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In case you missed them, here is a compilation of blog posts from this week from TKG’s Interactive Local Media program. Click below to read each post in full.

More Data in Favor of Online Research, Offline Shopping II
Research just released from Hitwise and WebCollage show that shoppers are more likely to shop in stores and visit Web sites of retailers that provide comprehensive product information, including inventory data. This is a growing trend in the local search space being addressed by the likes of StepUp Commerce, ShopLocal, NearbyNow and Krillion. This also ties to data from The Kelsey Group’s Internet Yellow Pages and Local Search Forecast that predicts more investment in search engine optimization, including the deepening of content by local search engines and shopping engines alike. (read more…)

Integrating Directories and Classifieds: A Conversation With LiveDeal
Online-only Yellow Pages site announced this morning that it will buy online classified site LiveDeal in a stock transaction estimated to be worth about $12 million. The deal will bring together directory content and classifieds in one online destination, something that has been developed to varying success internationally but largely hasn’t been executed in the U.S. This type of integration brings a sizable opportunity to gain broader appeal among users and advertisers, and also to alleviate the perennial challenge of monetizing free online classifieds. There are also technical challenges in bringing together these two types of content, traditionally served in different buckets, but LiveDeal’s technical team is up to the challenge. (read more…)

Bid4Spots Helps eBay Enter the Radio Game
EBay announced today that it will begin working with radio ad start-up Bid4Spots. The deal will bring Bid4Spots auction-based radio ad sales capability to eBay’s Media Marketplace. This represents a growing direction for eBay to broker ads to cable television and radio and brings the online giant in head-to-head competition with Google’s parallel efforts to broker ads in these media. At stake is the $20 billion U.S. radio advertising business. (read more…)

New Company Launch Watch: Avvo
New legal search destination Avvo launched today to join the likes of FindLaw and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell. Like these destinations, it offers users search tools to find lawyers in different categories and locales. Legal search will be a growing area as the local search world continues to verticalize in various ways. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s partnership with Spot Runner to embrace video advertising more meaningfully is one of the developments that will push this forward. Likewise, Avvo launches with lots of new tools to search for and rate lawyers, including a proprietary ranking system for individual lawyers. (read more…)

IAC to Open Venture Arm
The San Jose Mercury News reported yesterday that IAC is a few weeks away from opening its new venture arm in Silicon Valley called Primal Ventures. The focus will be investments that are more strategic than they are financially driven in order to tap into the early stage deal flow and get a jump on companies that could be complementary to the famously dynamic IAC portfolio. (read more…)

A Face-Lift for Next Up, Video
The new beta is available for users to access and play around with. Lots of features are still unavailable, but you can get a general idea of what the new site will offer. The look and feel has been enhanced, and there are also functional changes such as better neighborhood search capabilities. Given all the strengths held by, many believed its site design and user experience was in need of improvement. Now that it is going down a path toward improving its UI, these other strengths will stand out better, and the overall product should see a bump in exposure and traction. (read more…)

WashingtonPost.Com Launches Local Explorer Mapping Site has soft-launched Local Explorer, which allows users to map crime, home sales and school information by ZIP code. It is a great model for “mapped journalism.” The tag line for Local Explorer says it allows you to explore “Police and fire stations, restaurants, bars, hospitals and more, plus Facts & Figures; Local News from The Post; Community Resources; Classifieds.’ The whole thing is very compelling – but strictly limited to the D.C.-area. (read more…)

Zvents Drives Traffic to Papers
Zvents, the localized, personalized online event calendar, says it is driving a lot of page views and traffic to its newspaper partners. The growing list of partners now includes The Orange County Register and other Freedom newspapers; several MediaNews Group properties, including The Denver Post, The San Jose Mercury News and The Detroit News;; and as of today, 15 of the latter’s sister newspapers at The New York Times Regional Group. (read more…)


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