Netflix Prize

This must be one of the most blogged about stories of the last week. But I’m going to do it anyway because I think it’s really interesting and it spans the worlds of geekery and marketing perfectly…

Netflix are offering $1,000,000 to someone who can come up with a way of improving their recommendations engine. All you have to do is increase the accuracy of their recommendations engine by 10%…

A really smart, noisy promotion. Not sure how it works in terms of driving sign-ups, but in terms of making Netflix a very very talked about (and innovative) brand it works a treat. I was thinking to myself what a Marketing 2.0 type idea it was.

But, thanks to the collective smarts of the blogosphere I’ve changed my mind a bit. As pointed out on the O’Reilly Radar, if they’d just opened up their API in the first place so that people could do interesting stuff with it, the million bucks could probably have been saved and they might already have the answer they’re looking for.

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Flickr Mashups

I’m pretty sure I’m way behind the curve on these (as per usual). But here’s a couple of amazing uses of the Flickr API (if you don’t know what an API is, this might help. Or then again, it might leave you baffled).

tagnauticaTagnautica – A really lovely way of navigating related tags in ‘FlickrSpace’. It’s just one of those interfaces that is so simple and just really really nice to use. You just need one search to start to explore the world of photo tags. Love it.

flaprFlapr – A flash based interface for Flickr. Don’t get me wrong. I really like the normal Flickr interface, I think it’s great. But these guys have done a really nice flash alternative. It feels snappy and responsive, and just, well…different. Try it, you might like it.

FlickrFlingFlickrFling – An online application that converts an RSS feed into images pulled from Flickr. I can’t really see the use for it, but once I started playing with it I was strangely compelled. Read more about it.

Taken from Wired’s Top 10 Flickr Mashups – there’s a few other sweet ones in there, but these three were new to me.

Run London – RouteFinder

run london

Funnily enough a second post about an AKQA piece of work in one day, they must be doing something right. And in this case they really are: Run London – RouteFinder. An extension of the undoubtedly great brand property Run London, this time a trendy mash-up with Google maps.

But this isn’t just a fashionable me-too, this is a really really smart utilisation of Google’s mapping API. It allows users to overlay and share their running routes. You can search for routes by postcode, type of terrain, whether it’s well lit at night and more.

Nice work.