Localbozo.com is not just all about annoying Facebook updates and tree lightings, no. We also like to shed light on some new technologies that you might enjoy. One such technology is a new mobile app called Venuing. This application allows users to communicate with each other- think twitter- based on their location, providing real time feedback and reactions at public events. At the Jets game and want to tell everyone about the monster tackle security just laid on that streaker? Venue it. At the Carrie Underwood show in MSG and curious as to when others think she’s going to sing “Before He Cheats”? Hit up Venuing. Venuing is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms. After logging into the applications, you choose which event you want to participate in and you’re ready to go. Fans who were unfortunate enough not to have procured a ticket can access the event through Venuing’s website. CCO, Tom Stuart, sat down with LocalBozo.com to learn more about the past, present, and future of Venuing.
LB: How did the idea for this app come to fruition?
Tom Stuart: The process of developing the application has mainly taken place over course of the last year. At the very beginning, development was really slow going because the technology (remember, just a year ago, most people were asking “what is 3G? – now we’ve got full-blown 4G networks on the near horizon”) was not quite mature enough to do everything that we had wanted it to do. Since April, we’ve basically gone from Alpha to Beta version to field testing with the Beta to what we now consider a full-fledged, hardy version 1 of the product that we are cool with bringing public. That said, we see ourselves as a part of a broader social media landscape, and if that’s the space we want to stay in as a competitive enterprise, then we can’t really ever stop developing. One thing we look forward to is all of the feedback we hope to get back from Z100′s Jingle Ball this Friday. It should be awesome, and it should be fun to go back to our tool-bench to work on the features of the next Venuing app iteration.
LB: How long did it take to develop and were there any complications in getting there?
TS: I think I hit on most of this in the above, but the complications really involved making sure that we had the right balance between functionality and stability. We like to call this the “toy vs tool” paradigm. We wanted to make sure that — on the one hand — the app had “enough” features and functionality to make it an exciting experience and, also, a useful one for users; on the other hand, we wanted the thing to be able to function in scenarios with limited bandwith (see also: ginormous arenas and stadiums) where tons of users are trying to access the same mobile data networks and wifi signals. Even now, the networks are no where near where we’d love to see them, but we think we have a product that makes the best fan-experience lemonade with the lemons we’ve been dealt in terms of total signal capacity.
LB: Do you have any plans for expansion and next steps? If so, what are they?
TS: All in all, it’s about getting to a place — as I mentioned before — where we have a constant and stable cycle of development, public release, and retool, then release, etc. If we want to play in this space, and we think that the confluence of mobile and social media technologies is pretty much the most exciting place one can be in at the moment, then you’ve got to have a “our work is never finished/rinse-lather-repeat” ethos. Obviously, in terms of business goals, we’d love to grow as fast as our organizational structure can support. That means setting up key deals with partners including venues, teams, concert organizers, radio consortia (such as the excellent folks at Z100), and other groups that could make use of our in-venue technology.
The best thing would be to look back a year from now on having built a constellation of Venuing apps for venues all across the country, if not beyond and know that users are being linked together — digitally — in live events as they never before have been. That would be the most gratifying kind of expansion plan we could forge.
A special thanks to ihavezlatathoughts.com for contributions to this post.
- Jane Van Arsdale