- Closely — new startup by Perry Evans (founder of MapQuest), giving businesses a simple app to track competitors’ online deals and social media activity. Seems a genius move to me: so many businesses flounder online, “I don’t know what to do!”, so giving them a birds-eye view of their competition turns the problem into “do better than them!”.
- The FT in Play (Reuters) — very interesting point in this analysis of the Financial Times being up for sale: [Traditional] journalism doesn’t have economies of scale. The bigger that journalistic organizations become, the less efficient they get. (via Bernard Hickey)
- Big Data Behind Obama’s Win (Time) — huge analytics operation, very secretive, providing insights and updates on everything.
- How to Predict the Future — This is the story of a spreadsheet I’ve been keeping for almost twenty years. Thesis: hardware trends more useful for predicting advances than software trends. (via Kenton Kivestu)
Check-ins are only the beginning. Here's what lies ahead for local.
The check-in is hardly the apogee of the local consumer experience. It works, for now, but it won't be the long-term solution for customer/business relationships and physical point of presence. So what will replace it? Here's a look at the local sector's near-term future.
In one move, Facebook appears to have both validated and claimed the check-in space. We take an early look at the functionality and impact of Facebook Places, the company's just-announced check-in / location tool.
Access to local information is great, but context is even better
There’s plenty of enthusiasm for local / hyperlocal projects, but the sweepstakes has yet to be won. So many of these local efforts rely on traditional information delivery through news articles or databases. That material has use, no doubt. Yet few projects take the extra step and put that data into context.
The Huffington Post started as an aggregate political blog, but founder Arianna Huffington is now eyeing something bigger: local news coverage. Chicago will serve as Huffington's local guinea pig. From The Guardian: [Arianna] Huffington said the Chicago site would aggregate news, sports, crime, arts and business news from different local sources as well as contributions from bloggers in what…
Sanford Thatcher, the departing head of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), advises his colleagues to go local by way of the review: It seems to me that there is likely to be no better market for the general-interest titles that we all publish from time to time than the college towns in which many of our presses…