Posts tagged ‘widget’

Mama Mia, That’s a Spicy Pappa John’s Widget

As a New Yorker, I feel entitled to be a pizza snob.  After all, outside of Naples, NYC lays claim to being home to the best pizza.   Now, I’m not going to argue with you as to which is the best, Brooklyn’s Di Farra’s, Harlem’s Patsy’s (Frank Sinatra’s Favorite, just don’t tell the Patsy’s in mid-town, who’s in litigation over which restaurant can lay claim to that), downtown’s John’s Pizza, or the Bronx’s Baby Moon.  In my opinion, all can go head-to-head against the town favorite in any town USA and win hands down.

Now, you may be thinking what does pizza have to do with social media marketing, which is, after all the focus of this blog.  Or, did I go to the Slice section of the Serious Eats blog instead?

Well, the good people at Pappa John’s has combined two of my favorite things, pizza delivery and widgets, to bring America’s most consumed take-out food to a social networking profile near you.  It offers a store locator and links you thru to the site where you can order.  Special discounts provide an additional incentive.  A good first-step in widgetizing commerce.  This is the first pizza delivery widget I’ve seen.  It’s not the most visually-appealing widget, but it does its job.  Take that Domino’s.


May 20, 2008 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Nexus – Understanding The Ties That Bind Us

Nexus LogoWhat if you could map your friends and family inter-relationships and gain insights into the commonalities that exist within the overlapping networks? If you’re on Facebook, you can with a nifty application called Nexus.

Nexus creates an interactive image displaying the friendship links and shared interests of your friends. Roll your mouse over the dots that represent your friends and get a side bar view of their profile, complete with Facebook picture and common friends and interests.

Here’s a picture of my Nexus map:

Rich’s social network of friends

When we look at our relationships in relation to one another, some interesting patterns emerge. As circles overlap and friendships intersect with interests, I’m reminded by something my father use to say, “the company you keep says as much about yourself as it does about your friends.”

Nexus allows you to map your corner of the world and make sense out of who you are.

April 1, 2008 at 2:44 am 1 comment

Gruvr – Feelin’ Groovey

GruvrFor all of you music fans out there, the web service Gruvr is an invaluable tool for discovering your local music scene. A true Web 2.0 mash-up, Gruvr serves up local maps, overlayed with live music information. No need to enter your zip code, Gruvr deciphers your whereabouts via your computer’s IP connection and localizes the map to correspond with your immediate major metropolitan area.Since live music is a social activity, Gruvr offers both local and band-specific widgets to share the music love. These widgets allow anyone with a blog, social network profile or web site to publish a live music directory. That alone is quite an accomplishment.Gruvr’s location-based widget provides a continuously updated listing of upcoming concerts near you. Each listing brings up the map of that show. To grab this widget, visit here. No need to fill in the town or zip code, as the service should already know where you live. Copy the widget to your blog or webpage via simple, one-click install process. If you’re handy with feeds, you can also grab their helpful GeoRSS or plain RSS feeds, if you just want the data.While their are a few others in this space, Gruvr offers about the easiest way to add local concert listings to your blog or website. Gruvr will even provide a link back to your site if you use the widget. Here’s an example of Live from Nashville’s Gruvr widget:

Gruvr Location based widget

When users click on the Nashville map link, they are taken to Gruvr’s Nashville map:

Nashville, Gruvr Map

Links with performance information within the widget are also provided and link back to each performer’s MySpace page for more information.Gruvr also offers a tour map widget, specific to a group or performer. It is this widget’s ability to track a musical act’s touring schedule overlayed on a real Google map that has made this a popular MySpace Music tool, invaluable for both performers and their fan base.Benefiting from the youth market’s enthusiasm for viral media, Gruvr has experienced tremendous growth via its band map widget thanks to some pretty high-profile musical acts adopting its technology. Among the more notable bands who have incorporated the widget on their MySpace pages are: Miley Cyrus, Jonas Bros. and Alanis Morissette. In total, the widget is featured on more than 1000 MySpace Music pages. But that’s just the start. Fans can grab their favorite musical performer’s touring widget and add it to their blog, web site or MySpace profile.Just go here to grab a band-map widget and type in your favorite band name (or myspace name if needed).It’s this ying-and-yang between artist and fan that make Gruvr a potentially powerful viral agent for the music industry. Since bands big and small are no longer selling CDs like they use to, live performances will be the big money maker, as evidence by the recent multi-$$$ deals put up by Live Nation to secure bands, ranging from the Jonas Brothers to Madonna.While Gruvr is playing with the big acts, it’s focused more on the long-tail of music, offering a much more granular view of local shows. Everyone knows when Van Halen is playing at the Garden, but who’s out there that we don’t know about. That’s where Gruvr has its greatest potential!And at just over 2-million uniques per month and showing consistent growth month-over-month, the service is really starting to take off. Leveraging the social media spoke-and-hub strategy, Gruvr pushes out content from its hub, while driving traffic back to the hub via its large-base of installed widgets (i.e. Spokes).

Gruvr traffic graph

Gruvr is a self-funded, Boston-area start-up that, to date, generates revenue via Google AdSense and a few affiliate relationships. When will Gruvr start Feelin’ Groovey with cash flow? When it enables bands to monetize their fanbase via its widgets. And that’s exactly what the company has in store – from ticket sales to merchandise to digital downloads, there is no easy plug-and-play solution to support the millions of bands looking to earn a buck. Just when you thought there was no money in Rock & Roll, along comes Gruvr to keep the long tail of music wagging.

Some examples and screen shots

Neursonic myspace – advanced use of widgets on band pages Bucky Covington – from American Idol Flowmotion – widget used on myspace and band website The New Pornographers – example of standard myspace schedule vs. mapDubioza Kolektiv – example of European tour map kolektiv mapDevon Allman’s Honeytribe – example of awesome layout art — but how easy is it to read the schedule? allman schedule

compare to the map: much easier to tell at a glance if they are playing near you…

devon allman map

Example of how upcoming-shows announcment looks as bulletin in myspace, used by Indorphine . Each date is clickable to bring up an individual concert map.

January 15, 2008 at 12:30 am 10 comments

My Social Life