The annotated world

Tweet: A view of our annotated world: Hyperlocal is what’s around me and how I search that

There are eight million stories in the naked city and soon every one of them will be available on your phone through visual, aural, and geographic search and augmented reality in our newly annotated world.

Every address, every building, every business has a story to tell. Visualize your world that way: Look at a restaurant and think about all the data that already swirls around it — its menu, its reviews and ratings and tags (descriptive words), its recipes, its ingredients, its suppliers (and how far away they are, if you care about that sort of thing), its reservation openings, who has been there (according to social applications), who do we know who has been there, its health-department reports, its credit-card data (in aggregate, of course), pictures of its interior, pictures of its food, its wine list, the history of the location, its decibel rating, its news…

And then think how we can annotate that with our own reviews, ratings, photos, videos, social-app check-ins and relationships, news, discussion, calendar entries, orders…. The same can be said of objects, brands — and people.

Thinking about Google’s synchronicity made me turn search on its head in my head. Rather than having to query a data base — how aughties that is – we will be able to point our phone — or whatever we call it — at anyone, anything, or anyone and get its story or ask about it or tell our own story about it. The challenge — which Google, among others, is attacking — is to organize all that annotation around the place, thing, or person.

Local news organizations — if they were truly local — should want to do the same thing: organizing a community’s information so the community can organize itself. I call that, too, journalism. They are losing that opportunity to Google and Yelp (which this weekend was to be part of Google and then was not) and Foursquare — or at least they are losing the opportunity to work with and exploit what those companies are building, the next view of local. That’s the real definition of hyperlocal: what’s happening around me right now.

Witness these videos (via the Digital Strategy Blog [in German]):

About places:

And where you are:

And people:

And (from me): things and the communities that exist around them:

This is the new way I want to look at search: not to search a data base but to search my world, to see what is around me in new ways because I can.