I was looking for WordPress themes to make the new Hyp3rL0cal WordPress directory look a little more, well city. I came across a pretty nice looking one from the guys over at Woo Themes.
They’ve developed a theme designed just for WordPress sites that focus on showcasing places, businesses and other geo information about a particular city.
The Woo Themes City Guide WordPress theme features:
- Home Page Featured Module – A custom home page featured module that can be used as an about section for the site. You can dedicate an image or a Google Map to this area.
- Google Maps integration – Google Maps integration for geo-tagging of posts, with a custom map panel for your blog post editor and map widgets for usage in the sidebar. The integration also pulls the location from the map and displays the physical address next to the map in the location details.
- Custom Widgets – Other Custom Woo Widgets for use in the 6 widgetized zones – e.g. Twitter feeds, Popular post tabber, Adspace banners, and Flickr photo streams
- Alternative styles – 6 alternate styles to better fit your company/personality. These alternate styles are meant as a base for further more intricate styling details that you can add to the stylesheet.
The Woo Themes City Guide WordPress theme sells for $70.00. I found other WordPress themes I will showcase in future posts, but I thought this one was pretty cool.
I will purchase a copy of it, and play with building modules for it that work with CityGrid Places API and integrates CityGrid Advertising API into it so you can monetize your WordPress City Guide.
When I started working with the CityGrid Places API I needed a project to help me learning about how to use the API, and wrap my head around whats possible when building local web applications. I built Hyp3rL0cal which is a local web directory, that I wrote in PHP, then created Python and Ruby versions as well.
While I think local directories are still a very valuable and relevant part of the CityGrid network, I do not think they reflect the future of local web applications. So I”m spending time trying to brainstorm what is next, and I want to explore the difference between a local directory and local guide.
In my opinion a local directory is a web application that provides search and browsing mechanisms for users to discover local businesses and places on the web. The concept of a directory is really built around the user navigating the places data, and finding what they are looking for. Which requires the user to be willing to work for the discovery, something that not every user we be able or willing to do.
This is where I think an important evolution of local comes in–from the local directory to local guide. Rather than requiring users to find their own places, we should be guiding them more and making our local web applications more intelligent in helping users discover what they are looking for.
These are just initial thoughts on this, but one example that comes to mind in the travel industry, is Hipmunk hotel search. Hipmunk provides a streamlined way of guiding you through finding a hotel in a city, between specific dates and allows you to effortlessly filter, drag and mouseover your way to finding your room.
Hipmunk is just one example that comes to mind, I’m sure there are a lot more out there. I will keep hunting for better examples of how to help evolve the definition of local from a directory experience to form of discovery that helps guide you through business and places, and share with you developers, so you can use in your local web and mobile apps.