Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

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.

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

PCWM_10SurveySays

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!

Geolocation is now rewarding

September 7, 2010

Family photo at Camden Yards, Oriole Wall of FameThis past weekend, I travelled with my family down to Baltimore for a reunion, including catching a ballgame at Camden Yards. While we were there, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Timonium, MD. I’ve been using geolocation service Gowalla since Baer Tierkel turned me on to it in November of last year (2009). So upon arrival at the hotel, I opened the Gowalla app on my iPhone to check in. I immediately noticed that instead of a generic hotel icon, the Crowne Plaza had its own snazzy custom icon.

Crowne Plaza Gowalla iconSince the icon was so cool, I decided to send my Crowne Plaza check-in to Facebook and twitter. Within a short time, I noticed that a company I had never heard of sent me this tweet in response to my check-in:

Hi @mmpartee, join Topguest to get 50 Priority Club points for your next Crowne Plaza @gowalla check-in

Since I was busy with a family reunion, I didn’t have time to investigate this meaning behind this tweet until I returned home. So this morning, I visited the Topguest site, and noticed they had a Facebook page, which is good since there is very little about them on their own site. Via their Facebook page, I discovered this is a very new (4 month old) start-up based out of NYC.

They have 4 hotel reward programs under their belt, and they accept check-ins from all the major geolocation services: Brightkite, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, and Twitter location. Topguest ties your geolocation check-in method(s) of choice to your hotel reward program(s) of choice. Since I love Gowalla and am already a Priority Club member, it was a snap for me to link the two. Priority Club encompasses the InterContinental Hotels Group (ICHG) which includes: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, and another recent discovery I love: Hotel Indigo.

Geolocation: it’s not just for mayorships and games anymore…

Geolocation, Geolocation, Geolocation

August 26, 2010

Climbing Mt. TomI’ve been following the developments of our geolocation-enabled world for many years now, starting with car GPS navigators and geocaching, through to Gowalla and now Facebook places. Geolocation’s ubiquity is part of the reason this blog is called World 2.0.

There are some applications of geolocation in the credit union world, in social media in general, and there are even more applications in the field of real estate.

I had the great honor to present a session on geolocation at RE BarCamp Orlando yesterday. I received some excellent feedback from it, and the slide deck was featured on Slideshare.net‘s home page this morning.

I hope to present this session at RE BarCamp New Hampshire!

Subway gets a dose of Social Media

July 22, 2010

Last night I had the great pleasure of a double-dose of Social Media goodness. My evening began by presenting a session on social media for credit unions for the Hartford Chapter of the Credit Union League of Connecticut. My host was Fred Brown, Marketing Director of Northeast Family Federal Credit Union in Manchester CT. Fred is also very good friends with Credit Union Man, and schedules all of Credit Union Man’s appearances.

I was very glad that Fred designed the chapter meeting to be out of the ordinary. The meeting was held at the Berlin Batting Cages in Berlin CT, and the evening’s agenda was dinner at Subway, followed by my presentation, wrapping with a scintillating round of mini-golf. Little did I know, nor the Subway employees, nor other patrons, that we were TAKING OVER THEIR SHOP for a presentation. Here are a few photos of this most memorable of engagements:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

HOW AWESOME IS THIS? Wow, just wow.

After the mini-golf wrapped up, I headed over to Eli Cannon’s Tap Room in Middletown CT (known as MiTown to the cool kids), just 10 minutes away from Berlin, for a meetup of the PodCamp CT organizers. I found out about this meetup because several of my friends posted the event on Facebook THAT MORNING. So, to my surprise, here was an event minutes away from where I would be, later that same evening, across the state line.

I take immense pleasure that the impetus for holding this initial PodCamp CT is that a few veteran PodCampers such as Aldon Hynes and Paul Monaco attended our PodCamp WesternMass 2, and asked themselves why there couldn’t be a PodCamp CT. I was thrilled to lend support and offer guidance, since I have hosted two PodCamps, a BarCampBank, and have attended numerous “camps” of various types on both coasts, both in the US and Canada. I’ve attended: FacebookCamp Toronto, PodCamp Boston 2 & 3, BarCampBank SF 1, BarCampBank NewEngland, BarCampMoney NY, PodCamp WesternMass, BarCampBank BC, REBarCamp PHL. I’m excited to have PodCamp Boston 5, REBarCamp ORL, and PodCamp CT on my calendar.

I’ve met so many INCREDIBLE people at these various events, and consider myself blessed to consider them all friends. (Well, Facebook friends at the least!)

Side note: I bet Larissa, nor Tim, ever dreamed that her “Difference Between Banks and Credit Unions” video would be shown on the wallpaper, below the air conditioner, of a Subway sandwich shop located at the Berlin Batting Cages in Connecticut for a CU Chapter meeting.

Look who’s talking about YOU!

June 14, 2010

I’ve had the great pleasure of presenting this social media topic (or online community communication is perhaps a better term): Look who’s talking about you. I was first invited to give this presentation by Jodi Torres (Thanks Jodi!) of CU Tech group for her organization’s Spring Consortium in Boston. I also presented this information to the Northeast Harland’s User Group in Portsmouth NH (Thanks Andrea!), and will give a webinar on it for EverythingCU.com this Thursday, June 17, as well.

This information is based on my own online experiences, and also draws heavily on groundbreaking work done by William Azaroff way back in the dark ages of social media (approx 2006-07 AD). Way back then, blogging was still the primary connection media, meaning Facebook and Twitter had not yet exploded in popularity. I’ve also drawn on the experience of various PR professionals in how to handle critiques (and worse) of your organization online or offline.

Here is a list of resources for further exploration on the topic, as well as links to first-hand information I covered in the presentation:

WILLIAM AZAROFF, Monitoring your brand health
WILLIAM AZAROFF, Responding to bloggers
DREW McLELLAN, 6 Steps to take if your company is criticized in a blog post
JOHN SOAT, Reputations at risk
MORRISS PARTEE, Motrin gives itself a migraine
CHRIS LOCKE et al, The Cluetrain Manifesto
RYAN UNDERWOOD, Tell us what you really think
LESLEY LAMBERT, BofA is on Twitter for the win
STEFAN BETZOLD, SM Monitoring Tools-an overview
DAN SCHAWBEL, Top 10 reputation tracking tools
DARREN BAREFOOT, I wanted to love Vancity, but now I loathe them
CULLEN WATERS, Vystar CU – Worst bank ever
JEFFRY PILCHER, Fighting axe grinders and their online vendettas

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!

Colorado Credit Unions are on the ball

October 8, 2009

open thinking summitIt’s been a great pleasure getting to know so many of our Colorado Credit Union friends. They are so lucky to live in such a beautiful environment! I know they’ll be using social media to further the CU movement with their membership in the coming days, weeks, and months!

A few photos from the event can be found on the facebook event page, and the slides I used for some background in the first part of the session are on slideshare.net.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,917 other followers