February 26, 2013

Location-based services are coming of age (and it’s way more than Foursquare)

3 iphone-screenshots
From left, screenshots of the new app Now, EyeEm and Gogobot.

Geolocation apps start to splinter into verticals

This is the second in an ongoing series on the state of geolocation apps, sites and services. Also see:
• Part 1: Are you ready for the place graph?

Target audience: Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses with location-based components, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaIn part one of this series we looked back at the early days of geolocation, with Platial kicking off the geoloco revolution in the practically prehistoric year of 2005. Since then, a number of paradigm-shifting startups have already come, gone or been sold, among them fwix, Loopt, Ditto, Blockboard, Everyblock (shut down this month) and the late lamented NextStop and Whrrl.

geologo-logoOn Sunday Josh Williams, former founder-CEO of Gowalla and now a product manager at Facebook, penned a great writeup on the early years of the Foursquare-Gowalla death match, spanning 2009-2010, before Foursquare emerged as the King of Check-In Mountain.

Now that the table has been set, what’s next for geolocation? Is it all about Foursquare, Yelp, yawn and go home?

I don’t think so. Instead, we’re seeing geolocation begin to splinter into niches and verticals. And, within a couple of years, geolocation capabilities will simply be baked into our everyday on-the-go lives.

From Silicon Valley and elsewhere, startups have emerged with powerful, useful geolocation capabilities central to their business model. As someone who’s as much an entrepreneur as a social strategist, I’m about to cast off into these choppy waters myself with a startup called Placely. (Come add your email addy to be notified when we’re ready to roll!)

Flavors of location: Travel, recommendations, geo-social & more

We’re still in the expansion, experimentation and buyout phase — before the inevitable contraction, consolidation and hand-wringing phase sets in

In surveying the competitive landscape, I’ve been struck by how diverse the geo landscape has become. We’re still in the expansion, experimentation and buyout phase — before the inevitable contraction, consolidation and hand-wringing phase sets in. Every week, it seems, I hear about a new startup doing something interesting with geolocation. (I still wish Gowalla had pivoted instead of selling to Facebook.)

Navigation apps like Waze and mapping sites (Google, Apple, Mapquest, Bing Maps) are all about location, but they’re too obvious to include here.

So what are the new breed of startups using location information in interesting new ways? Continue reading

November 19, 2012

Meograph: Multimedia storytelling made easy


Misha Leybovich, co-founder of Meograph, an interactive storytelling tool (Photo by JD Lasica).

Start-up wants to democratize the creation of interactive video storytelling

Target audience: Journalists, educators, tourism professionals, broadcast news professionals, businesses, nonprofits, cause organizations, Web publishers, general public.

JD LasicaOne appealing storytelling startup that launched four months ago, Meograph, gives online storytelling an added dimension that too often has been missing: context.

With Meograph, you can create what co-founder/CEO Misha Leybovich calls “4D storytelling” through a simple interface that lets users add images, video and text to a story they want to tell. It’s free.

“The big vision is that we want to democratize the creation of interactive video storytelling,” Misha said over coffee at ING Cafe in San Francisco earlier this month.

Today if you have a story to tell, you can publish a video to YouTube and write a blog post about it, but it starts to get funky if you want to add a lot of photos or tell how the story evolves over time. Meograph lets you create and share interactive stories that contain combine video with maps, a timeline and links, filling in that often missing context of where and when. Continue reading