Factual Speaking at O’Reilly’s Strata Conference

O’Reilly is bringing its big data conference, Strata, to New York City from September 19-23 with the theme “Making Data Work.” The conference features great speakers from organizations such as LinkedIn, Google, The New York Mets, Greylock Partners, IBM, Kaggle, and NASA. Factual’s own Tyler Bell and Leo Polovets will be giving a talk titled “Dedupe, Merge, and Purge: the Art of Normalization” on Thursday 9/22 at 10:40 AM. O’Reilly is generously offering 30% off registration to all three conference tracks to friends of Factual. See Strata’s site to learn more and register.

Crosswalk API

Factual is happy to announce the beta launch of the Factual Crosswalk API, which makes it super easy for developers to translate how Place entities are represented by 3rd party APIs and websites. This is a first in a series of releases to make factual information more accessible and normalize content across the Web.

This is a free API. For now, the launch is US only, but expect the remainder of our 40+ countries to follow shortly.

Factual Crosswalk does four things:

  1. Converts a Factual ID into 3rd party identifiers and URLs
  2. Converts a 3rd party URL into a Factual canonical record
  3. Converts a 3rd party namespace and ID into a Factual canonical record
  4. Provides a list of URLs where a given Factual entity is found on the Internet

This data management API makes working with Places across multiple sites easier — think of this as one component of a Universal Translator for places. Local developers can use Factual Crosswalk to:

  • Create unique Local experiences and applications incorporating the best data and features from multiple social-local platforms and websites
  • Build aggregation services that analyze social activity for the same store or chain
  • Clean and merge Places datasets
  • Enable business owners to see how their brands and stores are represented online

See a quick-and-dirty demo to highlight some of the data available in Crosswalk.

Factual strives to make this data accessible and available, but we’re also keen to tell you where these real-world things are found online. To this end, the Crosswalk API exposes more than 500 million URLs where we have found place references.

To create this resource, we’ve collaborated with some great partners who are helping us maintain their canonical URLs and IDs in Factual. So here’s a shout out to Fwix, Hunch, CityGrid, Citysearch, Urbanspoon, SimpleGeo, Loopt, GrubHub, Gogobot, Openmenu, GreatSchools, Retailigence, HotelsCombined, Menuplatform and Allmenus — many more available namespaces are listed in the documentation. We’re thrilled to have them involved and we’d love to see more — if you are interested in having your URL and/or IDs referenced, please contact us.

More information:
* Contact us to obtain an API key for beta access
* Read the Documentation
* Contact us to add your URLs and IDs to the platform

- Bill Michels, VP Developer Platform

Factual’s Tyler Bell to Speak at TechWeek in Chicago

Tyler Bell, Director of Product at Factual, will be speaking at TechWeek in Chicago on the “Technology of Solving Big Problems” panel. He will be joined by Geoff Domoracki (Co-Founder, CEO of midVentures), Brandon Kessler (CEO of ChallengePost), and Dave Weekly (Founder of PBWorks). The panel will take place on Saturday, July 23 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm in Conference Room C of the Merchandise Mart. The discussion will address the ideas of Open Innovation and Open collaboration, specifically how technology enables people and businesses to contribute to collective innovation and problem solving. As Factual’s data sets are the distilled result of billions of machine- and user-inputs, we should have much to contribute, and certainly just as much to learn.

Startup Fitness Advice from Battle-Hardened Entrepreneurs

Let’s face it: the quality that makes entrepreneurs great is the same one that can turn them into overworked slobs. Most entrepreneurs are driven by an intense passion for one thing or the desire to achieve one goal, be it the creation of the most-loved app in the world or of a fast-growing, sustainable company. Each is a geek at heart who is motivated by rabid fans, the popular girl who wouldn’t look twice at him in high school being on his arm, and the addiction and adrenaline of the rocket ship. If you have a start-up, here are a few tips to keep you and your employees healthy, happy, balanced, and good-looking.

1) Make “downward dog” mandatory: provide free weekly yoga classes to help your employees embrace the value of “Namaste” and remain centered, balanced, and flexible.

2) Develop a running group. People who run together stay together. Get your employees outside and sweating instead of snacking and sitting.

3) Institute recess: in our hectic lives, we lose our sense of play. Encourage your employees to take 15 minutes a day for ping-pong, headstands, pull-ups, mini CrossFit workouts, etc…this is not in place of your normal workout/exercise routine of course.

4) Stock the kitchen with healthy, organic foods to encourage good eating habits.

5) Implement flexible vacation policies so people can take adventurous trips, experience faraway places, and bring back good memories to share. At Factual, we have a “no policy” vacation policy.. so people take the amount of time they need to re-energize and rejuvenate.

6) Provide subsidies to nearby gyms. This also keeps them in the office longer.

7) Make off-sites active: encourage treasure hunts, beach time, group hikes, etc…

8) Encourage laughter— lots of it. I was lucky to be a part of start-ups that inspired me to stay fit and provided me the flexibility to climb mountains, swim oceans, and run ‘til my heart’s content. At Factual, I wanted to recreate that environment and build a healthy family that has the energy, focus, and passion to play together for a long time to come.

Eva Ho is VP Marketing & Operations at Factual. She can be found @eva_ho.

Reposted from DerekFlanzraich.com.

LA Tech Job Fair Recap

Last night we hosted the LA Tech Job Fair at our offices in Century City and we are extremely excited to say that it was an amazing success. Over 140 people attended, with 40+ company representatives, 90+ candidates, and ~10 friends/members of the community.

Thank you to the 14 companies and their representatives who presented and manned booths:

Google Idealab
Dreamhost MyLife
Oblong AT&T Interactive / YP.com
Hipswap Live Nation Entertainment / Ticketmaster
CityGrid MerchEngines
Scopely ReachLocal
OpenX

Thank you to all the candidates who came out and made this such a great event!

See more photos from the event on our Facebook Page.

We received a ton of positive feedback and are very happy that everyone we talked to thought this was valuable. We look forward to hosting more of these in the future and helping develop the LA tech community.

If you are interested in opportunities at Factual, please visit our careers page and don’t hesitate to reach out to us at jobs@factual.com.

If you are a recruiter and are interested in participating in our next event please contact us.

Also, please send us ideas/feedback/thoughts on other events you would like to see us host.