Why do you love your city? Toronto-based startup My City Lives is an application that lets individuals answer that question by sharing videos about places and events in their city.
Adil Dhalla, Co-Founder of My City Lives says that the platform is “a great tool to help cities shape their brand identities in order to attract new residents and generate more tourism. It also helps the citizens of the world to understand each other better. The more we know about each other, the more we find commonalities.”
This week, the company has unveiled a slicker version of their platform. According to Dhalla, the new platform “bridges technology with media. We can’t tell all of a city’s stories ourselves. That’s the beauty of crowdsourcing. We let the locals tell their own stories.”
Here are some of the key features of the new platform:
Through Voices, you can ask questions like where’s the best place to grab pizza and watch others respond via video. Users can support your question by voting it up to encourage more responses. It’s basically like Reddit meets Quora.
A Smart Map
My City Lives is now clustering videos where there are instances of multiple locations with videos close together. The search feature is now very similar to searching on Google Maps. It has the ability to search for videos in an area using keywords and/or much more complicated search phrases. The upgraded platform also boasts smarter search algorithms. My City Lives has made it easier to find videos that you’re looking for with a call out box and tags.
Use Venues or Channels to find local videos
The Venues feature on My City Lives organizes content based on the type of location where the video was filmed. You can also search for content using the Channels feature, which organizes content based on the type of video.
What’s Trending in My City?
The platform now has a section for Trending Videos. This gives you real-time access to the most popular videos on the site.
The company has recently partnered with major Toronto event organizers like Nuit Blanche to let attendees share the best of what they saw at the various exhibits around the city.
My City Lives is also currently working with Toronto digital video agency Biz Media to produce 80 videos about Toronto city living by the end of the year. They recently worked together to create a video which follows the story of five people during the Pride Toronto celebrations this summer. The exclusive video will be used by the event organizers to promote next year’s celebrations and is a glowing example of what is so great about living in Toronto.
Some of my favourite Toronto videos on MyCityLives are re-enactments of messages left on Craiglist’s “Missed Connections” section, told by a local film maker.
My City Lives has been testing their platform in Toronto for roughly a year. The company is now ready to begin to rolling-out their service to other cities over the next few months. It’ll be interesting to see which city is next.