With the exception of efforts like AOL’s Patch and New England’s GoLocal24, “Hyperlocal” has really moved away from its initial focus on neighborhood journalism to more of a focus on geo-targeted advertising and commerce.
Redefined this way, there’s a lot going on in hyperlocal. Today, Stamford,CT-based Local Yokel Media, a hyperlocal ad service started by Yahoo/AOL/Doubleclick vet Dick O’Hare, announced that it had raised $2.15 Million in its first institutional round. Backers include Connecticut Innovations, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Gold Ridge Asset Management.
Local Yokel says it is distinguished by its network of local blogs and websites, including newspapers; ability to map ads to a very specific location; and the ability to develop unique and scaleable creative copy. The site is now working with publishers such as Hersam Acorn Newspapers serving Fairfield County, Connecticut and DNA Info, a local news site covering the neighborhoods of New York City and Chicago. Advertisers include Meineke Muffler, LL Bean, and 7-Eleven.