Tell’M

Tell’M is an app I’ve been working on in the background for a few weeks. The idea is that it becomes a kind of online version of the announcement pages from the local newspaper but with all the usual web2.o goodness of tagging, data feeds (rss and kml so far) and comments. A location is specified for each new announcement which allows us to produce a rolling map of posts, twittervision style (yes, on a google map, and yes I know, everything I’ve done recently has involved google maps!). I’ve also recently added the ability to associate a photo when making a new announcement: We decided not to let users upload their images to us because there are already tons of sites that do a great job of online photo storage (and who wants to have another place to upload pics to, right?) so instead we let users search flickr by tag, location or flickr username. To do this I’ve used the (very cool) flickr JSON API and I’ve also played around with Google’s picasaweb api to see if I could do something similar with their site.

As well as allowing users to keep up with Tell’M in their favourite feed reader, the rss feeds allow us (or anyone else) to consume Tell’M data in other apps. Along these lines a colleague has already created a widsets application for Tell’M to allow posts (including images) to be viewed on a mobile phone (go to the widsets library and search for “BT”), and I’ve created a google gadget (more on this in a later blog post).

So far this one seems to have generated quite a bit of interest amongst our team and everyone seems to have feature suggestions, which has to be a positive sign. Also, Mike Pegg from the GoogleMapsMania blog covered Tell’M here, and it’s also been featured by BTInnovations.

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