Posts Tagged ‘MA’

GeoM, part three

October 13, 2010

3rd panel at GeoMThis blog post covers the third of three panel/sessions at GeoM, held at MIT’s NERD Center on Monday. It was hosted by Mike Schneider, SVP Director, Digital Incubator for agency Allen & Gerritsen. For highlights of the 1st panel, click here. For highlights of the 2nd panel, click here. Also, these highlight blog posts may be a bit jumpy, because they are comprised of the tweets I made during the sessions.

This final panel of the day was moderated by Mike Schnieder, and featured Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare, Seth Priebatsch, founder of SCVNGR, and Jeff Holden, CEO of Whrrl.

Dennis Crowley began by explaining that Foursquare was the successor to Dodgeball, which was a project he started while a student at NYU. He later sold Dodgeball to Google. He realized Dodgeball had a limited audience/purpose, so later designed Foursquare to appeal to a broader audience. Dennis also explained that check-ins are the beginning of the story, not the end. The data generated can be used for tons of interesting stuff.

The whole panel noted that marriage proposals as well as breakups are now happening via geolocation sites.

Jeff Holden: “Places are more semantically rich than simply location, so the check-in is what’s important because the person has decided to designate the place that they currently are.”

Seth Priebatsch: “Instead of check-ins, @scvngr is based on challenges.”

Dennis Crowley: “Local merchants are now encouraging people to check-in via foursquare. That aspect was never anticipated by us. Reality TV (Bravo etc) shows overlap nicely with foursquare because both are reality-based. Reality TV viewers can now visit and check-in to the places where their favorite shows occur.”

Seth Priebatsch: “SCVNGR’s big goal is to build a game-layer on top of the whole world.”

Seth Priebatsch also asks “What’s the social coefficient of your store’s location?” (How many people go there with friends?) “This type of metric has never been thought about before, because the data wasn’t available. Now it is. When you visit a store or a place with friends, loyalty goes up, and people return more often. It’s a more valuable social experience.”

Dennis Crowley: “Mayors are our best salesforce.”

Dennis Crowley: “It’s not about the check-in, it’s about what you do with the data/knowledge.”

Jeff Holden explained that his background is in recommendation engine from Amazon. That’s where his love for serendipitous discovery came from.

Seth Priebatsch: “The world has not yet reached its fun quota. We can make the world a lot more fun.”

Dennis Crowley: “Just checking-in isn’t all that great on its own, it’s fast becoming a commodity. We’re building things on top of the check-in; it’s what you do with the check-in that counts.”

Jeff Holden: “We’re getting to the point in geolocation where there’s enough awareness to get to mass adoption.”

Dennis Crowley: “This whole world of geolocation startups, where we’re changing the way people interact with their physical environment, is very new. It’s a really good, fun time to be exploring in this (geolocation) space.”

Jeff Holden: “We’re NOW entering the era of the location-based web, which is entirely new, and a very different thing than mobile web. The mobile web was about making the existing internet available on your mobile device. The location-based web is ushering in a new world – a context-aware version of the physical world. These are exciting times!”

Highlights of the 1st panel. Highlights of the 2nd panel. Also, Eric Leist of host A & G has a recap that includes highlights and the blog posts that came out of GeoM.

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GeoM, part two

October 6, 2010

2nd session at GeoMThis blog post covers the second of three panel/sessions at GeoM, held at MIT’s NERD Center on Monday. It was hosted by Mike Schneider, SVP Director, Digital Incubator for agency Allen & Gerritsen. For highlights of the 1st panel, click here. Also, these highlight blog posts may be a bit jumpy, because they are comprised of the tweets I made during the sessions.

Session 2: Data and Loyalty
Moderator: Sean Corcoran, analyst at Forrester (@SeanCor)
Panelists: Aaron Strout, CMO, Powered.com (@AaronStrout)
Anne Mai Bertelsen, loyalty and integrated marketing strategy consultant, Mai Strategies (@AnneMai)
Matt Galligan, SimpleGeo Co-founder and CEO (@mg)

Sean Corcoan, Moderator: “Forrester Research shows that Geolocation hasn’t hit huge mass adoption yet, but the growth rate is extremely fast.”

Anne Mai Bertelsen: “Loyalty programs have been around for quite a number of years, so there is precedent for the type of data the geolocation provides. Location data, sentiment data, and spend data can be married to provide new relevant insights for businesses and offers for consumers.”

Matt Galligan: “Police monitor mentions of the word ‘party’ at night on twitter to determine where to station officers; that’s an instance of location data being helpful.”

Aaron Strout: “My experience with some of the companies that are entering into geolocation marketing strategies is that they are not going far enough, fast enough with some of their offers and programs.”

Matt Galligan: “The technology in your pocket is far more advanced than the technology that is checking you out at the store.”

Anne Mai Bertelsen: “For big companies that understand loyalty, social media/geolocation resides in a different department, apart from the rest of the marketing management, which is an impediment to fully realizing the possibilities that geolocation offers.”

Aaron Strout then discusses Augmented Reality, i.e. Yelp’s Monacle feature.

Sean Corcoran, Moderator: “What if Facebook makes a mistake with privacy (and it’s been know to make a few mistakes in privacy) with Facebook Places, will that set geolocation back?”

Anne Mai Bertelsen: “The best traditional loyalty programs require registration and opt-in. Legislators have been watching these loyalty programs for years. People use grocery loyalty because they get value. The expectation in geolocation loyalty programs would be the same to the consumer (i.e. what value am I getting in exchange for checking-in?), although offering up one’s location seems scarier to most consumers.”

Aaron Strout: “Smart companies will set things up so they would get a ping to know when loyal shoppers are in the store. Also, people forget that you can check-in without making it public.”

Anne Mai Bertelsen: “Marketing people don’t mine data well, they just don’t. They aren’t working with good, smart models of loyalty, behavior, and how that translates into sales.”

Matt Galligan: “The geolocation space is already so fragmented, it’s hard for companies to know where to start. At the same time, the geolocation space is starting to get really exciting.”

Earlier in the session, Aaron Strout referenced a case-study of Whole Foods and Trader Joe consumers’ shopping behaviors, and later that link was tweeted. It lives here: Hyper-local traffic measurement and analysis

Me and AaronAfter this session wrapped, it was great to reconnect with Aaron Strout who I met only once in Boston before he relocated to Austin.

Highlights of the 1st panel. Highlights of the 3rd panel. Also, Eric Leist of host A & G has a recap that includes highlights and the blog posts that came out of GeoM.

GeoM, part one

October 5, 2010

I had the privilege of attending GeoM yesterday in Boston, hosted by Mike Schneider, SVP Director, Digital Incubator for agency Allen & Gerritsen. The event was held at the MIT New England Research and Development (NERD) Center in Cambridge. About 200 people attended, of which I’d guess only about 5 or 6 had also attended PodCamp Boston 5 in the same event space the week before.

1st panel at GeoMThere were a total of three panels of three guests each, plus a different moderator for each panel. I will highlight the guests and moderators, with some of the best quotes from each session. This blog post covers the first session. For highlights of the 2nd panel, click here. For highlights of the 3rd panel, click here.

Session 1: Making Money from Location Based Services
Moderator: Jason Keath, founder of SocialFresh (@jakrose)
Panelists: Wayne Sutton, VP of Marketing, TriOut (@WayneSutton), geoblogger
Joshua Karpf, Digital Media Communications Manager, PepsiCo (@jkarpf)
David Chang, VP of Product, WHERE (@changds)

David Chang: “Like any business arena, there is a wide range of results in the geolocation space. Awareness, repeat, leads, ad-based models”

Wayne Sutton: “Geo results could be much higher outside major urban areas where there is less competition”

Moderator Jason Keath: “Challenge: right now geo users are super geeky, super-early-adopters. What’s the path to mass market adoption?”

Wayne Sutton: “Geolocation space is very fragmented, seems like a new one is launching every week.”

[my observation]: Loyalty programs, rewards, advertising are mostly being talked about in terms of monetizing geolocation

David Chang: “MassMarket using some form of geolocation is already here. Now the question is, what will business do with it?”

Joshua Karpf: “Small businesses are creating the most interesting geolocation-based business offers.”

Wayne Sutton: “Increasing check-ins, doesn’t always mean more sales.”

Question for panel: “Where are we going beyond the check-in?”

Jason Keath: “StickyBits – Checking into a product via barcode – then media can be associated with it.”

David Chang: “Groupon, BuySocial, etc., helping businesses to generate sales during downtimes, is the next purpose for geolocation.”

Active vs passive check-ins:

Joshua Karpf: “Does active have more business value? Consumers need to give permission before passive check-ins should be done. You don’t necessarily want to be checked in to every Pepsi you drink walk past.”

Wayne Sutton: “Future of passive check-ins is to tie-in with future plans, i.e. I’m going to MIT NERD Center, check me in automatically when I get there. Also, businesses can’t make a joke out of geolocation offers. Initially Krispy Kreme was giving away but ONE free donut for 6th check-in, which is a joke. Businesses need to give good values for check-ins.”

David Chang: “There’s a big disconnect between how users are using geo-based apps, and the companies (and their dollars) that want to connect with them. Changing behavior is a tough thing. Many large companies as well as start-ups may burn through a lot of money trying to introduce the masses to geolocation.”

Wayne Sutton: “When doing a coupon via geolocation service, make sure it’s long term. A one-time only coupon or discount is the worst.”

Me and WayneAfter this session, I was privileged to speak in depth with Lawrence Ingraham, TriOut’s lead developer, and he graciously took a picture of me with geo-star Wayne.

Highlights of the 2nd panel. Highlights of the 3rd panel. Also, Eric Leist of host A & G has a recap that includes highlights and the blog posts that came out of GeoM.

PodCamp Boston 5 tomorrow!

September 24, 2010

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PodCamp Boston 5 starts tomorrow, and I’m excited to be going there with my sweetheart, Lesley Lambert. Both she and I will be facilitating sessions on Sunday. Lesley’s topic is Advanced Twitter, and I’ll be facilitating a discussion on Geolocation. I’ve facilitated sessions on Geolocation at RE BarCamp Orlando and RE BarCamp Rye, and my slidedeck for it has been viewed 1,178 times on Slideshare.net. I’ll be modifying the presentation for the PodCamp environment versus the real estate camp.

This will be my third PodCamp Boston, and lucky 13th camp of any variety.

I love the things that happen at camps, the people, the sessions, the networking, the brainstorming, the learning, the teaching, the sharing, the connections that people make. Being somewhat of a Camp veteran, I especially enjoy helping newcomers have a good experience as much as I enjoy reconnecting with old friends. I also love “seeing” the camp through others’ eyes, especially Camp virgins, but I love veteran’s thoughts, photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and whatever other media is produced.

Here are some links looking back at my previous Camp experiences, including PodCamp Boston 2, where I knew no one going into it, but made some great friends:

Looking forward to what this weekend brings at PodCamp Boston 5!

Why I love Western Massachusetts

November 19, 2009

SunsetMy honey, Lesley Lambert, poses the question what are you thankful for about Western Mass? on her blog. My reply became so lengthy it needed its own space:

As a kid growing up in Amherst, I took the Pioneer Valley for granted, and lamented the things it lacked. Namely interesting things to do for teenagers, (aside from going to the movies), and not many good venues for a performing rock band (though we probably were not as good as we thought we were back then.)

I went away from the Valley for my college years, to the University of Utah, to be near my dad and family there, as well as to broaden my horizons. I loved the mountains and the time I spent there, but then I returned to Western Mass right after. As an adult, I discovered an immense beauty and wealth of resources here that I simply was not aware of in my youth. My love affair with Western Mass started with a trip to Tanglewood, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

As I wrote in the description for the first PodCamp held in Western Mass, we have a joyous blend of urban and rural; business, academics, and the arts; it’s big enough to have interesting places, things, events and people, but small enough to hear yourself think.

Here are the reasons I love Western Mass:

CT River from the S Hadley BeechgroundsThe Connecticut River – The word connecticut is a French corruption of the Algonquin word meaning “long river”. This river is the longest river in New England, and is what brought people and industry to the Pioneer Valley. It’s a beautiful river, and I enjoy looking at it every time I cross it on one of the many bridges that span it in Western Mass. There are boat tours on it out of Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley, as well as out of Northfield at the energy facility there (now called FirstLight Power).

Wonderful People – Western Mass is the perfect blend of small town, mid-size cities, rural, and educated, intelligent people. Our fantastic, world-class education attracts wonderful, quirky, thoughtful, intelligent, geo-aware folks. Our people are real, interesting, and down-to-earth for the most part. Plus the diversity of people and their interests are rather amazing. And oh, did I mention talented?

The Seasons – Exactly as Lesley states, it’s an ever changing beauty, always something new. Spectacular fall foliage, summers that are warm but not too hot (usually), winter that has enough snow for fun outdoor activities like skiing and sledding, and makes being indoors cozy, and spring which is blooming and growing time.

Peak of DeadtopThe cute little hills most locals call mountains. Having grown up both in Western Mass and Utah, I have a tough time calling our hills mountains. But they are elevation, unlike the great plains states which have an elevation variation of plus/minus 15 feet. But our “mountains” are cute, are easily climbable, provide some elevation variety, and do have fantastic views. Mount Tom, Mount Holyoke, Mount Sugarloaf, Noble View, and the edge of the Berkshires, including Goshen, Chesterfield, etc

The Berkshires – I didn’t really know much about the Berkshires as a kid, but as an adult I am thrilled to discover all they have to offer. Especially Tanglewood and….

ProjectionsMassMoCA – A recent addition, it’s now the jewel of the Berkshires as far as I’m concerned; even better than Tanglewood – MassMoCA is a huge, converted mill building complex devoted to modern art. Worth visiting multiple times per year. Always shifting, and also includes performing arts, music, movies, etc.

View from on highHidden Gems EVERYWHERE – So MANY things to discover here…. I think I know Western Mass well, yet I am CONTINUALLY discovering new cool places, hidden gems, such as kayaking and canoeing on the Connecticut from Barton’s Cove in Gill, great trails and a spectacular view from Noble View in Westfield, incredible world class restaurants such as the Blue Heron in Sunderland, Mike’s Maze (corn maze) also in Sunderland, the historic train station in Chester, Drive In movie theater in Northfield, interesting golf courses everywhere, mini golf in East Longmeadow among others, softball leagues in every town in the lower valley, world-class colleges and universities, fabulous cafes, bookstores, restaurants in Northampton, Amherst and so many other towns, the Montague Bookmill (bumper sticker: books you don’t need in a place you can’t find), Magic Wings (butterfly conservatory in South Deerfield), the Basketball Hall of Fame, sports teams such as the Springfield Falcons, the new Springfield Armor, UMass sports, Holyoke minor league baseball, boat tours in South Hadley and Northfield, oh, and I almost forgot the Big E that happens every September…

Outdoors – Aside from the CT River, kayaking, and hill/mountains already mentioned, there are scores of state forests, swimming, camping, hiking, and geocaching opportunities throughout all four counties of Western Mass. Notable hiking includes the Holyoke Range and Mount Tom, as well as the Appalachian Trail that goes through the Berkshires.

Herrell'sScores of adorable downtowns – Many are in need of help, but there are still some great downtowns in Western Mass – Northampton, Amherst, Indian Orchard, Chicopee, Greenfield, Westfield, West Springfield, Florence, Easthampton, Shelburne Falls, Great Barrington, and I’m sure I’m missing others

Fresh Beer – Berkshire Brewing Co, Paper City, and Opa Opa. And the Northampton Brewery and the Dirty Truth in Northampton for enjoying them, among many other establishments.

Here’s a link to just some of the Western Mass photos I’ve taken over the years.

Proximity – Lesley listed proximity to NYC or Boston. While those two cities have their appeal, there’s a vast wealth of wonder which is not urban. Within a three hour drive, you can get to ALL other New England states, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, as well as New York. Also, within a five hour drive is Canada, including Montreal. Notable charms within a few hour drive: Upstate New York, including the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Albany, Schenectady, the Adirondacks, Lake George, Lake Placid, Plattsburgh. In Vermont, there’s Burlington, Lake Champlain and islands, Brattleboro, Windsor, Ascutney, Manchester, and ski resorts galore. In New Hampshire, there’s skiing, Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, camping, skiing, Manchester, Portsmouth, Keene, Concord, The Common Man restaurants. In Maine, there’s the beaches, resorts, Rockland, Portland, LL Bean, Kittery, lighthouses, islands, and lots o mooses. In RI, there’s Providence and Newport (including the mansions), and there’s too much in CT to even begin listing all that that state has to offer, including wineries, beaches, camping, Hartford, adorable downtowns, restaurants, steam train rides, etc

And if you expand your horizons a bit further, within a day’s drive is Bar Harbor, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Toronto, Quebec City, and Washington DC.

BeechgroundsBut bottom line are the people. People who are friendly, genuine, interesting, and most importantly, care about where they live, and the other people who share their love of all that is Western Mass. Of course, my number one reason why I love it here is that this is where my family and friends live. But aside from that, they all love it here for all the reasons listed above.

Aside from the meager reasons listed above, I guess Western Mass doesn’t have too much to offer after all. 😉

What did I miss? Share it here or on Lesley’s blog!

Fred Brown visits EverythingCU.com HQ

November 6, 2009

Fred Brown stops byBased in Western Massachusetts, EverythingCU.com doesn’t often get a CU executive stopping by our offices to say hi.

So it was such a great pleasure that EverythingCU.com member Fred Brown, from Northeast Family FCU in Manchester, CT stopped by for the nickel tour. Fred is originally from Holyoke, and knows the area well.

Fred was kind enough to give us some Credit Union Man™ schwag, including the hat I’m wearing in the above photo! (That’s Fred on the left, and me on the right.) Thanks so much for visiting us Fred!

Time to rethink Marketing 1.0 techniques

April 17, 2009

My new friend, and Amherst native, Ron Miller has graciously allowed me to be a guest author on his new blog, Social Media 101, which is co-created with Julie Roads.

I met Ron through mutual friend Tish Grier, who brought the two of us together, along with Ann Kingman, to be on a social media panel for the Hidden Tech group of Western Mass.

My guest post describes how those brought up in traditional marketing must adjust their mind-set in order to thrive in World 2.0.

It’s an honor to appear on Ron’s and Julie’s excellent new blog!

Seven Thoughts from PodCamp

April 3, 2009

PCWM_10SurveySays

Seven: Everyone has a story. Every camper brings their own story to the table, and experiences the camp in their own unique way, with their own perspectives, goals and ambitions.

Six: Enable others to connect with each other. It turns out that AuctionWally enjoys Voodoo Steve’s indie podcast. How cool is that? And many folks were not familiar with Amherst native John Robison before the camp. But everyone in his session came away with newfound knowledge and respect.

PodCamp WesternMassFive: Help others build their networks. It’s not about the size of your own network, it’s about how many connections you can make for others. That’s why I put the ‘Follow Me on Twitter” poster sheets up on the wall; to enable campers to continue the conversations.

PCWM_04RebelThinkingFour: The spirit of PodCamp can be found in the little things. One of my favorite photos is this one of laptop bags lined up against the wall.

Three: The spirit of PodCamp can be found in the spaces. Yes, the sessions are usually excellent. But I learned from BarCampBank SF how great it is to allow ample time between sessions and leave a huge long lunch break. This is what really allows campers to connect with each other, and many times it’s these break conversations where new things are shared and learned.

Podcamp Western Mass 2009Two: The buzz spread more AFTERwards. For an inaugural event word spreads more AFTER the event. WesternMass has never had any sort of ‘camp’ event before as far as I know. So even though many invites went out, many did not see the value in re-arranging their schedules in order to attend. But now that we have 14 GLOWING blog reviews of the camp, interest is piqued in a wider audience. So we’ll hold version two in about six months. If you are considering trying to get any type of new event off the ground, make sure it is WELL RECORDED online the first time out.

One: Seeing the camp through others’ eyes. This is actually one of my greatest joys of PodCamp. Being a ‘camp veteran, I take the open discussion and flexible format for granted. But since so many bloggers, photographers, and videographers attended, I get to experience the joy and wonderment of their first camp experience through their lens.

Podcamp Western Mass 2009

PodCamp WesternMass: A smashing success

April 3, 2009

PCWM_11Feet

Last Saturday, March 28, 2009, we held the first PodCamp in Western Massachusetts. I wasn’t familiar with any “camp” event before Robbie Wright invited me to the first BarCampBank in North America, BarCampBank Seattle in the summer of 2007. I didn’t attend, but after reading the glowing, superlative-laden blog reviews of it, I wished I had rearranged my schedule after all. And thus began my quest of ‘camp‘ discovery. I subsequently attended FacebookCamp Toronto 2, shortly followed by PodCampBoston 2. Even before attending this event, I thought that we were getting to the point where we could hold a PodCamp in the western half of Massachusetts, and convened an exploratory planning meeting with co-conspirators, nationally recognized social media maven Tish Grier, and well-connected writer, reporter, and traveler Jaclyn Stevenson on October 16, 2007. Life, and other ‘camps intervened over the following months, and it wouldn’t be for another year that we held another organizational meeting for PodCamp WesternMass. Finally, we just had to pick a date and make it happen. And boy, did it happen.

PCWM_08MorrisTish and Jaclyn were in their element, getting the word about the camp out to everyone in their networks. A terrific surprise to me was that Jaclyn put the press release out on Pitch Engine, a fully web 2.0, social-media-compatible press release site, and this garnered attention from many in the region.

The day arrived, and it was all wonderful, start to finish. I facilitated getting the sessions onto the grid, and finding the right attendees to lead some of the sessions requested. We basically had two tracks going throughout the day, a beginner’s track for newbies, and a more advanced track for those already involved in social media.

PodCampI was gratified that several video bloggers recorded the day, including Voodoo Stevie who even live-streamed some of it. And many pictures were taken by me, Jaclyn, Shawn Toohey, and Stephen Sherlock. At last count, we have 13 blog entries, 6 pages of video, including two montages set to music, 140 photos, and too many tweets to count.

A huge congratulations to Tish Grier and Jaclyn Stevenson for a smashing PodCamp success! May there be many more!

Paul Raffa is making things happen in Southbridge

December 4, 2008

Matt, Paul, and MorrissMatt Taggart and I just visited Paul Raffa at Southbridge CU here in Massachusetts. Paul is doing some great things at his CU!

Matt and I are visiting CUs throughout New England to meet our friends in person, learn what they are doing with our site, find out how we can improve, as well as show them any tips we can offer to maximize their EverythingCU online community experience. If you are in New England, and would like Matt and I to visit you, please feel free to let me know!

I missed it the first time Paul posted it on EverythingCU.com, but he mentioned it to us again, that the bank right up the street from him has a link on their home page to an attack on the 3 largest CUs in Massachusetts, CreditUnionRuse.com. This attack is sponsored by the Massachusetts Bankers Association.

I think that slandering another business or person does nothing except to tarnish the image of the slanderer. But is there a grain of truth to the accusations, or is this way out of bounds?