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Two of the largest media companies in the Pacific Northwest are joining forces to create a new online advertising network, reports TechFlash

The Seattle Times and KING-TV announced the launch of BeLocal, a partnership that allies the biggest daily newspaper in the state with the top TV station for community news sites and hyperlocal blogs.

The idea is to use the digital-advertising salesforces from both organizations to sell advertising into a local ad network that includes hyperlocal blogs and other niche online publications in Western Washington.

They’ve already lined up some established blogs as participants, includingNext Door Media (publisher of MyBallard, PhinneyWood and other properties) and Capitol Hill Seattle blog. The goal is to attract 50 to 60 niche content sites into the network, said Mark Briggs, KING-TV’s director of digital media.

Belo’s general manager of interactive, Joe Weir spearheaded the local ad network, called BeLocal Media, which aggregates blogs and other local sites of interest in Belo’s TV markets, and ties them to a common ad network. Weir has launched iPhone applications for all Belo stations.

Seattle competitor Fisher Communications, which owns the ABC stations in the Seattle and Portland markets, launched a network of 28 hyperlocal neighborhood Web sites in the Portland market and 10 in the Eugene market this summer. Fisher rolled out similar hyperlocal websites in their Seattle homebase.

In Seattle, KOMO-TV restructured its Seattle newsroom to capture and post community news on a real-time basis. Local coverage from KOMO reporters is complemented with user generated content, and also with content provided through a partnership with Windermere Real Estate. Hard-hitting crime stories have be sparce.

With smartphone sales set to form two thirds of mobile handset sales in the US in 2015, opportunities for mobile eCommerce are expanding significantly,” says Coda Research (above).

Anttenna is a free, real-time iPhone application that acts like a hyperlocal Craig’s List.

The location-aware application is similar to Twitter — users quickly create short “mobile micro-listings” of up to 140 characters of items wanted or for sale. It appears immediately to other nearby Anttenna members.

U.S. mobile commerce sales will grow 100% this year to $2.4 billion from $1.2 billion in 2009, according to ABI Research. That’s following a 203% jump in 2009 from $396 million in 2008, the firm says.

In 2015, shoppers around the world are expected to spend about $119 billion on goods and services purchased via mobile phones. That number represents about 8% of the total e-commerce market. While the U.S. surpassed the $1 billion mark last year, Japan dwarfed the U.S. at $10 billion, ABI says. M-commerce is growing solidly in Europe, too, and is expected to outpace the U.S. by the end of 2010, the firm adds.

Last fall, 282 newspaper reported e-editions. By contrast, for the same period this year, 445 newspapers reported e-editions, for a roughly 47 percent increase in e-editions, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Amazon says the new generation Kindle devices are the bestselling products on Amazon.com. It’s still October, but sales of the new generation Kindle devices have already surpassed total Kindle device sales from October through December in 2009. For the top 10 bestselling books, Amazon customers are choosing Kindle books over hardcover and paperback books combined at a rate of greater than 2 to 1, according to Amazon.

According to Wikipedia, mobile commerce was born in 1997 when the first two mobile phone enabled Coca Cola vending machines were installed in the Helsinki area in Finland. They used SMS text messages to send the payment to the vending machines.

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