In the local space the URL Where.com is a great one. It’s owned by uLocate, which is run by MapQuest Alum Walt Doyle. Where operates a range of mobile apps or local portals across smartphone platforms. Today two things are happening: the company is formally changing its name to WHERE, Inc., and the “Where experience” is now available on the PC at Where.com.
Previously that URL was a promotional site for the company’s mobile offerings. Now it looks like this:
It’s a local portal and search site that offers a number of categories of activities and content:
- Restaurants and reviews
- Shopping and offers
In the last category is “my placebook.” It shows places I’ve checked in and reviews I’ve created:
Registration allows for two-way access to content, either online or via mobile app. As an aside the Where mobile apps have been getting progressively better over time.
Recently the company also launched “hyper-local” mobile ad network Where Ads, which I wrote up at Internet2Go.
If the company were launching purely as an online destination you’d hear a great deal more skepticism out of me. But because Where has an established mobile user base this now becomes a kind of “dashboard” for planning and activity later experienced on the go. It’s also one of several examples of how local content providers and publishers need to view their offering through a kind of “reciprocal” lens: activity in the world and online informing and supporting one another.
Where’s Dan Gilmartin will be on a panel I’m running at the appropriately named Where 2.0 show in early April. The panel is:
With Google and Apple buying major mobile ad networks just in the last couple of months, mobile advertising is finally on everyone’s radar. Yet the long-held notion that LBS apps and services will deliver “the right ad at the right time and place” is still an unrealized promise. What will it take in a practical sense to provide locally and contextually relevant ads to people on mobile devices with this kind of precision? We have been talking about this opportunity for years. Is it getting closer or does it remain as elusive as ever?
Panelists will discuss the range of technical, data, and business-related hurdles that remain, as well as whether and how they might be overcome.
In addition to Where, Google, deCarta, 1020 Placecast and Citysearch will be featured in this roundtable discussion. To use the vernacular, it should “kick ass.”