For starters let me try to explain and local and hyperlocal in very basic terms,
- Local portal is centered around a city (the portal can have info about multiple cities).
- Hyper local can be seen as information related to a particular locality in a city.
According to an article on Hyperlocal is Happening,
Forrester Research’s recent report entitled “Is Hyperlocal Hype or Happening?” found a “disconnect between the source consumers rely on for local news and information versus those they rely on for business listings.” The majority of these consumers are still using traditional means of locating the goods and services they desire.
The report discovered that 74 percent of offline consumers and 66 percent of online consumers still turn to the Yellow Pages directory for local business listings. Meanwhile, the report found Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) results were almost identical to Internet search engines with 31 percent of online consumers using IYP to find listings for local businesses versus 34 percent using search engines.
With context to India,
- Local: Few sites that come under local category are local search which include restaurant listing, yellow pages (the hottest amongst all), events, classifieds.
- Hyper local: Very few sites in India have gone hyper local. One of the oldest ones must be Koramangala.com (a popular locality in Bangalore). I don’t think we are ready for a hyperlocal classifieds site yet, i.e. a classifieds site just for Koaramangala (you could start one but it will not scale).
Will Hyper local work in India? I think it is a little early but only major cities can think of having hyperlocal portals as of now. Also, for a hyper local portal to be successful I think UGC will be key.
What will support hyper local portals (monetization)? Local businesses. i.e. a Pizza Hut in Koramangla would want to advertise on Koramangala.com. Yes, I am aware it is recession time. But then digital media will benefit the most during the recession time 🙂