Hyperlocal, Who Best to Take Advantage?

Thanks to my buddy Rob Kaminoff  for posting about StreeFightMag, a new site on that will cover the hyperlocal industry. Since I launched AnyWho.com  to the 136th most visited site online in the mid 90’s, hyperlocal content has been a passion of mine. No matter the angle I’ve always believed that community and the “now-ness” of local content, data and communications was a critical destination of this Internet thingy.

What Makes Local So Hyper?

Location and time are the two key factors in HyperLocal.  That said, at the moment Groupon is pretty cool but it’s limited location reach really does not fit into the category of HyperLocal. This title has to be reserved for companies like Yelp! or EventCrazy representing the review and event categories, which do a much better job of giving somewhat adequate coverage, though they need to get better to be truly HyperLocal.

HyperLocal chart

Shows the Current State of HyperLocal Categories against Time and Location These categories will move over time as each expands their reach

Why the HyperLocal and Local Business is so Tough

The difficulty of capturing enough local data to make a truly engaging experience is tough. Why? Because it requires one of two things; Human Resources or everyday people willing to contribute lots of data for free. The first one costs the company producing the content lots of money and the second one is difficult to motivate.  So far the best company to do HyperLocal has been YELP! since it has gotten some critical mass on reviews in many areas. I’ve yet to see any compelling or close enough offers from GroupOn in NW NJ to motivate me.  

Who Can Break the HyperLocal Code?

Companies have been trying to break this since the begining of the Internet. The Holy Grail is that balance of site created and user supplied data. Sounds easy enough on the surface. A friend recently told me he plans to spend $300K to break into a large metro area with a GroupOn type clone. Not sure if that is enough or too little but my point is until someone reaches a tipping point of content, notorietyor search engine dominance this space will remain the wild west and well, local. Big companies beware, this is tough to crack. This is great for the local entrepreneur who’s got the desire and drive to take his or her local market by whatever means possible.

Where is HyperLocal Going?

It is of cousre going mobile. Looking at the 5 categories you’ll see they all greatly benefit from mobile and some absolutely depend on it.  

What Business Benefits Most?

Big business can always throw money at selected markets and make high profile local events. Medium sized business especially those that serve regional areas can really jump in and partner with the right folks to help drive traffic to a prefered destination. Small business however is the real winner. Marketing though local outlets and publicizing them can help the business succeed, the community it’s in and the company catering at a truly local level.

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