Archive | November 2013

HearBy is LIVE! Learn More about the Rotten Tomatoes of Places

As you may have heard, HEARBY.CO is now a living, breathing site and the best place to find bars, shops, and restaurants in Philadelphia!

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Like what Rotten Tomatoes did for movies, we’re bringing together all the best critical reviews for the best places, so the bars, shops, and restaurants that the critics love the most rise to the top. These recommendations come from everywhere from The New York Times to Philadelphia Magazine, Anthony Bourdain to Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

You can search for everything the city has to offer (pizza, cheesesteaks, museums, boutiques, etc.), based on whatever budget might suit your needs, and by proximity to whatever address in the area. Try it out to find anything that suits your fancy.

For those of you who have been following HearBy from the start, you might notice this version as a bit of a departure from the original concept which was an app that aggregates the favorite places of professional sources AND your friends. By no means are we done with bringing together the reviews of your friends. Matt and I want to provide you with the best and most useful content on day one, which we believe is best accomplished by first aggregating professional reviews. Right now you can find a drink or a meal without any set up and that’s what’s most important to us. 

That said, we’re always looking for ways to make it better, so if you have any suggestions whether that’s finding an error, adding another source, or even if you have another feature in mind, we want to know about it! Please shoot us an email ( and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen.

So for now, we hope you enjoy what we’ve made and that it helps you find some great places. Stay tuned, this is just the beginning…



All Roads Lead to Flavortown: A Plethora of Proprietary Apps


If you’ve ever surfed basic cable for more than forty seconds, chances are you’ve stumbled across the Food Network program Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Triple-D follows bleached-blond grease enthusiast Guy Fieri, as he travels across this great nation in search of “the most interesting and unique restaurants” he can find.

The show’s been a smash hit, spanning 17 seasons and showcasing hundreds of restaurants. With all the great spots featured on the show, it’s only natural for viewers to want to have their own map to Guy’s Flavortowns. The Food Network hesitated, and several independent developers leapt in to make their own. There are currently no less than 11 iPhone applications on the iTunes store devoted to mapping the locations featured on the show. There are even more for tracking food shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No ReservationsMan vs. Food, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Chowdown Countdown, amongst others.

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The proprietary location app market gets even more saturated when you include print sources like blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Serious Eats has an app, The New York Times has an app, Food and Wine has an app, Bon Appetit has an app–having a dedicated app to host your content is the new standard, but is it really the most useful? If I want to follow the reviews of six different sources, I have to download six separate apps even though they have relatively similar design and the only difference between them is the content (text and pictures).

But as we see in the Diners apps, that content is valuable and useful enough to warrant all the fuss of building almost a dozen different apps. If there was one standard platform that all of the content providers could post on–in lieu of making a proprietary app–it would be better for users because they wouldn’t have to switch between multiple apps/sites to get what they want and better for content providers because they wouldn’t have to invest in developing their own app that was just going to be lost in the noise anyways.

That’s what we hope HearBy can accomplish. One app for all your sources and the best way to Flavortown (or somewhere else if you find Flavortown disgusting).