Posts tagged ideas
Location check-in websites have started becoming pretty popular over the last year or so. Most of us have at least heard of Foursquare and Gowalla, and perhaps Facebook Places and the Google backed SCVNGR. Where you are is an obvious thing to catalogue. Those sites work*.
More recently other sorts of check-in sites have cropped up too. There’s the strange GetGlue that let’s you check-in what media you’ve been consuming, and Foodspotting that combines photos of what food you’ve been eating with which restaurant you’re at.
Foodspotting is an interesting idea. It almost works. The problem, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that I don’t eat out enough to make it worthwhile checking in and uploading a photo when I do. Who wants to spend time looking to see where I’ve been out if I’m only updating every month or so. I imagine that’s more to do with the fact I fall a little way outside of the target group that Foodspotting is aimed at (affluent 20somethings who eat in fancy restaurants a lot). The idea is sound, it’s just not for me. But it has got me thinking.
What do we all do, everyday, that we might be interested in sharing with our friends? The answer I’ve come up with is “wear clothes”.
The idea of sharing your “look” with your friends is far from new. Lookbook.nu has been doing it for years. Fashism.com started quite recently (with money supplied by the likes of Ashton Kutcher). People are interested in fashion. By combining the location-awareness of a photo sharing app people could take snapshots of items they’re seen in their favourite store to ask their friends if they like the look. For businesses that’d be a good thing – it’d drive people to the stores where they’ve seen things their friends have shared. A discount or special offer could be given to people who share enough pictures in store. News about items and offers could be sent directly to people who have checked-in to the store’s location (with the added advantage that no personal data would need to be passed from the user to the business owner).
I’m actually rather surprised no one has launched anything like this already. It’s that obvious.
* Or worked if the latest stats are to be believed. Their popularity appears to be waining.
There are millions of completely crazy ideas around the internet. Sites that you see and think “Really? REALLY?”. I’m not going to name names but I see them almost every day. Frequently they fade away without a trace, occasionally they grow to be incredibly successful, and I’m usually left scratching my head thinking “What did I miss?”.
What’s out there at the moment that’s piquing my interest?
Much as I hate blog posts that consist of lists, I’m going to sacrifice that notion to bring some of the ideas I’ve seen recently that I believe are doing great things (or will be doing great things in the future);
GetGlue – http://getglue.com/ – It’s check ins for media. Rather than checking in where you are, you check in what you’re consuming (tv, dvd, books, etc). It’s a great idea. The statistical profile data of who is doing what and how that relates to what other people are doing will be fascinating. There are rivals (Philo for example), but GetGlue seems to be the best one at the moment.
Zong – http://www.zong.com/ – It’s kind of like Paypal for mobile phones. To buy something you just use your phone number. I’ve been talking about the idea of a “walled garden” for mobile sites for a little while now, and I think this sort of service is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be in place before that can happen seriously. There’s another option in the form of Vento, but Zong appears to be a more mature product at this stage.
PlacePop – http://www.placepop.com/ – Another Foursquare “rival”, PlacePop have taken the idea of GPS enabled check in services and applied it more directly to businesses using a “virtual loyalty card” idea. If they can get traction from retailers I imagine they’ll be huge. Another FourSquare alternative that’s looking interesting is SCVNGR ( http://www.scvngr.com/ ). They’re taking the check in model and applying it to gaming allowing users to build games on top of their service rather like geocaching. It’s hard to see SCVNGR failing considering they’re backed by Google. I fully expect to see SCVNGR games appearing in Google Maps and Earth soon.
Hunch – http://hunch.com/ – Hunch takes a list of the things that you like and builds a “taste profile” of you enabling it to recommend other things that you might like too. It’s quite an obvious idea but the graph technology behind the site makes things quite exciting. “Taste engineering” seems to be something that’s cropping up a lot recently. Local start-up and Difference Engine veterans wishli.st ( http://wishli.st ) have something similar running as a beta.
Jumo – http://www.jumo.com/ – Jumo is a site that will, once it launches, aim to bring together volunteers with volunteer organisations. I don’t yet know much about how they’re planning to do it, but it’s definitely worth watching as it’s been founded by Chris Hughes. Hughes was a roommate of Mark Zuckerberg and a co-founder of Facebook and the brains behind MyBarackObama.com, Barack Obama’s online presence during the 2008 presidential election campaign.
Canv.as – http://canv.as/ – This one is a complete mystery. There are no clues to what it is, or will become on the site whatsoever. Like Jumo though, it’s of interest because of the person behind it – Canv.as is the brainchild of Chris “Moot” Poole who founded 4Chan (the site that gave the internet “rickrolling” amongst other things). Poole is clearly good at community building, so I’m keen to see what comes from his next venture.