Locu Digs Deep into PBR Data: Hipsters Unphased
Hipsters and PBR, two peas in a pod. That’s what everyone says, anyway, but is it true? At Locu, we’ve done a bit of research about these things.
While more than 15,000 merchants have signed up for Locu since we launched over the holidays, we’ve indexed nearly one million venues since Locu started. We do this by crawling thousands of merchant websites a day through a technology pipeline that we’ve previously described. As we near a million menus, we’ve learned our fair share of menu-related factoids. Our aggregate price list data allows us to answer lots of important questions for merchants, but also a few fun ones along the way.
In this post, we’ll see what our data can tell us about the fascinating world of PBR. Keep an eye on the Locu Blog for an upcoming series of deeper data analyses.
2013: The Year of Local Business Software
Happy New Year! We at Locu are excited to continue our quest to help local merchants run more successful businesses, leveraging technology and data.
It’s been great to see so many restaurants and local businesses use Locu to create and share beautiful menus and price lists on their websites, on mobile and on Facebook. Just as 2012 was coming to an end (and less than three months after launching Locu), the 10,000th business joined: Pig & Finch in Leawood, Kansas.
In the last couple of weeks we’ve been hard at work to make Locu even better for local businesses, like Pig & Finch. We will be rolling out several exciting new features in the coming weeks - leveraging the latest technology developed by Locu’s team.
Jeremy Levine puts it well in his recent interview in the WSJ:
The innovations in software UI, online distribution and application development will drive massive new software offerings for small businesses. Historically, only the world’s largest corporations have been able to afford most productivity-enhancing software, but now even the smallest businesses will have a chance to get in on the action.
We couldn’t agree more. Have a great 2013 everyone!
7 Reasons to Nominate Locu for Crunchies “Best Technology Achievement” Award 2012
Few people are aware of the huge technology achievement that has happened here at Locu this year – our engineering team has been killing it in 2012, building the world’s largest real-time repository of local business offerings data and I think they deserve the nomination for the 2012 Crunchies “Best Technology Achievement”. Here’s why!
The Human Side of Crowdsourcing
We often hear about the wonderful benefits that crowdsourcing brings to businesses, and Locu certainly benefits from the flexibility and power of human computation. What’s often not discussed is the human element of crowd work, and the effects crowdsourcing has on crowd workers, both good and bad. This weekend, we received a wonderful story from two of our hundreds of contractors that we wanted to share with you (with Ryan and Desiree’s permission of course).
Crowd Task Decomposition: How Locu Breaks it Down for the Crowd
by Matt Greenstein and Adam Marcus
A lot of what we do at Locu is automated by machines, but a lot of it also requires a human touch. When we require a human touch at scale, we crowdsource the work to a set of trusty crowd workers. In this post, we’ll shed some light on how Locu designs tasks for our crowd workers. Through these tasks, we work with crowd workers all over the world to perform structured data extraction on price lists like menus.
We’ve been hard at work tinkering and tweaking to make Locu more intuitive and more responsive to what our users have told they need. Today we’re excited to announce the release of our newest and shiniest improvements and tools. Don’t feel like reading? Take a spin yourself.
TechCrunch Disrupt 2012 Hackathon Highlights
We at Locu feel fortunate to have been a partner and sponsor of this year’s hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. The event marked a huge milestone in Locu’s history — the official launch of our API. Locu’s database is a compilation of price list and business listings information collected from hundreds of thousands of local businesses, such as restaurants. Hackers were instantly drawn to our vast set of data related to the menu items, products, and services that we have aggregated. So much that Locu’s API ended up most popular data API and the second most integrated API overall (only second to our friends at Twilio, see more stats here). We were pleasantly surprised by the creativity showcased in the many apps built on top of our API.
Over the past few months hundreds of restaurants and local merchants using MenuPlatform have been providing us with valuable feedback and suggestions on how to make our product better.
In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out a number of new features and a brand-new user interface. Today, we start with a first set of improvements and are renaming the product to “Locu”. That’s right: MenuPlatform is now Locu!
Impressions from July hackathon
For those of you who follow our back-end stallion, Kainar Kamalov (@kkamalov), you noticed a series of twitpics between July 19th and 20th documenting an ever-increasing collection of caffeine-based drinks on his desk at our SF office:
“The steam to power the dream”
What you weren’t able to see was the intense competition or amazing results from the first ever intra-Locu hackathon. Although our team is still small, the products developed in 24 short hours were, in a word, massive. Each project made me both proud to be a part of the team and tremendously excited about Locu’s future in the local space (and beyond).