Monthly Archives January 2012

Explore Foursquare with Infochimps

Today, Foursquare announced the launch of a web version of Explore, their tool for discovering interesting places.  Leveraging the power of 1.5 billion checkins, this recommendation engine does not spit out one -size-fits-all answers.  Instead, it intelligently compares your own check-in history with those of your friends and others to help you answer questions like…

  • What’s the best sushi restaurant in my town that I haven’t been to before?
  • What food trailer on East 6th Street will offer me the fastest service at 1am when I have had too much to drink and need a delicious mobile food option NOW?
  • Where can I get Golden Monkey beer near the Infochimps HQ during happy hour?

foursquareexplore 1024x601 Explore Foursquare with Infochimps

Foursquare Explore is a great illustration of a favorite saying of our CTO, Flip Kromer – “the solution to the too much data problem is more data!”  With the massive amount of check-in data and comments/tips left by Foursquare users, we can suddenly begin to get reliable answers to our strangely difficult to answer everyday questions.

Interested in building a tool similar to Foursquare Explore or augmenting an existing places recommendation engine?  You too can unlock the power of Big Data with some of these great Infochimps APIs:


Are You Better Than the Average Man?

averageamerican Are You Better Than the Average Man?

Unsurprisingly, Americans (and in the case of this infographic, American men) are not as healthy as we think we are.  Frugal Dad not only shows off how unhealthy we are, but also offers some recommendations for how we can get on the road to better than average.

averageman Are You Better Than the Average Man?



The Single Malt Map

Happy Friday, all!  In celebration of surviving your first week back at work in 2012, we’d like to share this handy single malt whisky flavor map.  And in case you were curious, this community manager likes her scotch smoky and light with a single ice cube.  How do you like yours?

6624330855 398e7586e6 b The Single Malt Map

Program or Be Programmed

In most of the country, high unemployment rates continue to plague individual’s lives and the overall health of our economy.  Average length of unemployment throughout 2011 rose, leaving the typical unemployed person out of work for an average of 40 weeks.  Obviously, there’s a need for an immediate and effective solution.

However, walk into any tech conference, startup job fair or Big Data meetup and it becomes readily apparent that there are jobs out there, but there aren’t enough people with the right skills.  With their ingenious and well-timed project, Code Year, Codecademy aims to teach technical skills to the masses via interactive programming lessons emailed weekly.  The promise is that participants will be up and programming within the year.

We suspect most folks reading this blog have some serious technical chops, but if you aren’t amongst the Rubyists and PHP-junkies, this is a great way for you to get started.  And if you’ve got the skills, we suggest you share with your friends.

It’ll be interesting to track the success of this project (how many people will actually learn to code by the end of 2012?) and see if a similar model can be applied to other job skills.

 Program or Be Programmed



Happy Iowa Caucus Day… Why Do We Care?

The hotly anticipated Iowa Caucus takes place tonight at 7pm CT.  Don’t know much about what the caucus actually entails?  It works like a primary elections, except there are no official ballots.  Voters write the name of their chosen candidate on a piece of paper, drop it in a ballot box, and go on with their evenings.

Historically, the Iowa Caucus has not proven itself an accurate indicator of who eventually wins that year’s Presidential election.  In fact, the only candidate to win an Iowa Caucus and go on to win the presidency was George W. Bush in 2000.  Other winners of the Iowa Caucus have include Mike Huckabee and Bob Dole (twice!).

So, how in the world could a political spectator pick a winning candidate with so few options out there for accurate predictors?  Well, you may recall our posts about how Twitter Predicts GOP Frontrunners or how fundraising may be more correlated to election victors than poll numbers.

Today’s infographic from social media statisticians, Socialbakers, examines Facebook to determine which candidates have the biggest, most active fan bases.  Barack Obama’s fan count trumps the total fan count of the entire field of GOP candidates.  He dominates in other measures as well, but grassroots support for Ron Paul is evident with Paul owning 18.7% of all “likes” and comments (almost double Romney’s 10.3%) and boasting a maximum potential reach of 65 million people (again, almost double Romney’s 35%).

Some other interesting bits of data are uncovered in this Facebook comparison of candidates.  Who’s fan base talks the most amongst themselves?  The answer: Michelle Bachmann.  (Not sure that is really a measure for success persay…)  And does Rick Santorum’s nearly 25% surge in fan growth over the past month signal a real change in his campaign when he still only has 3.2% of Mitt Romney’s Facebook fan base?

Check out the data and make your own conclusions.  We think this is just the beginning of a new paradigm for tracking candidate popularity and predicting elections.

us elections 2012 infographics Happy Iowa Caucus Day... Why Do We Care?

Be SMART with Your New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make a resolution or two for this year?  Like with all goals, it’s good to be SMART and aim for things that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound – it makes actually reaching your goals a lot more realistic and can help keep you from being amongst the 25% of resolution-makers who don’t make it past the first week.

AVisualGuidetoNewYearsResolutions 4efdf5cdb8c9e w630 Be SMART with Your New Years Resolutions

by visually via