Friday 5 — 10.10.2014


Google has enhanced its search results with an “In the News” box. These results include blogs and other content sites that are not traditionally indexed as news. This would explain the travesty above, where a Chelsea blog is listed related to a search for Arsenal F.C. Here’s a thoughtful recap and lessons learned from the NYTNow and soon-to-be-shuttered NYT Opinion apps. Being...

Friday 5 — 8.8.2014


Snapchat and WhatsApp are emerging as dominant photo sharing platforms. Interesting that a main modality for this sharing is private messaging (quasi-ephemeral in the case of Snapchat) versus Facebook’s one-to-many concept of posting to your profile page. Social networking skeptics often decry the use of “friend” as an organizing principle for everyone from your sister to your...

Friday 5 — 5.16.2014


Foursquare begets Swarm, a mobile app that enables users to keep up and meet up with their connected friends. The check-in experience is largely the same, but new passive tracking allows for Neighborhood Sharing — which you can enable or disable with a swipe. Techcrunch describes the larger trend represented by Swarm and other invisible apps, as they move from a battle for the real estate...

Friday 5 — 5.2.14


For a few years now, Foursquare has felt like a location data layer in search of a business model. The company just announced a move toward a more explicit user value proposition by revising its core app and splitting off a new Swarm app — a social heat map that doesn’t require an explicit check-in. How can we stop wasting users’ time? Here are some practical ways to design...

Friday 5 — 12.6.2013


Google Trends is a handy, visual tool for comparing topics by their relative search volume — see graph of search trends for Hong Kong and Singapore above. This latest release uses its vast historical data to offer dotted-line predictions of future search interest. Another useful feature: the algorithms now aggregate different searches likely to be related. Foursquare has released a new...

Try it: Make the movie of your personal data


We’re all posting, tweeting, and sharing more than ever. How might all this micro-content we publish on the social web be boiled up into a story? I came across two interesting services that make a movie from your shared content: Vizify for Twitter, and Foursquare time machine. First, Vizify for Twitter lets you create what they’re calling an animated portrait of your Twitter activity...

Tying transaction to check-in


The friction inherent to the foursquare check-in becomes a harder sell in an attention economy full of competing distractions – the value had better be high. Today, foursquare announced a partnership with OpenTable. Marrying the “Explore” feature’s social reviews by friends with the transaction and history of OpenTable’s reservation system is a big win, especially for travelers. It’s...

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