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Archive for January, 2010

burgerMarking the start of a very exciting and busy quarter for LocaModa, yesterday we announced that our place-based platform will be integrated into indoorDIRECT’s Restaurant Entertainment Network, featuring shows such as theBITE, theBITEWeekend and theBITE@Nite. The network can now run mobile and social interactive applications in more than 1,000 quick-serve restaurants including Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr and McDonald’s.

The full release can be found on both Digital Signage Universe and the official Digital Signage Expo site.

And if you haven’t signed up yet, this Thursday (1/28) is Stephen Randall’s free webinar on Social Media and Digital Signage. Should be a great conversation – Bill Yackey of Digital Signage Today will be moderating.

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Stephen-scaledWho: LocaModa CEO Stephen Randall joins Janice Litvinoff from Cisco, Jeff Dumo from Array Interactive, and Bill Yackey from Digital Signage Today

When: January 28th, 2pm EST

Where: Your desk, kitchen counter, or that corner table at Peet’s with the slightly wobbly leg. Bring appropriate snacks and caffeine.

Why: The social media phenomenon has quickly spread and has changed the way people expect to receive information and communicate. Social media has changed the traditional one-to-many broadcast by connecting many-to-many through social media dialogues. Content consumers are transformed into content producers allowing you to strengthen your relationship and connection with your target audience.[src]

How: Register here!

You can also follow Stephen on Twitter!

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Here in MA, we’re in the midst of a firey Special Election for Ted Kennedy’s Senate Seat. Twitter is all-ajabber about it, and Wiffiti is capturing the stream (and welcoming live txts and photos).

Send your txts in the form of @MAsenate + your msg to 87884, or send photos to MAsenate@wiffiti.com with your caption in the subject line.

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ykos - 13Richard Leibovitz, Editorial Director at Digital Signage Expo, posted a great question on the LinkedIn 2010 Educational Faculty Group Forum about the viability and implementation of a Twitter backchannel at conferences and events.

He asks:

DSE is looking for ways to engage the Twitter backchannel as part of the educational conference discussion at DSE 2010. Please join the discussion by sharing any experience you’ve had with attendees tweeting in conference rooms and any suggestions you might have for using these tweets in a positive way… The other question is whether we ask our session moderators to monitor tweets as a way to gather questions for the speakers, or whether the speakers themselves should be moderating tweets during their sessions so they can respond directly to questions?

I wanted to post my thoughts here since many The Web Outside readers may not be involved in the DSE site (but you should be!)
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I think one of the main sticking points on the moderation discussion is directly related to the definition of ‘backchannel’ itself. The concept of a Twitter backchannel has recently come to the fore of many conference and event planning discussions, but the term has unfortunately taken on a dual definition that’s at odds with itself.

In one camp, event organizers view this backchannel as a means of providing additional context for the event – an ambient reflection of the happenings on the show floor.

In the other camp, the backchannel is understood as a direct means of communication with the speaker or event organizers, a ‘DM’ to the topic/speaker currently at the helm.

The problem with this twofold definition is that each use case begs for entirely different moderation protocol. In the former case, an auto-filter eliminating profanity (and all of its creative permutations!) and racial slurs may be enough in many instances. In the latter, specific context plays a much larger role, and cherry-picking content is often the only route to guaranteeing relevant (if not ‘appropriate’) messages are displayed. It’s actually quite similar to the struggle that contextual advertising software faces.

At LocaModa, we’ve addressed these two scenarios with a moderation system that allows for:
1. auto-filtering at G, R, X ratings
2. human moderation in a queue format
3. a ‘curation’ system that allows for cherry-picking of content in terms of time/relevance

For DSE, I think a Wiffiti screen (with additional hashtagged Twitter and Flickr streams) would work well as an ambient screen in the networking area, and would give the options of auto-filter with optional human moderation if the self-advertising gets out of hand.

Using the screen as a specific pairing with a speaker is always a dodgier situation, especially when conferences attempt to pigeonhole its use into a standard Q&A format. This backchannel shouldn’t replace human interaction, but rather, enhance it. As an ambient channel, Wiffiti can be a very powerful tool. As a replacement for rote Q&A session transcription, I’d recommend sticking with manual entry Powerpoint.
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I’d love to hear other industry views on this topic… Do you think some of the resistance of the real-time format is directly connected to the conflicting definitions of how a backchannel should be most effectively framed and viewed?

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cereal bowlI typically do a weekly scan of new deployments in digital signage across LocaModa’s most relevant channels – quick serve restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, public spaces. Most are fairly standard POS solutions, digital menu boards, and streaming news content. Since we’re focused on elevating such installments to include interactivity (and ultimately branch them into a cross-channel effort), I often have a hard time evaluating the signage at face value and not immediately jumping to next steps.

A headline on the Digital Signage Expo site this morning caught my eye not because of a unique use of digital signage, but for the cool factor of the venue itself: The Cereal Bowl Restaurants Roll Out Digital Signage.

A QSR devoted entirely to customized cereal creations? So smart.

Add in fro-yo options to hop aboard the Pinkberry craze? All the smarter.

Their new digital signage installation makes me salivate thinking about the options for interactivity on those screens! To start, patrons could send in texts with their favorite cereal “recipes” and email in mobile photos of their creations once they’ve been built. How about incorporating a social poll where users submit their carby masterpieces and other patrons vote and comment? Add in customized Cereal Bowl Twitter and Flickr hashtags… and now we’re getting somewhere.

For such a fun venue, I’d love to see the ante upped with their DS solution…

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Txt @cereal + your message to 87884, or email your photos to cereal@wiffiti.com!

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