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A few thoughts and ideas on local web apps – Joe Murphy

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A few thoughts and ideas on local web apps

These a a few local internet / hyperlocal web app ideas that have been stuck in my head:

  • How The Locals Fared: I went to Portland in December for the holidays, and I was leafing through the sports section of the Oregonian when I ran across a column of agate titled “How The Locals Fared.” In it were stats for pro athletes, and what connection (high school / college attended, mostly) the athletes each had to Oregon. Well, the 2008 Beijing Olympics are coming up, and what better way to localize the events than a database-driven web app that keeps track of the performance of those who have called your town “home.” Better yet, get your corporate parent to build / update this app — that way they can repurpose it across all their properties, large and small.
  • Fix My Street: Okay, so this isn’t a new idea — it’s ripped right off from FixMyStreet.com, a British site that takes reports of poor streets and sends them to the appropriate municipality. But it’s a good one, and a useful one, and one that’s way too easy to duplicate.
  • The Photos Near You: Any newsroom that shoots photos can geotag their photos. If you want to be fancy, you can even get plugin doohickeys that record the lat/lon of the photos you take (Sony’s GPS thing). Geotag your photos and publish them online — then allow people to get the photos that happened 1 mile / 2 miles / 5 miles of their home emailed / RSS-fed to them. It’s a great hook for news: This Is An Image Of What Happened Right Near Where You Live. And, on the advertising side of the coin, what happens when you start organizing your information by the exact-specific pin-point place it happened? That’s not hard to see. But, I imagine, the challenge here is corralling photo / ad departments into participating.

Posted in Journalism, Local, Online, Storytelling, Stuff You Can Use. Tagged with , , , , , .

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