Now imagine if Bon Appetit, instead of The Little Owl, ran with a cover photo of some Kamakaze Kool-Aid Roll from Monster Sushi or wherever. Well, that’s essentially what’s going on here with Groupon, a national brand is giving national attention to a local joint that doesn’t deserve it, and as a result, a lot of people’s money is being misallocated. It’s anti-economic. Groupon is the invisible hand of capitalism sucker punching good restaurants that deserve to succeed and helping out mediocre venues that deserve to fail.
As Groupon nears its IPO, its customer acquisition costs are rising, both its margins and number of actual Groupons sold per deal are falling, and Google, Facebook and Microsoft are looking to get into the space.
So too newspapers as they hope to leverage the deep relationships within the local communities they serve. For example, today Boston.com (the Web site for the Boston Globe) announced a very Groupony daily deals site called (drumroll) Boston Deals.
Business Insider suggests all this is the way it should be and is bullish on the company’s IPO. It is, after all, history’s fastest growing company.
Me? Sounds like a very short stick will be in someone’s hands when all this plays out.
The singularity draws nearer as two of the Web’s hottest trends—location-based services and hyperlocal content, merge, with a new tieup between Foursquare and Examiner.com.
In essence, Examiner’s 68,000 contributors, known as “Examiners,” will provide reviews and recommendations on nearby venues, restaurants, events, businesses and landmarks that will surface within the Foursquare mobile app when users following Examiner.com check in. Local tips will also be added when non-followers check-in nearby.
While content farms like Examiner.com flood the Internet with keyword optimized stories of variable quality, Foursquare has been pegged as an acquisition target for group deals sites like Groupon, which could then offer users targeted deals based on their location.
With a staff of more than 100 full time writers, daily deals site Groupon is significantly larger than many daily newspapers.
The ability to write engaging and witty prose is obviously something that comes in handy in traditional journalism as well as Groupon-style copywriting. But does that mean we should celebrate the fact that aspiring journalists are taking jobs at Groupon instead of doing journalism?
Well, who is hiring?