Tag: Business »
Foursquare is a great app for messing around with and letting friends know where you are and what's going on. That geo-spatial technology could be used for much more useful means, however. How about as a business networking tool for when you're at a conference or simply flying out from LAX and want to hook up with some like minded business people? That might sound a little like a form of dating app but networking is extremely important in all walks of business. Recently released app, CanWeNetwork, hopes to take out much of the stress of meeting up with folks.
The app works using a LinkedIn login to ensure that its users can find like minded people around them, whether they happen to be. Users can then introduce themselves through the app before physically meeting up. Using some quite impressive matching algorithms, the app finds matches according to skills, experience, interests, education, location and personality.
It's clever stuff and having used it, I can confidently say that it found some appropriate matches for me. I can only imagine how much more useful it would become in a large public arena. Besides being able to see where the person is located at the current time, it's very simple to connect via LinkedIn through the app.
We checked in with company evangelist James Sinclair to learn more about CanWeNetwork and plans going forward.
148apps: What was the inspiration behind making the app?
James Sinclair: The inspiration behind this technology is that there are so many people that cross our paths every day that could be so relevant, so helpful, that we are just a second – or a chance opportunity – away from meeting. Our founders are road warriors and hardcore data scientists who looked at this as a problem to solve. They believe the evolution that this market - of business intelligence between people - was a great opportunity to solve a real world problem in an underserved marketplace. It’s also an incredible journey of learning why people get on or why people work well together. This has been a big evolution of ideas, a few pivots, some hurdles and all the time building an engine first, a platform first as we identify the verticals and marketplaces for which it is viable.
148apps: How long did the matchmaking algorithm take to work out?
James Sinclair: We spent nearly a year building our recommendation engine. It's at the heart of everything we do so it had to be amazing. Whilst a majority of users only care about the answer of "good" or "bad" match, and technically we could have shipped earlier with a less accurate or less complex engine, we are not trying to be a social network; we are trying to be a utility/tool and that requires delivering the right answer out the gate. We are a decision science company not an app company, and the real answer is we have not worked it out, it never stops, machine learning constantly trying to better itself, learn from the data, understand the reasoning and deliver strong results to our users. Usage drives intelligence.
148apps: Are there any plans to introduce other social network integration such as Facebook or Twitter?
James Sinclair: For us, we are thrilled to be part of the LinkedIn ecosystem. It is the largest, most robust and most intelligent business network on the planet and therefore makes it the first step on this journey for us. It is currently only one of the many data sets we pull, it just happens to be the only public one. We are actively looking at other networks, cross network integration and so forth, but we are very happy with the results we are currently getting that we are not racing to add more.
CanWeNetwork is available now for free. Why not let us know how you get on with finding appropriate matches?
This week at 148Apps.com, Carter Dotson asked the question that so many iPad owners have thought to themselves: "Why can't I work from just my iPad?"
"I’m sick of desktops, laptops, and netbooks. The iPad is lightweight, has great battery life, and I don’t have to take it out of my bag when I’m flying. Most of the work that I do is writing, covering iOS and Android, so it seems appropriate to primarily do this work from mobile devices, right? That’s what I want, but there’s still just so many shortcomings that keep it from being a regular reality.
"What I find is that for basic tasks, the iPad is great. I like the focus that the iPad’s limitation of running a single app on screen at a time provides, especially for writing. I use a portable Bluetooth keyboard, and while it’s not full-size, the benefits I get from being forced to focus on what I’m writing is a huge benefit. As well, with the customer support job I work with that uses Zendesk, I discovered that it’s actually quite easy to do it efficiently through Safari and the Zendesk mobile app. I didn’t feel like I was any less productive in working from the iPad than I do when I work from my Mac in this case. But it’s the exception to the rule."
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon at GiggleApps.com took a trip to the zoo via ABC ZooBorns: "My son, a fan of these other apps, was excited to hear about ABC ZooBorns, asking me about a list of his favorite animals, all of which are included – much to my son’s excitement. I too enjoy the list of animals included – be it more traditional zoo animals, such as tigers or zebras, but also including some unique choices such as Ural owl, wombat or quokka. We do love to look at these animals as babies, especially those are simply precious to look at such as baby Gorillas or Elephants."
Finally, AndroidRundown.com featured a story about a fascinating new KickStarter project named InstaCube. Joseph Bertolini writes, "It streams photos directly from any user’s Instagram account and displays them on a large 6.5″ LCD touchscreen. Display those photos from the park yesterday or randomly check in on some friends, because what good are those photos if they are stuck on a tiny phone screen all the time. Probably the greatest element of InstaCube is its ability to stay away from being one dimensional by including full access to Instagram. Doing this allows for photo browsing, ‘liking’ of photos, and InstaCube will even display live photos of sunrises and sunsets from around the world."
Summer's heading to a close, but we still have so much more to offer across the 148Apps network. Keep track of all the latest happenings, as well as reviews and contests, by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook. You'll be glad you did.
This week at 148Apps.com, we geared up for the London Olympics with a Favorite Five list of summer games apps. Site editor Rob LeFebvre writes, "With the 2012 Summer Olympics headed to London starting July 27th, it’s night time we took a look at some great apps to use to watch and keep track of the happenings in the UK this year. Today, we’ll take a gander at five useful apps that will help you do just that."
Over at GiggleApps.com, Amy Solomon took a closer look at This Book Is About To Explode. She writes, "This Book Is About To Explode is an interesting interactive storybook with fun puzzle elements that children and their adults will enjoy. This fun sci-fi story centers around Tiki-Zin3, a robot whose job is to search for alien life – ironic because mischievous aliens, in the interest of making their existence known, explode bombs which send Tiki-Zin3 to different locations out into space. Although this character expresses displeasure about being blown to different locations, I am glad to see that the enjoyment children experience from pressing the button to explore the scenes from this book is not a set-up to be terribly sadistic as Tiki-Zin3 makes comments such as not having the time to take a vacation within the place he has just landed, keeping this story light and fun without making children feel too bad for causing these explosions."
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson reported on AppBot. Dotson says, "Filter Squad has launched a service to help developers keep track of user reviews, called AppBot. Based off of an internal project that has been expanded and released to the public, this can help developers keep track of the popular opinion on their apps.
AppBot sends a daily digest of the latest user reviews for a developer’s app, allowing them to get a feeling for what their users are saying on a regular basis. For example, if a new version of iOS launches, and 1-star reviews are saying that the app is crashing, then the developer has a point of entry to troubleshoot. Or, common complaints or request made in reviews can be more easily tracked in this daily digest format."
And that just about wraps up this past week! Join us on Twitter and Facebook to keep track of the latest app news as it happens, plus get in on contests, giveaways, promos and more. See you next week!