Google fires a shot at Yelp; brings Hotpot recommendations to Maps

A screenshot of Google Maps running on Windows...

Image via Wikipedia

Throwing caution to the wind and firing a shot over the bow of Yelp, Google has just announced that it has implemented Hotpot recommendations into Google Maps for your desktop. While it’s not yet perfect, according to the Google Lat Long Blog, “we’ll be building it out over time, making it even easier for you to keep track of your friends’ activities”.

Where will this get really interesting? Look at Google’s near-field communication that it has embedded into the Nexus S. Imagine going into a local venue and having your phone recognize where you are. You’re then given the chance to put a Hotpot recommendation into the system and your friends can immediately see what you think of the place.

Of course, that part is somewhat in the future. For now, it’s still a great recommendation system (and better in some ways than Yelp, even, by our standards) and well worth a try. Want to give it a shot, just head over to Google Hotpot and sign yourself up.

What do we want? A newly-updated version of Google Maps with Hotpot overlays, please.

This is HUGE. Ask me why… 😀

2011 Trends Driving Rural Small Business

Go to the source to read the article: smallbiztrends.com

Two of my favorite points? “Small town people are carrying smartphones, playing location based games, and using Facebook even while out of the house. Visitors and travelers are using Google Local to find businesses in even the smallest of towns. Travelers and locals review small town businesses on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon. All of this is happening now. Smart small town businesses are taking advantage of this, and 2011 should see more businesses in small towns offering coupons and deals through the established players like Google and Facebook. Mobile-friendly information and QR Codes will pop up, even in remote locations.” and “The wave of global outsourcing may have crested, and small town business can benefit by capturing more of these jobs through ruralsourcing. Rural service firms claim a number of advantages over global firms: shorter supply chains, better data security, intellectual property protection, cultural compatibility, and convenient time zones. Costs are lower than traditional urban firms, reflecting the lower rural cost of living. Those small town companies capable of partnering with large corporate clients stand to gain new business throughout 2011.” Smart rural economic development corporations, government leaders and business owners will pay heed…