Make it Local aims to encourage collaboration between local authorities and digital media developers, to provide innovative, web-based services for their communities.
Make it Local is encouraging local authorities to release publicly-owned data in a linked way which allows developers an opportunity to build new services using the information.
Local authorities hold significant amounts of public dataâ€“ such as transport, carbon emissions, population and crime data â€“ which may help to power a range of useful, digital services. In developing partnerships between local authorities and digital media businesses, NESTA wants to show the value to local authorities of releasing their data to developers who can make use of it.
NESTA is calling for digital agencies with ideas for new applications to approach their local authority and encourage them to enter.
NESTA is offering three local authorities up to Â£30,000 to spend with a digital media business in their area.
Simon Dickson, helpful chap that he is, shows how to generate a constituency map in Google Maps using MySociety’s MaPit.
Here’s a quick example, as much for my own future reference as anyone else’s. Let’s say you wanted to generate a map of a given MP’s constituency – say Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey & Wood Green:
Now we’re waiting again for mobiles, and especially smartphones allied to mobile networks, to catch up with what ambitious startup companies want to do. Apple’s insistence in 2007 that iPhone users should have unlimited data plans yanked the entire mobile business forward about 10 years, and briefly showed us how everything should be working by 2012. No surprise that in recent months the mobile networks, unable to invest fast enough, have been rowing back on the “unlimited data” commitment, taking us back to 2007.
The next big sites won’t be social networks. Of course they’ll have social networking built into them; they’ll come with an understanding of their importance, just as Facebook and Twitter know that search (an idea Google refined) and breaking news (Yahoo’s remaining specialist metier) are de rigueur. Nor will they be existing sites retrofitted to do social networking, despite the efforts of Digg and Spotify.
Good Newsweek article on the Huffington Post, including the fact that it now employs over 170 people, twenty of whom moderate comments. Is that the highest moderation ratio of any company on the planet?
But a closer look at HuffPoâ€™s financials shows just how tough that future is turning out to be. HuffPo has a big audience, but like most Web sites, it canâ€™t monetize it very well. Right now, HuffPo generates just over $1 per reader per year. Thatâ€™s nothing compared with the mainstream-media outlets that HuffPo hopes to displace. Cable-TV networks and print newspapers collect hundreds of dollars per year from each subscriber, and then generate hundreds of millions in ad revenue on top of that. The comparison isnâ€™t perfectâ€”TV and newspapers have higher fixed costs than Web sitesâ€”but it gives you a sense of how radically things are changing.
Yes, money is gushing out of old mediaâ€”nobody knows this better than NEWSWEEK, which is struggling financially and has been put up for sale by its parent, The Washington Post Companyâ€”and some of that money is flowing onto the Internet. But something strange happens to those ad dollars as they make the journey from old media to the Webâ€”somehow, by some weird, bad voodoo, those dollars turn into dimes. Or nickels. Or even pennies. A recent report by eMarketer, a leading researcher of Internet media, says online ad spending will grow more than 10 percent per year over the next few years, approaching $100 billion by 2014. That will still represent only 17 percent of all advertising spending.
Absolutely not. We have nothing against iTunes, itâ€™ll end up there eventually Iâ€™m sure, but it was important for us to do this in as close to a DIY manner as possible. If we were just using iTunes, we couldnâ€™t be doing tie-ins with physical product, monitoring our stats (live), and helping people in real-time when they have a question regarding the service. Being able to do all of those things and having such a transparent format in which to do it has been a dream come true. We all buy stuff on the iTunes store â€“ or AmazonMP3 or whatever â€“ but itâ€™s not THE way artists should be connecting to fans, and itâ€™s certainly not the way someone is going to capture the most revenue on a new release.
Iâ€™m very pleased to announce that mySocietyâ€™s upgraded point and postcode lookup service, MaPit, is public and available to all. It can tell you about administrative areas, such as councils, Welsh Assembly constituencies, or civil parishes, by various different lookups including name, point, or postcode. It has a number of features not available elsewhere as far as I know, including: