Hardly wondered what sort of segue was necessary to link to Philips innovation, but wondered what thought might be around this bright idea;-)
Funded as part of the Knight New Challenge grant last year, the OpenBlock initiative is basically trying to exploit the hyperlocal news market through a crowdsourced and social media augmented application that functions as an open data portal. It’s innovative in that it offers a tripartite approach appealing to consumer, reporters and sponsors, but does it result in more informed and engaged communities? There’s a very limited functional demo (alas just for Boston, MA) but it does give an idea of the SM augmented mashup combined with linked open data within an ecosystem that supports and cultivates community opinion and contribution. It’s an intriguing initiative in the whole. While much of the original intent seems to have simply been around geolocating news so that you could get dense happenings about your own locality, its has subsequently expand its brief to not just disseminate but start to collect reactions to the hyperlocal news.
What I am additionally interested in is the commentary to this initiave and the thoughts raised around the challenges in actually making this initiative happen – right down to the premium wages demanded by the techniciansn that work with specific aspects of this technology. How does this change the way we see the world, gain awareness of what’s going on in our community, interact and share our opinions or advance the deployment of apps leveraging linked open data? Does it do any of these things? Can it scale? Do we suffer for not having enough Yelp recommendations in Dublin – and how can the current state of gathering recommendations though location-based apps such as FourSquare be kickstarted to reach some appropriate local mass?