Bill over at Pepperlillie has been killing it. Today, we’re psyched to add Brightkite data to SocialGreat. On the All Cities tab we are mingling FourSquare and now Brightkite data to dramatically increase our sample set. Many thx to the team over at Brightkite for their awesome API and helpful pointers.
For now, we’re just doing this at the city level, but soon we’ll be doing it at the place (bar/restaurant) level as well. This will be a little tricky as we’ll have to match place IDs accross platforms, but no worries, we’ll figure it out.
We’re also going to add more real time data sets at both the city and place level. We’ve got like 5 on our list now.
So please head on over, and we’d love you feedback @socialgreat
People on the business side of internet software, constantly bemoan their inability to code. I’ve been guilty at times of the frequent refrain, “My kingdom for the ability to code.” However, I’ve found over the past year that the emergence of APIs coupled with eLance (or oDesk or one of the other contractor platforms) have made this expression of exasperation largely hot air.
For $500 and four weeks of late night emails to eLance developers, you can basically spec and build simple, rough apps that knit or build upon open APIs to create things that are interesting and potentially valuable. To be clear, you can’t build complicated apps or the next Salesforce.com on this kind of shoestring, but you can achieve the kind of learning, vetting, and experimentation that is left undone if you don’t.
I call this process Hackable Business Development. If you’re interested in a platform or service from an intellectual, career, or partnership prospective, you simply must build on it. APIs are such a vital part of web business growth and extension, that the API is almost more important than the front-end. So if you are really interested in a web site, the only way to understand its functionality and potential is to hack on its API. An API is in many ways the equivalent of a living breathing business plan - replete with the company’s view of its place in a highly competitive, fragmented world of web services.
I consider this the modern day equivalent of reading up on a business and sketching out your thoughts.
When I was interviewing to work at Majestic Research in 2003, I was asked to write up a few pages of ideas to grow the business. I did this, but I’m fond of saying “ideas are like water”; they’re everywhere and they flow. How much more impressive and educational would it have been for me to get a raw feed of API data from Majestic and model it. I hadn’t yet discovered the Hacking Business Development model, and I was lucky enough to get the job at Majestic, but it would have been so much more valuable for me to have hacked for them.
API documentation is basically written in prose, so that’s always a good place to start. Instead of taking a novel to bed tonight, take some API documentation.
Sam has said we should do a weekly report, and I think that makes sense. However, we have a ton to do, so I thought maybe I’d just pull some highlights in an ad hoc fashion. We’re now tracking 4300+ FourSquare users across all FourSquare Cities. Soon we’ll incorporate other data sets.
The top cities of checkins continue to be: San Fran, New York, and Minneapolis. But it looks to me like Boston is quickly building.
Corporate checkins continue to be huge at companies like R/GA and Betahouse, as do other public locations like airports and The High Line. Wow they really love their FourSquare at MySpace HQ in LA!
In New York City, Destination seems to have the top bar/restaurant slot, followed by Shake Shack, Gimme Coffee, and the Standard Hotel. Favorite Tom and Jerry has slipped significantly. (I’m skipping around here, this is just a quick survey with my eyes of the lists; more rigorous reports to come) This shows that checking in is a living process where mobs shift from week to week - nothing static here.
In Minneapolis, the top spot is a bar, Nye’s. Mall of America makes the top five with steadier daytime traffic than is typical.
In San Fran, Cento seems like the top restaurant/bar - in this case a coffee shop. In Boston, Co-working spot Betahouse continues to hold the top spot. In Austin, the number one spot for the week is Molotov Lounge. Octane Coffee is the top spot in Atlanta.
So cool to see that the type of top spot by city (park, lounge, restaurant, workplace) vary and change week to week…