"local" entries

Four short links: 8 November 2012

Four short links: 8 November 2012

Local Competitive Intelligence, Journalism Doesn't Scale, Winning With Big Data, Predicting the Future

  1. 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!”.
  2. 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)
  3. Big Data Behind Obama’s Win (Time) — huge analytics operation, very secretive, providing insights and updates on everything.
  4. How to Predict the FutureThis 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)
Four short links: 22 March 2011

Four short links: 22 March 2011

Local Community, Building Memories, Social Media, and ChumbyVision

  1. EveryBlock Redesigned — EB has been defined for a while now as “that site that makes my city’s statistics useful and relevant”. Now they’re getting more into the user-reporting: As valuable as automated updates of crime, media mentions, and other EveryBlock news are, contributions from your fellow neighbors are significantly more meaningful and useful. While we’re not removing our existing aggregation of public records and other neighborhood information (more on this in a bit), we’ve come to realize that human participation is essential, not only as a layer on top but as the bedrock of the site. They have a new mission: our goal is to help you make your block a better place. That’s a bold goal, and quite a big change from where they were at. Will they manage any aspect of journalism, or will this become a GroupOn-ad-filled geo-portal for MSNBC? Looking forward to finding out.
  2. Typography in 8 Bits: System Fonts — nifty rundown of fonts from the microcomputer days. I still go a bit weak-kneed at the sight of the C64 fonts. Which aspect of the system you’re building will be remembered with weak knees in (gulp) thirty years’ time? (via Joshua Schachter)
  3. Twitter in the Christchurch Earthquake — analysis of the tweets around the quake, including words and retweets. (via Richard Wood)
  4. ChumbyCV — computer vision framework for Chumby. CV on low-power ubiquitous hardware makes devices smarter and be higher-level sensors of activity and objects. (via BERG London)

Toward a local syzygy: aligning deals, check-ins and places

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.

Facebook Places plays nice with Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla and Booyah

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.

Why check-ins and like buttons will change the local landscape

Map pins and Yellow Pages aren't as fascinating as valuable connections.

It's time to put the bother of business listings management behind us so we can get on with what's really exciting about local: connecting consumers with businesses they love, and providing genuine value to both.

Feedback and analysis: the missing ingredients in local's recipe

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.

Four short links: 3 September 2009

Four short links: 3 September 2009

Smarter Eyes, Urinal Protocol Efficiency, Petabytes on a Budget, and LocaLondon

  1. Many Eyes Make All Bugs Shallow, Especially When The Eyes Get Smarter (David Eaves) — Mozilla released bug submission data, and David realizes with some minor investment (particularly some simpler vetting screens prior to reaching bugzilla) bug submitters could learn faster. For example, a landing screen that asks you if you’ve ever submitted a bug before might take newbies to a different page where the bugzilla process is explained in greater detail, the fact that this is not a support site is outlined, and some models of good “submissions” are shared (along with some words of encouragement). By segmenting newbies we might ease the work burden on those who have to vet the bugs.
  2. Urinal Protocol Efficiency (xkcd blog) — geeks are pattern-matching creatures that can count. This leads us to a question: what is the general formula for the number of guys who will fill in N urinals if they all come in one at a time and follow the urinal protocol? One could write a simple recursive program to solve it, placing one guy at a time, but there’s also a closed-form expression. If f(n) is the number of guys who can use n urinals, f(n) for n>2 is given by: […] The protocol is vulnerable to producing inefficient results for some urinal counts. Some numbers of urinals encourage efficient packing, and others encourage sparse packing. (via Hacker News)
  3. Petabytes on a Budget: 67Tb for $7,867 — DIY cloud hardware. (via timhaines on Twitter)
  4. LocaLondon (Chris Heathcote) — informative, ingenious, and replicable (like all that Chris does), it’s a Twitter feed of art exhibitions in London (when they open, when there’s a week left, and on the last day) and a glorious horizontal touchscreen-friendly meta-reviews site so you can quickly see at a glance what’s on now and what people think of it.

Huffington Post Goes Local in Chicago

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…

Local Focus through Community Newspaper Book Reviews

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…