Where HotPotato Fits (and why an acquisition should be about more than talent)

The rumor mill is swirling that Facebook is about to buy HotPotato, and that the acquisition will be all about talent. That’d be a shame, because although it has yet to pick up steam, HotPotato fills a killer space in the marketplace of social interaction. Here’s how I see a few small parts of “social” evolving and why HotPotato’s concept will be an important part of that.
Continue reading “Where HotPotato Fits (and why an acquisition should be about more than talent)”

We launched The Ingredient Finder

Hey all! I’m happy to announce the beta of The Ingredient Finder, which is focused on connecting home chefs with great hard-to-find ingredients from around the world.

The team has been working for about a year now to gather some great ingredients, develop relationships with chefs, and more. We’ve got a few hundred really special spice blends, oils, condiments, etc, and we’re adding more every day.

Anyway, if you love cooking check it out. The site needs a lot of polish, but we’re hard at work!

Creating Civic Value and Strengthening NYC’s Communities

So I’ve decided to stop publishing CitizeNYC’s news blog, and I’d like to explain my thinking.

First, I want to be clear that our goal on CitizeNYC was never to be just another news blog in New York City, because as a city we’ve already got some good ones.

Instead, we wanted to form a community hub to encourage people to connect with their neighbors, discuss local issues, and create civic value in their neighborhoods. Creating civic value is a problem I’ve been focused on for a long time, first at Keystone Politics, then in Congress, and then in the Bloomberg administration.

CitizeNYC was my latest attempt, birthed because a lot of the projects I proposed within the Bloomberg administration were shelved for being politically scary, which was a key reason I left government service.

In any case it’s a tough nut to crack, and I’ve paid close attention to Everyblock, SeeClickFix, Outside.In, and a bunch of other startups looking to localize information. They all have merits, and they’ve all made progress, but they share is a lack of motivating context and the necessary information for citizens and their neighbors to improve communities. Continue reading “Creating Civic Value and Strengthening NYC’s Communities”

How Budget Can Fix Their Customer Experience

So, Budget Truck and I have put our bad experience to rest. I’m not totally satisfied, but hey, that’s life.

But being a user experience consultant, I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer some advice to Budget for the future. Because I’m not the only one having issues with them. And as nice as social media outreach is, it’s a band-aid if you’re not fixing the underlying problems, of which I think there are three. Continue reading “How Budget Can Fix Their Customer Experience”