Global Services for Local Good

Bridge into Beacon is an application to encourage economic growth in Downtown Beacon by providing context to visitors and tourists. I began the project with a post about resilient communities, and an intention to create an app that promotes resilience.

From the beginning, I've tried to keep the application simple, not just for the end users, but also for administrators. I've done this by using third party API's to offload data storage and administration to those sites. It means that if you or a customer hasn't already added your business to Yelp or Yahoo! Local, you can add yourself and show up in Bridge into Beacon.

This approach leverages high connectivity and remote resources to ease the burden on administrators, which increases the initial viability of the application. However, it seems antithetical to the idea of resilience and sustainability. I wonder, in using third party APIs to promote resilience, is Bridge into Beacon past the threshold between local production and global services? What are the tradeoffs, and are they worth it? It seems to me these are some of the same issues facing resilient community advocates. Hope some of you will weight in.