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Archive for March, 2010

We’re proud to announce that we’ll be sponsoring BarCamp Boston this year!

We’ll be represented well by our team of engineers, and look for one of our screens on site as well!
Introduce yourself to our team if you’re planning on attending, and remember that we’re hiring


We’re proud to announce that LocaModa Senior Platform Architect Jacob Elder has published a white paper entitled Twitter on Place Based Screens: Why It’s Not So Simple.” The paper addresses the complex issues of streaming real time content across networks of social locations, focusing on the technical and operational ramifications.

From the abstract:

Displaying place-based social media brings with it a plethora of challenges, from technological hurdles of aggregation and delivery of arbitrary, on-demand social media data streams to compliance with public decency laws, the CAN-SPAM Act and public liability considerations – all while having to facilitate a holistic and engaging user experience to mostly transient, lean-back audiences.

The technical challenges range from the well-understood battles against internet spammers and pranksters to technological hurdles of delivering information in a timely, coherent and relevant fashion. The biggest challenge of all, however, is the unenviable task of having to moderate large amounts of information in real time; moreover, that information often must be filtered through ad hoc communities, topics of interest or venue and contextual guidelines in order to make it suitable and desirable for public display.

Elder’s white paper is available as a free full-length pdf.

And if you just can’t get enough, more LocaModa white papers are also available.


As reported on MediaPost this morning, OVAB (Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau) has changed its name to DPAA (Digital Place-based Advertising Association), largely in reaction to the industry trend towards ‘place-based’ as the preferred designation for locations serving audiences.

As DPAA President Suzanne La Forgia explains:

“Places are the distinguishing factor that helps to cultivate audiences and help cultivate interaction… It isn’t just something that is on a roadside, or on the side of a bus. It’s in places where people congregate, and how consumers and venue visitors are experiencing these networks.’

This is a name change we certainly appreciate, not only because it captures the expanding connotations of the term digital (as I discussed in yesterday’s post), but also because it recognizes the growing traction of the term we use extensively to describe our offerings (LocaModa’s tagline being Place-Based Social Media).

The DPAA will no longer support ‘static digital signage,’ which, again, falls right in line with yesterday’s discussion of what digital has come to mean (i.e. multi-channel, engaging, measurable, interactive).

I’m interested to hear the industry-wide reaction of the change, but we’re encouraged by the formal acknowledgement of a shift we’ve been tracking for years.


MoMA has announced a fascinating acquisition to their collection this morning: @.

The MoMA blog outlines the full rationale behind @‘s honorable new status, but in sum:

The appropriation and reuse of a pre-existing, even ancient symbol—a symbol already available on the keyboard yet vastly underutilized, a ligature meant to resolve a functional issue (excessively long and convoluted programming language) brought on by a revolutionary technological innovation (the Internet)—is by all means an act of design of extraordinary elegance and economy.

As the post goes on to explain, Ray Tomlinson (of BBN), who is credited with developing the earliest email system, is said to have chosen ‘@’ for ‘its strong locative sense.’ The rise of location based services and place based networks has elevated its status even more. @ has become more than a functional address designation, but rather a mark of identity – the “I’m talkin’ to you” of the digital world.

This broadening of meaning points up a related conceptual shift: DIGITAL.

Because we’re neck-deep in ‘digital’ issues all day, every day here at LocaModa, it’s hard to track the evolution of a term when it’s continually mutating. That said, over the past few years, particularly in the advertising and DOOH arenas, ‘digital’ has taken on a far heftier meaning than as a simple binary to ‘analog.’ Digital projects are now expected to not only recognize their audience, but also react and respond. Oddly enough, digital has has taken a joyride down the binary spectrum and now connotes a near-human sense of interactivity and engagement.

And, frankly, if you’re still viewing digital as a counterpoint to print, your audience may no longer be able to discern the difference.


Loca Engineer Ben was at SXSW to capture the LocaModa and Foursquare app in the lobby of the Austin Hyatt, which housed thousands of SX attendees.

That said, I think Ben took this picture at 6am during a fire alarm?