Earlier this week, I spent two days at the TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco. The conference organizers pick 50 web companies who officially launch at the conference. The overall group was pretty mixed, but a few start-ups offer interesting services or ideas that might be of interest to folks thinking about the future of news and information. Here’s a selection:

  • Citysourced: The company has a platform for “citizens to identify civic issues (potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) and report them to City Hall for quick resolution.” They are launching soon with a project with the city of San Jose. For now, you can sign up to be alerted when the full site is launched.
  • Insttant: The site provides “real time people-generated news.” According to the founders, Insttant will use “Twitter’s public stream to generate a comprehensive overview of what’s happening in real time through headlines and visuals.” You can sign up to get an invite to the beta.
  • DocWrite: An iPhone application that allows you to easily perform dictation and transcription. The sound file is automatically uploaded to a site where you can listen to it while using a window to type up the transcription. (Yes, you still do the transcription yourself.) Still, it could be handy for journalists.