KEYNOTE DISCUSSIONS
Ted Leonsis: Owner, Monumental Sports (Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards;) The Vice Chair of Groupon;, Board member of Amex, former Vice Chair of AOL; Author, The Business of Happiness
Jason Calacanis: CEO, Mahalo; Investor. Calacanis’ career has been at the cutting edge of local and social media and reflects all the big trends, from his development of The Silicon Alley Reporter to Weblogs (AOL), Mahalo, and the creation of TechCrunch50 and Launch.
Leslie Berland, Vice President, Social Strategy, American Express. Berland’s a major deal maker deeply involved in Amex’s mega FourSquare and Facebook deals.
Jay Herratti, CEO, CityGrid Media. Herratti always gets top rankings at our events. He runs IAC’s super quad of the CityGrid Media Network, Citysearch, UrbanSpoon and InsiderPages.
Michael Zimbalist, VP, Research Operations, New York Times Co. Zimbalist leads the NYT’s 12 person research unit. He’s deeply immersed in cutting edge social, mobile, tablet and video efforts.
Michael Silberman, GM, New York Magazine Silberman is the mastermind of NYMag’s development of a super set of verticals catering to the “New York state of mind.”).

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Bill Bice, CEO, SpaBoom
Merrill Brown, co-founder. MSNBC.com, Court TV
Jim Douglass, EVP, Cartera Commerce
Jere Doyle, CEO, EverSave
Walt Doyle, CEO, Where
Adam Japko, CEO, Digital Sherpa
Maria Kermath, Dir.,, New Tech & Sales Apps, AT&T Advertising Sales
Mark Josephson, SVP, AOL Local
Charlie Kim, CEO, Next Jump
John McIntyre, CEO, Pixelfish
Randa Minkarah, SVP, Revenue, Fisher Communications
Randy Parker, President, SMB Apps
Mark Schmulen, GM, Social Media, Constant Contact
Andrew Shotland, Publisher, Local SEO Guide
Andy Slater, VP, Digital Agency Sales, Katz 360
Christopher Tippie, CEO, FindNSave
Darren Waddell, EVP, Product and Corporate Marketing, Reply.com

Join hundreds of senior level local executives at ILM East for the local community’s best networking and insights. You can register here for earlier bird rates.


Internet Pioneer Ted Leonsis

Via iPad App, The Reintroduction of UT San Diego (The San Diego Union Tribune)

For newspaper publishers and newspaper readers, iPad apps tend to be nice-to-have but not especially important. Given the choice of rich newspaper apps like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, I actually opt for the browser versions over the apps: I can see a lot more content at one glance; they’re updated more often; and they load faster.

But I’ve found that newspaper apps for “lite” newspapers much better. USA Today’s headline and short story format is perfect for the iPad. The Washington Post (not such a lite paper) has a great iPad app, too.

In early December, The San Diego Union Tribune –a truly lite newspaper but with good local news and features– also launched an iPad app. The result is vastly superior to the print and browser version of the newspaper. More than 11,000 downloads have already taken place.

The UT’s iPad launch coincides with the elevation of digital chief Mike Hodges to president and COO, and today, a rebranding of the newspaper company, which recently changed hands, to UT San Diego. The new name also does away with the dated “Sign On San Diego” city guide moniker.

An announcement on the company’s website notes that “We will now use one company name and logo on all of our media products and communications: U-T San Diego. This change marks a new era in our company’s history. It will help us unify our print and digital products under a single brand with a clear and consistent expectation of quality. SignOnSanDiego.com is now UTSanDiego.com, to match the nameplate of the newspaper and our newly released iPad app.”

Hodges, a digital real estate marketing vet prior to joining Freedom Communications and then The UT, has been responsible for several new revenue initiatives. These include a heavy emphasis on the local daily deal, bolstered by the acquisition of Discover SD, an events guide and deals platform for a younger demographic.

Hodges notes that the iPad app was specifically designed to have an entertainment orientation. “The primary time that people are looking at it is after 6 PM , when people want to lean back after dinner and watch TV. They’re often reading the App as well,” he says.

The App, designed by MindGruve Interactive, is geo-enabled for traffic and Surfline surf reports. It features a FlipBoard-like news page, along with drop down “sections” for easy access.The sections include a full graphic on the Daily Deal – it shows up very well. It also prominently highlights features that were obscured in print and on the website, including arts, photos and videos.

Notably, in an effort to keep it simple, The UT App doesn’t offer newspaper content such as comics, a television programming guide, letters to the editor, user generated content or local news – although Hodges says a major local initiative will launch in early January. Other Phase 2 items will include more in-depth, iPad-only content. It might also include more localized weather (the temperature in the San Diego region varies by as much as 15 degrees from one area to the next).

Much has been made of the iPad’s appeal for advertisers. The charter advertiser for the UT’s free phase is Cadillac. When the App goes to a premium model next quarter after an introductory period, sponsorship will be available for multiple sponsors on a premium basis.

Pricing for the App, however, is still being finalized. When it is introduced during Q1, there is likely to be an a la carte three month subscription for users who just want the App, especially those outside the San Diego area. My guess is it might be priced in the neighborhood of $5 a month. But there will also be bundles for people who want seven day delivery, or three day weekend delivery.

We’ll see whether The UT pulls the trigger on a firewall for the App. Several other publishers have announced plans to charge but haven’t done so.

New at ILM West: Google, Facebook, SoLoMo Day +++

ILM West is shaping up to be one of the great ones. Taking place Dec. 12-14 in downtown San Francisco, ILM West really reflects a sea change in local marketing from advertising to the new hybrid model of advertising and commerce (i.e. prepaid deals, reputation management, mobile app sales etc.).

We’ve made some big additions since our last update, starting with Google and Facebook. These add to the existing lineup, including our “rock stars” (Clear Channel CEO and industry legend Bob Pittman AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, Media News Group/Journal Register CEO John Paton and Deseret Media and former Harvard Business School Professor Clark Gilbert), and major sessions on deals, offers, verticals and the whole spectrum of local trends.

We will pursue three unique angles on Google at ILM West:

1- The local efforts, under Marissa Mayer’s local team. Jeff Aguero, head of local marketing, will present on everything local, from Zagat, to Google Places, to the Big G’s new “Get Online” program for SMBs. These strategies have really developed since this summer.

2- The global reseller effort. Global Channels head Todd Rowe will engage in an in-depth conversation with BIA/Kelsey President Neal Polachek on all his efforts.

3- Google Mobile. Mobile and Local Search exec Surojit Chatterjee will provide insights into this critical area for Google as part of our All SoLoMo morning on Day 3.

We’re also going deep with Facebook at ILM West. Facebook’s new local leader Matt Idema is our afternoon keynote on Day 2, with a lot of new details and a progress report on the local and vertical strategies. On Day 1, we are also taking a special look at working with Facebook’s platform with execs from Trada, Oodle and Kenshoo Local/Social weighing in. Eager but not sure how to play with Facebook? You will be when ILM West is done.

The SoLoMo event on Day 3 itself is going to be quite the cornerstone for ILM West. Curated by the research teams from our Social Local Media and Mobile Local Media programs, SoLoMo features top line data; and indepth and fresh looks at SoLoMo implementations from leaders at Google, AT&T Interactive, Zaarly, PayPal, XAd, JiWire and AppStack (Steve Espinosa’s new project.)

You can see the full agenda here. And register here.

Remember: We are making a donation to the SF/Marin County Food Bank for all registrations that come in by Thanksgiving.

DMS ’11: Microsoft, at the Intersection of Cool Maps, Search and Local Commerce


Microsoft isn’t doing anything particularly unusual in search. But the assets it is assembling over the next year or two will pack a mighty punch by leveraging all the fast-moving trends, said Chris Sampson, head of worldwide Bing Local search and Emerging Products, Microsoft Advertising. Sampson was speaking at DMS ’11 in Denver.

“From where I sit, I am at the intersection of cool maps, our growing search share and local commerce,” said Sampson. “It is a great place to be at Microsoft.” What is quickly evolving are the troika of “context, time and location.” Each is enfranchised by the rising use of mobile devices, and “really change[s] the state of advertising,” he said.

Local is especially important, and 20 percent of all searches are now location-based — something that has been pushed up by the improving technology capabilities and open APIs for maps and other features. Windows phones, for instance, allow users to turn location on and off based on what time it is and where they are. Deals are being geoparsed as well.

DMS 11 Day 2 294

My Vacation and Technology, Summer 2011

We work with online and mobile services every day, so it is easy to lose perspective on what “civilians” really do with such services. Really, there is no better reality test for the progress of technology in our society than going on summer vacation.

This year, my wife and I joined a group of friends in the Fingerlakes in western New York State – a fairly rural location. We really don’t have much desire to be plugged in on vacation. But online and mobile services have become so helpful, that at this point, it would be an unnecessary and arbitrary handicap to try to do without them.

Our trip began at the WiFi-enabled Buffalo Airport. On the Thruway, we quickly noted that we were driving by Batavia ( the home of Howard Owens’ hyperlocal site, The Batavian.) We were well-served on The Thruway, in any case. NY State Thruway signs featured WiFi, alongside Mobile, Tim Hortons and other services.

We then made our way to The Horse Farm B&B in Naples, which we found via a Google search; reinforced by an excellent review on TripAdvisor. The place was truly special. (See my own review here).

Over the next several days, we didn’t really need to overtly plug in very much. But without thinking about it, we were heavily plugged in. Most notably, a friend extended his stay in the area for two additional weeks, made possible by the Wifi at a Starbucks a few miles up the lake. Several people, apparently,were camping out there doing the same thing, although his Skype conference calls were pushing it a little.

And then there were the little things. The Pontoon boat ride up Canandaigua Lake, for instance, wasn’t especially plugged in. But when we needed to figure out whether we’d be on time for our lunch reservation at the Inn, out came the IPhones and Blackberries. Google Maps had us about ¾ of the way up the lakel, about 30 minutes from our destination.

The Rochester Symphony Orchestra’s Red White and Boom patriotic concert at the CMAC theater wasn’t necessarily a high tech affair, either. But we couldn’t help but notice Ticketmaster’s entreaty on the ticket to download its App for up-to-date info on the entire CMAC concert series.

The wineries and craft breweries in the area are certainly a major attraction as well. At the Heron Hill Winery, we were invited to check in to FourSquare. Many more places asked us to friend them on Facebook.

At Yellowstone last year, I noticed something interesting: very few iPhones. Not the case this year in the Fingerlakes. In fact, I saw a number of smartphones, including some carried by older ladies. The demographic barriers are clearly falling.

Every year, people who know me know that I talk a lot about going off the grid. I make a conscious effort to do so. You won’t find me bringing a laptop or iPad with me on most trips. But I don’t think I will talk about it that way anymore. Unless I want to hurt my vacation experience, I’ll stay plugged in, thank you.

Froogll’s In-Flight Deals: It Really Knows Where You Are Going

The credit card-based, in-flight beverage, food, entertainment and Internet era has a new twist: “Froogll” deals that can be bought online and targeted to users based on destination (i.e. Las Vegas); gender; and observable family status (i.e. travelling single/married/family).

Froogll is the brainchild of Jetera, a targeted, in-flight ad provider based in Danbury, CT. The site, which is spelled funny to avoid a collision with Google’s defunct Froogle service, is a spinoff of Jetera’s in-flight entertainment (IFE) marketing concepts, but is being made generally available to on-the-ground customers as well as in-flight customers – a necessity, as the in-flight options may take several years to mature.

It joins other airport and plan-based concepts flirting with local commerce, including airport WiFi (JiWire), flight delay forecasts (NextJump’s FlightCaster) and flight status board (HelloMetro’s HelloFlight) .

Company CEO Jeff McChesney tells us that the in-flight portion provides great targeting, and airlines’ increasingly sophisticated Point of Sales systems provide a printed receipts for any purchase (i.e. pillow, Heinekin, movie, Deal for Penn & Teller show). In addition to voucher information, the receipts can also feature pre-print ads (two on the back) and targeted ads – three on the front). Actual vouchers are not part of the service at this point.

There are other limitations to in-flight services, he adds. At this point, only Air Canada is currently set up with an in-flight system at every seat. Passengers on other airlines can use Internet and local video-based ordering. (although it is a little early. In my experience, only six or seven passengers per flight are using in flight Internet, even on tech-heavy routes). Another issue: Walled gardens. One vendor, Airtel, blocks outside access.

In the meantime, the six-person, angel-funded service is ramping up in the New York metro area, with telemarketers and a couple of premise sales. The New York offers are being test-marketed to a list of 14,000 subscribers, although the site has potential access to a list of 225,000 people in the area. The site also features loyalty rewards, and 30 day windows for sales – an experimental feature that McChesney says has been embraced by merchants.