OK, I’m a bit late with this post, but for completeness, here are the short-list and winners of the Localmouth Best Local Limericks Awards 2007:
Localmouth was feeling a bit empty. To help counter that problem I’ve hooked up a number of information feeds from other websites. Localmouth now pulls in listings for local news, events, property, jobs and personal ads. I’ve also added a Google map of the local area.
Here’s how the new local homepage looks.
Listier is not the only new creation here. Localmouth is a new site I’ve set up over the last week which provides a local community homepage for every village, town and suburb in the UK. The residents of each place can use it to share local information such as details of local clubs and things to do in the area. I’m trying to make it as user-friendly as possible so that as many local people as possible are able to contribute information.
A new site has recently joined the mulogy stable. Listier is a bit of a toy thing for the moment, but it does already do something useful. You can create online lists that are visible to everyone. Other people can then contribute to your lists. This could be useful for collaboration between friends or to get extra ideas related to your personal jottings. As a bonus feature, you can vote any item on a list up or down. Lists are automatically ordered based on votes received. The voting system is crude for now but could easily be enhanced if people find this useful.
It’s been a few weeks since my last post, so there’s a fair bit to catch up on. I’ll start with what’s been going on with VillageRatings.
I spent a while grappling with adding a large database of UK placenames and locations to VillageRatings. This turned out to be quite involved, mainly because the dataset I used needed a lot of cleaning-up and tweaking. Issues included converting between grid references and longitude and latitude and spreadsheet software creaking under the strain of a database with tens of thousands of entries. The biggest challenge, though, was dealing with multiple entries for the same place but with slight variations in spelling. Unfortunately, map locations were not unique to a place, so the removal of the duplicates was not easy to automate. Ultimately it taught me the importance of getting good quality input data if you’re dealing with large datasets.
At Internet World, the affable and knowledgeable Simon and Alex (I hope I have the names right) from Nomensa and a very nice chap from Cyber-Duck gave me some great advice for VillageRatings (much of which will be generally applicable) that I hope to put to good use in the months to come.
Here’s the site as they saw it:
Some of the suggestions they had were:
Helpful stuff. It was worth attending Internet World for this feedback alone!
[Incidentally, as well as all this, the guy from Cyber-Duck suggested moving away from Google Maps at some point as apparently Google are going to be putting advertising on their maps sometime soon. He’d got this information second-hand. I rather hope it’s wrong as it’s going to mean revisiting a lot of work. One to check into.]