Culturefox Continues the Silo Movement
AS MUCH AS I like the convenience of in-hand mobile phone apps, I resent tax money being used to slot tax-funded content into silos that sit out of sight of each other. That's what the well-engineered Culturefox seems to do on my iPod Touch. I can see events that the Arts Council has funded when I give the iPod Touch permission to access the network but I have to use the information in-app only. Culturefox uses A-GPS to determine what's closest to me but since my device always connects to a Limerick server when I'm on most streets, the distances depicted are normally wrong. What's more wrong is that the app does not appear to grab content from local arts officers--which means the entire county of Limerick is ignored. According to the "About" section, Fusio put the application together. "The app is part of a joint initiative, which cost EUR 80,000," according to Niall Toner in the Sunday Times. The Arts Council has written to organisations it funds alerting them to Culturefox. Toneer says "all organisations, arts groups and promoters will be invited to list events." I would welcome the data being shared via RSS and API anod not restricted under its terms and conditions from being scraped by aggregators.
Niall Toner -- "App for Culture" in the Sunday Times, 29 May 2011.