Blog posts tagged "local"

MadCat Picks

September 10th, 2007

At the Margins, Fri Sept 14th, ATA, 7:30pm. Shorts. “Golden Kitchen” sounds particuarily intriguing to me.

Close to Home, Fri Fri Sept 14th, ATA, 8:30pm. In particular “Un Hombre Tranquilo”.

ID Docs, Tue Sept 18th, 6:30pm for free BBQ. El Rio.

Rick Skrenta: What do you do when your success … sucks?

April 3rd, 2007

Stone Cottage pointed to a great post by Rick Skrenta, CEO of Topix (and mad mind behind NewHoo/DMOZ for those who can remember back that far) on the Topix re-launch.

Lot of really interesting stuff about identifying a brand’s core value and putting it into practice. But also a phenomenal laundry for a problem that has stumped a lot of us, how to make a local news site succeed. Including:

  • Anthropomorphize our existing technology into the roboblogger. This was a brilliant idea from one of our lead engineers. It simultaneously solves three problems:

    1. Booting up a new city — you need posting activity to draw the first editors. The roboblogger would give us that. But he is shy and gets out of the way if humans show up and take over a page.
    2. If the community editors go on vacation, the roboblogger can step back in and take over while they’re gone.
    3. People know when a robot is editing the page vs. a human. His profile icon is a picture of a little tin-can robot. His handle is ‘roboblogger’.
    No more confusion.

A project has to already have value to draw a valuable volunteer base, this is the classic and yet fundamentally hard problem with boot strapping all local sites. But as soon as you have volunteers your contract with them is to rain attention and love down upon their contributions. roboblogger is a really neat hack to handle the delicate balance of a site’s lifecycle and mix community and data mining techniques in social software. Looking forward to watching it play out.

Weather over Twitter

January 12th, 2007

Too Close!!!

And while we’re talking about recent hacks, Blaine and I whipped up a Jabber bot using his Jabber::Simple and the Yahoo weather feeds, to provide twice daily weather updates via Twitter.

Jabber is an intriguing platform to build on top of, and the more I play with it the more potential I find. I keep checking in on it every few years (since MetaEvents days), but recently its gotten much more interesting. In part thats Google’s adoption of the standard (and the subsequent enhancement in tools, libraries, and clients), and partially standards bake slowly, but at the core of it I think we’re reaching a point in the evolution of the Web where Internet-scale deployed messaging standards have a lot to offer of us. A protocol for when HTTP fails you.

If you follow these bots, you’ll receive those updates wherever you normally get your Twitters; IM, Phone, RSS, or just on the web. So far, we have bots for the following cities: Boston, Brighton, Chicago, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, and Vancouver. If you’d like to see another city, just ask and we’ll provide.

Slightly out of date source available at twitter-weather – Google Code

And taking requests for new cities. Probably do a big batch of new ones sometime next week. (not really an automated process)

Photo by bonsaikiptb

Yelp, User Contribued Content and Feed Design

December 23rd, 2005

Yelp gets feeds just right. I’m not sure I’ve ever said that before about anybody.

They’ve got:

  • a feed of my reviews allows me to re-purpose the content I create (No RSS, No Content Creation],
  • a feed of my (as yet non-existent) network’s reviews
  • feeds contain the full content of my review (again my content, I created it, give it to me)
  • rich feeds; they use the geo namespace to embed lat/long
  • Both RSS and Atom 1.0 feeds

Very nice.

A minor nit. These are feeds of reviews, not feeds of places, so it makes sense that the rating is included in the title of the entry, but I’d still like to see the rating and location’s name presented in separate structured elements as well (say for example I want to syndicate my reviews locally, and display a graphic of the stars)

Also per category feeds might be useful.

Favorite NYC Blogs/Bloggers?

December 16th, 2005

I make a point of subscribing to a smattering of regional blogs wherever I might be living. Got any New York favorites?

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