near.ly sends you links to news and blogs posts that are happening in your area. The news items ("nearlies") are sent to you via a Twitter direct message that consists of a quick headline and a bit.ly-powered URL. Yes, this service is a Twitter app, but it was built to demonstrate the potential of the brand-new Outside.in API. The API was built around Outside.in's "news around you" feature called Radar which delivers news, stories, and blog posts that are located within 1000 feet of a particular location.A newly launched service called
Outside.in, a site designed for community news and discussion, launched their API yesterday, making their location-based news available to developers for integration into various applications. To show off what the API can do, they gave two of their developers free reign to create an application using the API within 48 hours. The developers built near.ly, a Twitter app for location-based news.
Near.ly uses the new API to deliver a headline and a link to the news item using a bit.ly-powered URL, which just so happens to be our favorite URL shortening program. To use near.ly, you must first register then provide your Twitter username and password to the service. The service verifies your identity and automatically follows the "nearlybot" so you can begin receiving the messages. You can choose to unfollow the nearlybot at anytime if you want to stop receiving the news.
There are a number of ways to get local news information from the web, but none are quite as personal and direct as having links to news twittered to you. But as much as we love the idea of getting local news via Twitter, we're even more excited to see what other apps will built with the new Outside.in API.