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Three reasons to love Scoville

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

If you haven’t seen it already, check out Scoville. It’s got a lot to like. Scoville is a local social play sitting on top of Foursquare. I have a list of great moves Scoville is making. Here are three of them:

1. It helps curate the best places.

Now that there are more as many as 22 million Foursquare places — sorry, venues — it’s about time we found better ways of filtering out the best places. Some unmoderated ways to approach that include: using check-ins as a measure of popularity or normalising check-ins based on the total number of check-ins for a region or the number of users in that region or the number of places (early adopter areas have more 4sq users and more check-ins which can skew things). Scoville offers users a way of like-ing their favourite places, not just the ones they frequent the most, and automatically parceling the best places into easily accessible buckets, called Likeboxes.

2. It broadens verticals from going out.

4sq as been encouraging users to add new venues and new categories of venues for some time both with point incentives and by calling out top categories on a user’s profile (I think the content an app shows about a user is as important as what points are given for). It’s peculiar that it doesn’t push that further by giving users more points for adding photo’s. Scoville accentuates this broadening away from restaurants, pubs and clubs by forming Likeboxes for other categories (e.g. bookstores).

3. It targets Foursquare super-users.

Foursquare super-users are users who check in a lot or add new places. Foursquare now has enough scale that there are a lot of Foursquare super-users and these are just the right segment to target to curate the best places. I got my invite from folks that I saw regularly on the 4sq leaderboard (although noticably not from the one man to whom I regularly come second).

CityGrid on the fragmentation of local

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

We have been in love with CityGrid’s business model and approach for some time. They are doing great work in building out a highly scalable business model which leverages the fragmentation of the local search space, rather than fighting against it.

CityGrid, for those who do not know already, allows local search publishers to get great local content and local targeted ads on their properties. They will even power your whole search solution. For advertisers, they act as a huge hyperlocal network composed of a useful blend of search engines, directories and a long tail of (hyper)vertical and (hyper)local sites and mobile apps. This means that the more local publishers come online, the more the value of the CityGrid model increases.

When asked recently why local search fragmentation seems to be accelerating, Jay Herratti, CityGrid Media’s CEO, said that APIs like Google’s Places or SimpleGeo are enabling more and more developers to build local search products. As these products are used to a greater and greater extent, developers will naturally looking for monetisation approaches — and CityGrid is waiting to greet them with open arms.




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