AOL Acquires Armstrong’s Patch, Plus (Updated)

AOL reaffirmed its strong interest in local today, announcing that it is purchasing, a 25 person hyperlocal service invested in by new CEO Tim Armstrong when he was still at Google; and, an events-driven social network and self-serve ticketing platform aimed at 20- somethings. is currently in five suburban New Jersey towns, with three Connecticut town and an … Read more

2008: The Year That Was

We’re out with our predictions for 2009. But what’s the final word for 2008? Truly, it was a very stimulating and thoughtful year for our local media and commerce industry. But speaking for myself, it’s hard to say whether it was a good year, especially with fresh layoffs that we are hearing about every day. In fact, … Read more

Gannett Buys Planet Discover

U.S. newspapers have largely maintained the artificial line that separates their classifieds from Yellow Pages. And vice versa. There have been a couple of minor Yellow Pages acquisitions over time (Hearst with White and Affiliated; Gannett with Hometown Directories and years ago, Space Coast Directories). And newspapers have launched half-hearted “business directories,” basically filling a … Read more

LSA18: Yelp’s Chad Richard On The ‘Decentralization of Reservations’

Digital reservations are seizing on SaaS cloud-based models and becoming the norm not only for Open Table-oriented white table cloth restaurants, but fast casual restaurants, beauty salons, spas and even hospital emergency rooms and Department of Motor Vehicles. Yelp SVP of Business and Corporate Development Chad Richard, speaking at LSA18 this week in Chicago, said a “decentralization of … Read more

Google Buys Wildfire: Social/Loyalty Anchor?

Google is adding Wildfire to its social-oriented suite of business services, paying “about $250 Million,” according to a source cited by The Wall Street Journal. The San Francisco-based company provides social media analytics for 16,000 customers, ranging from large SMBs to major brands such as Amazon, Unilever and Virgin. Wildfire launched in 2008 as a self-serve platform that … Read more

Associated Content: ‘Local is a Differentiator’

The new breed of content aggregators is among the biggest bets in online media. These companies are assembling content from hundreds of thousands of contributors; optimizing it on the search engines so that it is easily found; and syndicating it. Demand Media is probably the biggest company in the space. But others include, which has a … Read more

Seattle Times Co. Launches ‘Network Wide Search’

One big takeaway from The NAA Marketing show last week in Orlando was that newspapers are ready to build up a zillion niche products that allow them to leverage their editorial talents. But not much progress, or even attention, is being paid to local search. It makes you wonder If newspapers are really serious about reaching out … Read more

Closing The Book on ILM:07

It is hard for me to comprehend, but we are finally finished with ILM:07. We were grateful to have had 650 interesting and enthusiastic attendees from all over the world; 72 stimulating speakers; a full load of sponsors; and an excellent partnership with SES. Our next conference, April 30-May 2 at the Westin in Seattle, will … Read more