The Localmind Blog

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Localmind Acquired by Airbnb!

Localmind + Airbnb
photo by Marcell Puzsar

We’re thrilled to share some rather exciting news: Localmind has been acquired by Airbnb!

We started Localmind just over two years ago in the chill of a Montreal December. These have been the most incredible years of our lives. We built a company and product that we couldn’t be more proud of, we assembled a team that is like family, and we have been extremely lucky to find a passionate community of members that have supported us on this journey.

Localmind came out of a simple question: why is it that you know more about what’s happening on the other side of the world than what you know about the place across town? Our mission is to connect you to a human being — in that place, right now — that can share what you need to know. By connecting online, you can get offline as fast as possible.

Authentic, local knowledge is what our members want the most, and Localmind connects you to it anywhere, in real-time. We are exhilarated to join Airbnb, because they create authentic, local experiences better then anyone else in the world.

This is an excited time for the Localmind team, but we are humbled and grateful to the many, many friends, partners and family that have helped us get here. To those people — to you — thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Localmind was a smash success at SXSW this year, and we have you, our friends and users, to thank. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Localmind is built on the assumption that people are good and that we are eager to help others when we can. Despite all the noise and insanity at SXSW, our users stopped to offer a helpful answer more than 700 times over the course of the past week, and that’s only around Downtown Austin! Seeing this warmed our hearts and reaffirmed that we’re truly onto something special here. Thank you!

Stay tuned for more exciting things from Team Localmind in the coming months …

(PS: Did you notice the new feature that shows you who has liked your answer? Check it out, and spread the love!)

Below are some of our favorite Localmind connections from SXSW — only a few of the 700 answers (for 500 questions that were asked — OMG — and one even had over 40 answers within an hour!) that we sent to users in Austin:

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Localmind Rocking SXSW!

Team Localmind is on the ground in Austin for SXSW, and we’ve quickly learned why they call this “Geek Spring Break.” But despite the lightning and rain, the epic badge pickup lines, the lack of phone reception … we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

Most exciting is the incredible activity we’re seeing through Localmind. The downtown Austin area is covered with Localmind users! There are very few places you can go without having a Localmind user already there. And the Q&A we’re seeing is incredible. Check out the screenshots below.

We’ll be here until Wednesday, so if you want to connect — we have cool stickers and t-shirts we want to give you! — just drop us a line at sxsw@localmind.com.

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Localmind @ SXSW - The Party Comes To You!

We launched Localmind 1.0 one year ago at SXSW, and it went well. Since it’s such a special place for us, we knew we had to go back in force and do something awesome. We’re excited to announce two remarkable updates to Localmind launching at SXSW this year:

1. All Parties and Events Happening at SXSW - Live in Localmind!

Connect to people already at the party right from Localmind! Find out what’s going on inside, which have the shortest lines, and where the best drinks are. Now you can be at a thousand places at once.

How does it work? Simple. Open up Localmind, and look for the new teal markers. Those are events happening right now. Tap on the marker and ask your question. The question will go to Localmind users there right now, tapping into the real-time local community that has formed around Localmind. Omniscience, delivered.

2. Localmind has teamed up with the {RV}IP!

The {RV}IP Karaoke Lounge is the most amazing RV on Earth, roving around town delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Localmind will be your best way to track the location of the {RV}IP day and night and find out what’s happening inside. It’s going to be a freaking blast!

(Open up the app during SXSW Interactive, and you’ll see the {RV}IP. You can’t miss it…)

Make sure to update Localmind on or after March 8th to see the new features. The entire Localmind team will be at SXSW, so if you’re going, let us know!

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Localmind Stories: Tiago on Location-Based Learning

Some of the most interesting Localmind interactions in the most unlikely places. This story comes from Tiago

I bet you never thought about using Localmind for discussing business strategies. Well, me neither … and yet that’s what happened to me last week.

A couple of hours after I checked in at the office on Friday (I work for IBM) a question popped up. I was expecting it to be from some visitor asking if there was an available wi-fi connection or looking for some tips around places to eat near by … but instead, the question was the following: “Why isn’t IBM producing personal computers anymore?”

It was really amusing to read (and answer) because it was a totally unexpected kind of question and a good example of how people find creative ways to merge things that are not usually matched (business issues with location-based services).

So what was the answer?

In case you have the same curiosity, the answer I provided was around the company decision to focus on value-added products/services, selling therefore its PC business to another company. 

Funny fact: a colleague actually wondered if the question had been brought up by a competitor … but then I thought: this is public information anyway and, well, an IT player that still doesn’t have 7-year-old-information maybe isn’t that much of a threat.  :-)

In brief: no meal suggestion or hidden purposes behind the question, just a pure and simple hunger for knowledge … that’s what I call a “location-based learning”!

Localmind: Satisfying the hunger for knowledge (via valued-added services) since 2010!

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Localmind Stories: Tommy - Locals Finding New Places

San Francisco local Tommy Leep turned to Localmind on the go to help him and his friends quickly find the perfect breakfast spot:

Last Saturday morning, I took the 22 up to the Marina with a couple of friends. We were going to brunch. Thing was, we didn’t know where yet.

We just wanted to be at the top of the city so we could cruise by Chrissy Field and enjoy the sun. I fired up Localmind while on the bus.  A few minutes later I got a recommendation from an expert in the area to try Baker Street Bistro. It’s a French cafe with patio seating, which was perfect for the weather.

The Eggs Copenhagen were delicious, and the service was great. Localmind for the just-in-time win!

A great day made greater with help from the helpful San Francisco Localmind community!

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Localmind Stories: Francis - Where to Next?

While out at dinner with his fiancée in Montreal, Francis turned to Localmind figure out where to go next: 

My fiancée and I were out for a night in Downtown Montreal. Having been out of the trendy clubs and places for years now (4 kids!), we had no idea where to go. During supper, I sent out a question asking for the best lounge/bar in Old Montreal, and we got 3 solid answers within 30 minutes. So after we finished eating we headed out to a lounge that was just around the corner (and had been recommended twice via Localmind). We ended up having a great evening at l’Assommoir (they serve awesome drinks, over 250!) which I’m positive we wouldn’t have tried if it weren’t for Localmind!

We hope your fiancée was impressed!

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Meet Potsie, The Newest Member of Team Localmind!

Great companies are made up of great people. Finding those great people is hard. Very hard. Sometimes however, serendipity is on your side. A couple of months ago we bumped into Potsie at a hackathon she was participating in here in San Francisco (while we were both loading up on snacks). From that first meeting, to the interview, to the final interview … we had a strong feeling that we found our fifth employee.

Potsie is an insanely talented designer, has shipped her own iOS apps, and has a strange knack for winning hackathons. We’re extremely lucky to have her joining our team, and are excited to put another key puzzle piece in place as we continue making Localmind the most useful app you have on your phone.

Three interesting things about Potsie:

  1. She can’t go on the Bay Bridge (afraid of heights)
  2. Her favorite people are 2 feet tall (her niece and nephew)
  3. She loves Los Angeles (blasphemy here in SF)

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Meet the New Localmind

The biggest update in Localmind history is here! Watch this short demo while trying to keep your jaw from dropping:

What’s New?

Up to now you’ve used Localmind to ask real-time questions about particular places. Localmind 2.0 takes this to a whole new level, unlocking the power to get answers about entire parts of town. By tapping into the collective local knowledge of identified experts, Localmind helps you find out anything you want to know about any place in the world.

You can now use Localmind to help you plan your Friday night, learn about the best places to eat when traveling, or find the most scenic hiking trail in your city.

Have a question about an area? Ask Localmind!

Under the Hood

Behind the shiny exterior lies a bevy of sophisticated reputation and expertise algorithms that route your question in real-time to the local experts most likely to give you the best answer. We’ve spent the past year developing these algorithms while methodically building the platform to prepare for this 2.0 release. Look for future blog posts describing the science in much more detail.

Who Answers My Questions?

Short answer:

Other users just like you!

Long answer:

Localmind is built on the assumption that we all know things that other people find useful, particularly about the places and parts of town we frequent. Every time you answer a question about an area or check in at a place, Localmind learns a bit more about your implicit knowledge. The more knowledge you accrue in an area, the more reputation and expertise Localmind awards you for it. When other users have questions about those areas, Localmind may send them to you, the local expert, and give you the opportunity to respond. Over time, Localmind learns what types of questions you’re interested in answering, and stops sending you those that you don’t.

To see where Localmind has recognized you as an expert, check out the “Me” tab. While there, you can now update your profile photo, add a short bio, and more!

We’re extremely excited to be releasing this today, and can’t wait to hear what you think. Let us know by emailing us at feedback@localmind.com, or leaving a comment below.

Download Localmind 2.0 here!

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Meet Nick, Our New Intern!

Localmind for Android users, meet your new best friend:

Nick hails from the wondrous lands of Vancouver, British Columbia where he studies Computer Engineering at The University of British Columbia. His degree program sets aside time to work at a company of his choosing, and, lucky for us, we snagged him. Since moving to San Francisco just last week, he’s been hard at work on the Localmind Android app. Nick is a passionate Android enthusiast and developer, so his #1 focus will be forging an app to make us proud. (His #2 focus will be trying to learn the ways of wacky Americans.) He’s already hard at work. We expect big things from Nick and are super excited to have him on the team!

Three interesting things about Nick:

  1. He’s a golfer
  2. He builds robots for fun
  3. His first visit to California was the day he moved here to work for Localmind!

P.S. A big THANK YOU to Atlee, David, and Michael at the C100 for helping us find Nick!