TKG Data and Analysis: A Weekly Recap

Here are last week’s highlights from the TKG blog, in case you missed any posts. Click below to read each post in full.

Curley on HyperLocal, The Washington Post and the New Vegas Venture
Some industry bloggers like to throw “Google” in the title to get some attention. For me, it is “Hyperlocal.” And somewhere in the middle of any discussion of hyperlocal is Rob Curley. The hyperlocal maestro has taken his Web 2.0 experimentations (videos, maps, databases, photo galleries, blogs, citizen journalism, pictures of local girls) in rapid fire succession from Augusta, Georgia, to Lawrence, Kansas, to Naples, Florida, before finally hitting the “big time” 20 months ago, with The Washington Post. (read more…)

More Musings on Microsoft and Yell
There has not been all that much fresh coverage of the rumor, reported earlier this week, that Microsoft may acquire Yell Group, the U.K.-based international publisher with operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain and Latin America. We have not been able to pick up much to support the rumor, though circumstances might suggest that Yell is poised to make some kind of significant move to generate cash without further driving down its share price. The company took a hit after it announced its earnings last week (along with a dividend cut), and gained a little back on the Microsoft rumor. At this writing, the stock is trading down by about 2 percent. (read more…)

More Android Screenshots Emerge
News.com provides screenshots of Google’s Android operating system, straight from this week’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco. It is a touch screen interface with a home screen that looks a lot like the iPhone. Like the iPhone, lots of local applications will come out of this given the open developer environment and the natural ties between mobile and local. Meanwhile ease of use could push these platforms and applications into the mainstream, causing more incentive to innovate than we see today. (read more…)

Local Matters Gets Social, Continues Product Streak
Local search platform provider Local Matters has just acquired a Facebook application-in-progress from online real estate player Point2. The app will be called Neighborhoods for Facebook and will allow Facebook users to network with others in their area and find out about local events. It can be thought of as a sort of hyperlocal play within Facebook. (read more…)

1 Billion Online Video Viewers by 2013?
ABI just released a report that projects a billion Web video viewers by 2013. This is presumably a unique monthly viewer count, which makes it about a 4x to 5x increase over current levels. That’s a lot of viewers, but it could make sense if you look at evolving video technologies. Broadband penetration and killer apps like YouTube have made video a standard for hundreds of millions of users, especially younger generations and at-work users. This has even caused Google and other search engines to rethink their algorithms and SERP rankings (universal search). (read more…)

DOJ Settlement Has Little Impact on Real Estate Listings
Several years ago, it looked like real estate brokerages might be marginalized by “Virtual Office Websites” (VOWs) that grabbed multiple listings service listings from the Web, using a licensed agent. They then acted as cut-rate sales agents to home buyers. At the time, it was envisioned that major online entities such as Yahoo! might use VOWs as a loophole for getting into the tent. Worse, there was a fear that banks would use VOWs to facilitate a sneak attack on the industry (if restrictions on their participation eased). (read more…)

Will the Housing Crunch Crunch Cars Too?
Within the past eight or nine months, we’ve been thinking (and pushing some numbers) on the potential impact of the downturn in the housing market on local media — print Yellow Pages in particular. This is a huge topic, of course. One of its many component parts is this: How has the liquidity been spent that was created from home equity loans? We’ve identified dozens of print YP categories we think have been boosted by this liquidity. One of these categories is autos. (read more…)

Does In-House Social Networking Reduce Turnover?
Grazing the current crop of business news mags, I happened across the June 2 edition of BusinessWeek. The cover article, “Beyond Blogs,” is on how social networking is changing key aspects of the corporate marketing tool kit. One of the examples cited in the article is that of Best Buy, the ubiquitous consumer electronics chain. A couple of years ago, two Best Buy managers set up an in-house social network, “Blue Shirt Nation.” That network now has 20,000 participants, 85 percent of whom are sales associates. (read more…)

Technology and My Trip to London and Paris
Travelling abroad and keeping your job is pretty easy these days with seamless smartphone access. But I noticed a few things during a trip to London and Paris last week that gave me some food for thought. (read more…)

Does Microsoft Want Yell?
Reuters is reporting a rumor that Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has set his sights on Yell Group as his next acquisition target, which has led to a bump in Yell’s share price. We don’t know if this is true. It is, after all, being reported as a “rumor.” However, this isn’t the most implausible rumor we’ve heard. Balmer may well be itching to do a deal in the wake of Microsoft’s failure to buy Yahoo!. Plus there has always been at least a superficial logic to a tech company acquiring a directory company, namely to acquire its sizable local sales channel. (read more…)

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