Before being absorbed by the mighty borg that is The Next Web, my colleague Chad Catacchio and I wrote a small but scrappy blog called LocationMeme.
In this blog, we discussed all things location including our belief that “check-ins aren’t just for places anymore.” Going even farther back, I once wrote a post called “The Golden Age of Scrobbling,” that talked about the potential of all sorts of data streams from our day to day lives to be uploaded to a server for later use in fun and interesting ways.
With the launch of Hot Potato 2.0, we now have access to a single, horizontal tool that lets us scrobble – ie log – all kinds of fun data from the music we are listening to, the events we are attending, the books we are reading, the TV shows we are watching, to even the thoughts we are thinking.
Five years from now, when we all have sensors all of our body that makes this scrobbling implicit, we will look back at Hot Potato and laugh at what a clumsy and time intensive tool it is.
But as of today, it’s the best we’ve seen.
I was first introduced to Hot Potato at SXSW this Spring. I was less than impressed. It seemed to be a lot of unfocused collaboration tools being jammed into a conference setting. I didn’t get it.
But what they’ve done with Hot Potato 2.0 is pretty impressive. They’ve seamlessly integrated a number of different verticals – tv, books, places, events, etc. – in a UI that somehow remains pretty simple and clean.
The app is also rocket fast.
Conventional wisdom says that implicit data logging should beat explicit data logging, as it’s easier – Foursquare and others have proven that this is wrong, at least for geolocation (see Chris Dixon’s post on this topic).
Conventional wisdom also says that tiny startups should nail a vertical before going horizontal. This one may not apply either – we’ll see how Hot Potato does against vertical “check in non geo stuff” apps like Fanpulse.
Hot Potato has lots of work in front of them – disambiguation of data alone could be a monumental task.
But they’re off to a very good start.
I think this app could be huge.