Hyperlocal has been widely seen as a failure in the wake of AOL’s huge loss from its investment in Patch. But new life has been breathed into hyperlocal via mobile-based geotargeting and a the contemporary grab bag of Big Data resources.
NextDoor, Everyblock, and LocalBlox are among the leaders of a new generation of mobile-oriented hyperlocal sites. Each vies to provide block=by-block, hyperlocal information for consumers and businesses, which can include crime blotters, local government data, maps, business recommendations, entertainment calendars, traffic reports and even baby-sitting services.
Other sites, such as Intersection in New York, are providing hyperlocal advertising based on WiFi access. Townsquared , similarly, is providing hyperlocal services, but with a B2B focus.
Some of the data for these sites comes from open data portals, which are increasingly available for the largest cities. Other data is syndicated from sites like Yelp and The Weather Channel. Other information is organic and comes straight from consumers – arguably, the hardest part of the equation, although new tools make it easier to contribute and gather.
NextDoor is the furthest along in gathering consumers, with one millions posts a day coming from users in 53,000 “micro-communities.” The site has focused on gaining users, and just recently announced that it will take sponsored ads from businesses, accompanied by business directories carved from neighbor recommendations.
At this point, NextDoor has received more than 800,000 cites of specific businesses. While the site needs to go gingerly towards commercialization, the site is well-funded for a site that heretofore lacked a revenue stream, with $210 million raised.
EveryBlock, meanwhile, is Comcast’s resurrection of Adrian Holovaty’s original data/journalism site.