Around the Corner

Bookmark and share places around you

Location bookmarking app Grafetee

The problem: where is that super-nice sushi place again? Don’t we have an art exhibit tomorrow night? That kind of questions comes back a lot. But finding the answer can be long and painful.

The solution: bookmarking real places – not websites – in a mobile app: Grafetee. Once you found back that restaurant, or the adress of this party, you can easily share it with your circle of friends.
Business managers can also offer discounts, or a full map of their stores.

What’s the catch?: why not use Foursquare, Yelp or TripAdvisor instead? Grafetee is a much more private-oriented app, closer to a personal adress book and you can share your good spots in a spread-the-word kind of way.

Visit Grafetee

The aggregation of multiple services (Foursquare and Yelp by default, but you can add more) makes the app more complete.
No need to switch back and forth between apps, you can find it all in one.

The user interface is still very geeky.
Not very attractive nor easy to understand, it makes first steps with the app quite difficult ones.

U.S.E.’s take on it

The local apps market competition is fierce. There is an interesting choice here, even if execution is not up to the stakes yet.

While it can be pretty useful to keep the address of rarely attended spots, it will not work for your favorite bars or restaurants. Which will dramatically reduce tips or popularity measures of those spots.

Still, sharing the good spots with friends can be nice: it’s a good way to promote local shops or dinners, as the business model seems to be mainly based on B2B. And it might be the best way for Grafetee to grow their user base on a market very hard to enter in.

Out final take :

  • No way this will work
  • Not betting on it, but the start is interesting
  • Need a bit fixing, but the path is clearly good
  • Where do we sign to invest ?

Our grade : 6/12

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Your Own Edition

Create digital journals with Living Junction

The problem: too much news. Not enough time. Some people do, and share it via Twitter, Facebook, etc. But it’s nowhere near the pleasure to read a magazine or a book, even on an iPad. And going through your entire Twitter timeline is painful.

The solution: a simple newspaper creation tool for anyone to build its own magazine, and share it with its followers. Aggregate content from social networks or create your own, add pictures and a bit of editing, and you’ve got a great magazine you can distribute to anyone accepting to read it (the traffic is not included…).

Who is this for?: hard to tell yet! But curating news is a big trend, and doing it in a more regular and pleasant way than a twitter feed or a Pinterest account, with also more different possibilities, should attract users. Amateurs and pros.

Visit Living Junction

Integrating medias, such as YouTube videos or your own FB pictures is really easy, Tumblr way.
It makes the creation of graphic and well designed pages much more simple!

There is too much you can do. No need to have all the possibilities a real editor offers : the font, the color, the size, for each element of the magazine…
Creating a magazine takes time, and we’d love to see templates and pre-designed pages to do it a lot faster. Sometimes, constraints are good, they enable creativity!

U.S.E.’s take on it

Self edition, or curation, are growing markets, and completely automated technologies like Flipboard or Paper.li are not fullfilling all the needs.

Individuals and pros might very well need for a tool mixing social curation and self edition. And Living Junction may be one of them, especially if they improve the possibility to integrate contents and links from social networks, maybe in a semi-automatic way. Like selecting a few links from your timeline, and sharing them in your LJ magazine.

Out final take :

  • No way this will work
  • Not betting on it, but the start is interesting
  • Need a bit fixing, but the path is clearly good
  • Where do we sign to invest ?

Our grade

7/12

First published in the newsletter #24, on July, the 12th, 2012