Holovaty on the importance of databases
Per Adrian Holovaty, of, among many notable endeavors, EveryBlock, made an appearance in my Digital Media Entrepreneurship class a week or so back and we got to discussing databases and recommendation systems. He told me a bit about a site that he co-founded while in college called Lawrence.com, which is incredibly similar to a project that I'm working on called Collegization.
Basically, both projects aim at getting students into nightlife, while heavily relying on databases of information in order to perform that service, and allowing people to find things that they might like based on location and habits. Both databases include restaurants, venues and events. He told me that the key to running this system, and incorporating a recommendation function into it, is having massive amounts of organized data. Holovaty said that the data, while minute in individual form, is incredibly valuable when amassed for the purposes of Lawrence.com and Collegization. Without these tediously formed databases, it would be impossible for either project to function.