The panel participants had a opportunity to discuss their company and products, and also voice some opinions. The panelists were: James Tunik the CEO of Mapcidy; Dennis Crowley the Co-Founder of hot start-up Foursquare; Polly Lieberman, VP at Buzzd; and Brad Rosen the Founder of Prximity.
However this is where I thought there might have been a disconnect between the topic and the panel — I do not really see these companies as being hyperlocal. Sure they are local-based guides, and each offer their own ways to gather and display information about where you are right now, but they do not present the hyper-local qualities of our two NY entries, outside.in or Patch.
With that behind me, I have to say that Mapcidy may be the closest to a hyperlocal implementation based on Tunik’s description of the planned launch on September 10. The plan is to gather data as it is published and build a layer on top of a Google Maps API. Foursquare seems to be the most fun, and likely the best chance to deliver the ad dollars that are missing from this business. The issue there appears to be scalability, though to be fair this has always been an issue with rolling out local sites. Buzzd seems to be approaching this more from the mobile web side, which is in-line with Lieberman’s comment that the mobile apps business is nothing but a phase the mobile industry is going through. She thought that apps go back to the days that applications where distributed on CD-ROM and ran as a standalone executable. Soon enough the apps will be standardized to run using a mobile browser. In the words of Rosen, Prximity is looking to be our virtual concierge with the ability match events to our interests, location and free time. It’s certainly very early in their development, so let’s give them a chance to evolve, but you can test their beta.
The next step is to sign up for these applications and see how each delivers. I’ll follow-up down the road after I get some testing under my belt.