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screenhunter_31.jpgIn case you missed them, here are some sample posts from another action packed week in local search. Click below to read each post in full.

J.D. Power Roundtable: Auto Dealers Discuss Online
Several auto dealers at J.D. Power’s Automotive Internet Roundtable Oct. 17-19 in Las Vegas said they were bullish on using online and expect its share of their marketing budget to climb. They also expect online to lead them deeper into new growth areas, such as services and parts. At the same time, they thought paid search was expensive, and they hope user-generated content, via search engine optimization, will provide at least a portion of paid search’s value in leads. (read more…)

FastCall411 Grows Legs, Widgetizes For Local Search
FastCall411 streamlines the process of looking for a local service provider by letting you call a handful of them at once. The first one to pick up gets your business, which the company hopes will resonate as a good consumer experience that sidesteps issues of disconnected numbers or unanswered calls. (read more…)

iPhone to Open the Floodgates
Lots of media coverage today on the Apple announcement that it will release a software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone in early ’08. What does this mean? Many of the speculations made in the past about interesting mobile search applications will be brought to market sooner and with less friction. (read more…)

HopStop Easily From Here to There
I am not a New York City person anymore, in great measure because of the challenge of getting from one location to another. So when I do have to go to New York, I try to cover as much ground as I can. Recently I was able to arrange four meetings in the city on one day and discovered from my colleague Joe DeBlasio the wonders of HopStop. The idea is a simple one and makes personal local search and mapping incredibly easy. (read more…)

Scripps Splits Up: Internet Goes With Cable Nets
Splitting up a company’s assets is quite an exercise. You try to maximize synergies, position for the future, and get buy-in from Wall Street and the IRS. At the beginning of October, that’s what Belo did. As I reported, Belo put its newspapers with its Internet properties. And its TV stations were put in a different pot. This week, it is E.W. Scripps’ turn. Unlike Belo, Scripps is matching its Internet properties with its cable network holdings — a “new media” split that will be called Scripps Network Interactive. Its newspapers, TV stations and United Features cartoon syndication divisions are going in the other pot. (read more…) Rolls Out Video (With Twists)
Idearc’s is rolling out video around the U.S. after a limited test of sales channels and production in Seattle, San Francisco and L.A. The tests, which Kelsey’s Charles Laughlin reported on in July, involved fewer than 100 customers. Unlike Citysearch, which offers “free” video production in exchange for long-term contracts, Superpages is going the a la carte route. Video production is priced at $990 for 30 seconds and $1,750 for 60 seconds, and is being provided by two (undisclosed) vendors. Video is already being offered by most of the other major IYPs, with varying terms. (read more…)

More From Microsoft: Maps and Mobile
Microsoft of late has exercised a Google-esque frequency of announcements for online products. After upgrades to Live Search and MSN Video in and around the recent Searchification event, the company last night announced enhancements to Live Search for Mobile and Live Search Maps. The Live Search Maps end of things mostly involves better mapping capabilities including 3D coverage of more than 80 percent of the U.S. and 50 percent of Europe (totaling about 200 cities). There are also enhanced driving directions and local listings and content, including user reviews. (read more…)

Early Stats From ‘Jax Say Hello’ Free DA Service
Are newspapers a good candidate to drive the free directory assistance market? Say Hello leader Jim Geddes hopes so. His theory, which I have previously reported on, is that newspapers are ideally positioned to rule free DA. They have the promotional power that comes with daily circulation, and they are closely identified with content that can add to DA lookups, such as sports scores, movies, weather, stocks, lottery, and auto and real estate classifieds. (read more…)

Smalltown Gets a Little Bigger
Bay Area hyper-local site Smalltown announced today that it has acquired online community site Local2me for an undisclosed amount. The deal is hoped to bring Smalltown a registered base of Local2me users as well as its seven-year base of user-generated content, including discussion boards and local merchant reviews. This content and user base are also in the same communities where Smalltown currently hangs its hat, making the acquisition geographically opportune. Specifically, Local2me has “thousands” of users in the peninsula markets and more than 30,000 discussions about local topics. (read more…)

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