We speak via Skype connection, rather than the limiting 140 characters of Twitter, with long time friend Becky McCray on episode number 64 of The Bella Buzz podcast. Becky was an early participant in the SB Buzz tweet chat that we discussed many episodes ago, and after we dispose of the tributes to the iPad2 coming out of Cupertino, we get into the social media wisdom that Becky applies to her many endeavors.
Becky is a content producer! In one form or another she has blogs set up that deal with Small Business, her liquor store, tourism, her personal musings, and many many more topics. She is fluent in social media and provides great insights to her clients, friends and neighbors on how to get the most out of their efforts in this evolving space.
Coming off the dialog about the new iPad2 and what it means to the development cycle, we have a great discussion about location based apps and the future of these apps in tourism and small town business. Becky believes that destinations must mobilize their constituents to prepare for visitors, by ensuring that there are quality tips, reviews and recommendations on these services. It is the inside information from local residents that visitors should find on services such as Yelp, Urban Spoon, Gowalla and Foursquare.
Becky is really interested in the future of apps that are connecting people based upon interests. We have seen the beginnings of this with the Get Glue app which is based around television shows, movies and books. She would like to extend this to activities in a way that the original Twitter asked the question “What are you Doing?”
Where most of these current versions of location based apps have a competition or game approach, what it really boils down to is the quality of the information that they contain. It is not so much that someone has visited the same location the most times that sets them apart, it is what they contribute in the form of relevant information.
Becky uses an interesting term to identify the target market for the small municipality that is trying to attract visitors passing on the highway and patronizing the chain restaurant. She uses the term “Explorer” as the most likely person to venture from the tried and true, which comes from the Kansas Sampler Foundation. This foundation understands the need for adopting new technologies and tactics, in order to succeed in rural economic development.
This topic also gives us a chance to explore the release of Shop Alerts, an app that pushes coupons (and hopefully reviews) to opted-in customers willing to get presented offers based upon passing through a particular location. Taken to a larger scale, this could be applied to a municipality enabling “geo-fencing” to reach out electronically.
Of course, all of this technology is reliant upon strong internet connectivity and opens an entire debate about our responsibility to ensure that all of the country, and the developing world, has access to high speed internet. In order for equal opportunity to exist, we must diminish the digital divide. In many rural parts of the country, reception and internet access are difficult to find. Becky recommends that any business with wi-fi hotspots clearly mark their locations for out of town guests.
We wrap the episode with a quick discussion about time management and how Becky slices up her priorities in a Get Things Done approach.
You can connect with Becky on Twitter via her @BeckyMcCray account or through her online business card at BeckyMcCray.com. A big Thank You shoutout to Becky from The Bella Buzz and we leave a standing invitation to join us again any time to continue the conversation!
NOTE: After the recording concluded we had a further conversation about Becky’s post titled Titillating is not the same as interesting. As Becky mentioned during this conversation, “I bet you wish we were still recording right now” .. indeed.
From our perspective on The Bella Buzz, our digital footprint is long lasting. We hope that our words will be heard for many years into the future and that we can be proud of our legacy. By avoiding sensationalism and maintaining high standards we believe that we can demonstrate our integrity to respected people like Becky, and feel comfortable in our children discovering our works and ideas.
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