Amazon’s A9 Drops Local Effort

It is no surprise, since Udi Manber, its original leader, left over a year ago. But Amazon has formally abandoned its effort to launch Yellow Pages (and Maps) as part of its A9 search engine. A9 received lots of publicity for the Yellow Pages and specifically, its BlockView feature, launched in January 2005. BlockView, originally “Find It On The … Read more

Second Thoughts on Merchant Circle’s Misbehavior

Last week, I got 22 comments within a 2 day timeframe on a several months old post regarding Merchant Circle. I took all the comments off the blog after noting irregularities among them. Basically, I saw a deliberate attempt by one or more people to create a pseudo grassroots movement by writing lots of phony letters. … Read more

Washington Post Reunites Curley and Holovaty

Newspapers are said to be culturally inclined to fail on the Web. But people make exceptions when Rob Curley or Adrian Holovaty are involved. Curley transformed Morris Communications’ Topeka Capital-Journal into a highly interactive platform from 1997 to.2002 (with additional work throughout the Morris chain). Then together with Holovaty, a journalist with a computer programming … Read more

CitySearch Claims Advertisers Bring in $6k Per Year

CitySearch says its pay-for-performance ad program is taking in an eye-popping “average” of $500 per month from advertisers, or $6,000 per year, according to a Sept. 4 article by Ann Meyer in The Chicago Tribune. If the figure is accurate, that would be a big “wow.” CitySearch currently claims 50,000 advertisers, so it adds up to $25 million per … Read more

Thrillist: 2.5 Million Users via Combo of Editorial, Clothes and Deals

At opposite corners of the niche universe, you have Thrillist for men and Comcast-owned Daily Candy for women. Both lifestyle products, founded as email newsletters/shopping guides, have jumped aboard the deals bandwagon, working with Group Commerce Inc. as their tech provider. They also have a common association with former AOL Time Warner President (and current Clear Channel Entertainment Chairman) Bob … Read more

Groupon Bets on Merchant Services: A Conversation with Mihir Shah

Groupon founder Andrew Mason’s concept of Groupon as “the operating system for local commerce,” had a certain catch to is, but what does it actually mean in practice? That’s the challenge being addressed by Groupon’s “Breadcrumb” team in Silicon Valley, which has rolled out a suite of services for restaurants and now, other verticals. Groupon is … Read more

Quantcast Publishes ‘Top 10’ Online Directories

Figuring out who is on top of the heap in the online directory business is a complex task: on one hand, a “directory” category is kind of an oxymoron, given that so much of what is quantified is based on search engine optimization. Only 25 percent of Citysearch’s traffic, for instance, comes from its destination URLs. Some … Read more

Can NextDoor Monetize Its 10 Million+ Users?

When we think about “what’s next” in local, we always think it could be Next Door. Despite an unchartered path to revenue, the hyperlocal neighborhood network has raised $210 Million and was recently valued at $1.1 Billion San Francisco-based NextDoor was founded in 2010 and now has more than 10 million members, who share hyperlocal and … Read more

ReachLocal Sees $300 Million+ Valuation

ReachLocal, a provider of local online marketing solutions for SMBs, has raised $55.2 million in new financing. This comes on top of the $12.7 million it has raised since its founding in 2004. The new funds give ReachLocal an estimated valuation of $305 million, since it was previously valued at $250 million. The money is … Read more