links for 2010-07-31

  • Kevin: Google has opened up its Places API (which differs from its Latitude API). Some of the first developers to get access to these services will be developers creating check-in services ala Foursquare and Gowalla. As TechCrunch points out, this doesn't mean that Foursquare and Gowalla will have new competition (they are beating up on each other quite well). However, the pure check-in space is going to get quite a bit noisier. This also supports my view that location is much more of a platform than a specific service. Foursquare really is built around using game play to get people to check in, and using that information to provide access to businesses wishing to market to those people. However, location has many other applications and business models, and as Forrester recently found, Foursquare is still a relatively minority sport. (4% in the US)
  • Kevin: My friend and former colleague Roy Greenslade says in the wake of the Wikileaks Afghan War Logs story: "Confidential sources have therefore come to be seen as the lifeblood of modern journalism, as I have said so often down the years to my journalism students. But I now concede that I have overstated the point and downplayed the important, and often crucial, business of discovering, reading and analyzing raw data." Roy is really beating the drum for journalists analysing raw data. Computer-assisted reporting has been an important boutique skill in the US, and it is now good to see the recognition of its importance in the UK.