On Friday at TechCrunch’s Social Currency event, there was an interesting panel discussion on the Local Web with Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Google’s VP of Product Management at Google, John Hanke. Moderator Erick Schonfeld says that he find himself using these local apps like Foursquare & Gowalla to see what’s around him, but adds: “I want it to tell me for this category of things to tell me what’s nearby and then also what’s nearby and who has a deal.”
Below John Hanke and some of his insights into what’s happening with the local web right now.
“It’s a great time to be building a company in this space.”
“We’ll see a lot of simplified local, things like click-to-call and we’re going to start to see the RPMs go up, so the money will be there so we can start to build businesses. What we’re seeing the confluence of gaming dynamics, and offers through services like Groupon. We’ll also see advancements in HTML 5 and lots of services emerge in the geo-loco area.”
“The success of Groupon is that there’s a direct relationship. Coupons are one way to get people through the door and close the door. It’s about understanding about when people is asking about a place, we want to show local results that are relevant & add meaningful information to that place – we want to add relevance. A good local site adds good rich information and doesn’t just regurgitate.”
Adds Erick, “the success of Groupon is the social component, it’s not between a single consumer and a merchant, but it’s about bringing togehter a group of people (30-40), so they can offer a discount for that group. There’s value to the consumer and value to the merchant.”
Below Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and his insights.
Re: the advertising and promotional opportunities, there’s the growing popularity of connecting people when they’re searching for something local and tracking that info – it will make it easier for companies to advertise. That’s part of the success of Groupon. Hopefully we’re moving towards a world where we track those decisions.”
“I’m not sure the group concept is as big of a deal as offering great values for consumers.”
Below is the video of the fireside-chat with Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman and Google’s John Hanke:
Because Groupon was raised so many times in the Stoppelman/Hanke interview, I decided to include the interview that Schonfeld and Arrington did earlier in the day with Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason:
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