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Big Data Can Help You Find the Best Social Scene
By: Jessica Cherok
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You and your friends are trying to decide where to go this weekend. Sure, there are lots of options, but how do you know if it’s really happening there? After all, it’s a total buzzkill to get to somewhere only to find it completely dead.

Well never fear, ladies and gentlemen, because Microsoft may have an answer for you.

Microsoft has been working on a product called Bing Now that uses your phone to gauge the amount of awesomeness happening within a certain location. After all, many of you are already checking in via Facebook or Foursquare — why not add a 10-second audio clip from the location? Bing Now would then glean crowd size, raucousness, and music volume from the clip in order to assess whether the place was dead or happening.

Despite the fact that seeking audio uploads from users is a bit outside of the norm, this kind of information is really helpful. As mentioned before, it really sucks to get somewhere only to realize it was all hype and no actual action. But traditionally, such attempts have not caught on.

In 2011, SceneTap debuted an app that used cameras mounted within bars to transmit guy/girl ratios. As in — are there a lot of honeys or is it a testosterone-fest? While slightly more superficial than Bing Now’s usage, the premise is the same — do I want to go here based off of this live data?

Whether you’re looking for a chance with the opposite sex or just to know where you’re going isn’t a snore, Big Data and social media are here to help.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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