Looking in at Outside.in (Part I)

Last November at ILM 08, I got to hear Mark Josephson of Outside.in speak on one of the panels about hyperlocal. After the conference I caught up with Mark and quizzed him on a number of things and below is our conversation. I want to thank Mark for his time and apologize for taking so long to get this post up. There is a lot of great information here so I broke it up into two posts.

Part 1: Outside.in
Q. What is outside.in?
A. Outside.in is a data and technology platform that creates, organizes and distributes hyperlocal media.  We track all the news, blogs and discussions on the web and geotag them.  We then build compelling applications for consumers, publishers and advertisers.

At our core site and via our mobile apps we answer one simple question: “What’s happening right around me?”

We also work with thousands of local content creators to help them promote and distribute their content via our StoryMaps and our network of media partners, which includes companies like MediaGeneral, McClatchy, Boston Herald and more.  We help these media partners get “more local” by creating targeted Neighborhood News pages that organizes the web’s content in tens of thousands of discrete neighborhoods.

We’ve also opened up an API and encourage developers to build upon our data.

Q. How long has it been around?
A. Outside.in launched in spring 2007.

Q. Is outside.in every town or potentially will be in every town in the US?
A. Outside.in is open for business in every state, city, town, neighborhood, intersection and latitude/longitude in the United States.  Some areas are populated with more content than others, but that changes as we add and geotag more sources.

Q. If outside.in is not in my town, how can it get started there?
A. We are in the process of adding content from every town in the country.  If you don’t see sources from your town, drop us a line at help@outside.in and let us know what we should add.  If you are creating local content in your town — blogger or traditional media — submit your feed and get our StoryMaps and other tools at http://www.outside.in/geotoolkit.

Q. Can you tell us about the following items at the site?
The Geotool Kit:
Outside.in’s GeoToolkit is a complete set of tools for local sites to promote and distribute their content.  We create promotion tools like our StoryMaps — embeddable widgets that places your content on a map.  This is “geographic navigation for geographic content.”  We’ve seen great examples of local businesses, like real estate agents, use our StoryMaps to organize and promote their listings.  We also offer a set of geotagging and analytics tools in GeoToolkit.

Outside.in’s Radar is the first truly personalized local media experience.

Radar tells you what’s happening within 1,000 feet of where you are.  It’s an aggregation of all the web’s news, blogs and discussions, but it starts with where you are, not based on what city, town or zip code you are in.  This is a brand new way to discover news — proximity.  You can sign up to track your favorite places and sign up to be alerted when something new happens near you.

Part II tomorrow…

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