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Archive for June, 2010

Members of the LocaModa sales and creative teams are on-site at the Waterfront Westin for The Ad Club’s Branded in Boston event.

Say hello to Steve, Greg, Gabi, and Dan if you see them!


This post is the third in a series of Tips for Displaying Social Media Content on Place Based Screens. Previous posts in the series discussed removing URLs and revealing backgrounds and the value of curation.

Many of LocaModa’s social applications involve pulling in content from Twitter and Flickr. In addition to basic Twitter to Screen and Flickr to Screen apps, more specialized apps like social polls and the Foursquare app also rely on tagged social media content in addition to real-time text to screen capabilities. As discussed in my post yesterday on Moderation v. Curation, engaging content proves essential to grabbing eyeballs for more than a split second, particularly in people-packed places. I’ll say it again: curation proves to be the best route to clean, culled content.

But what if your campaign is on a smaller scale than most LocaModa cross-channel executions, and you choose to rely on tagging alone to bring in relevant messages. Are you instantly hampered by misappropriated, mishmashed content?

Not if you tag smart.

Here’s a round-up of social media tagging tips from our years of experience here at Loca. Although these guidelines overlap in many ways with basic SEO and keyword marketing logic, these tips focus more specifically on place-based displays.

1. For a screen directly correlated to a specific venue, be careful if your bar or cafe name is on the generic side. No one at Joe’s Gourmet Pizza wants to know that “haha… my bro Joe stayed at the bar til 4am and then puked pizza on the cat. lol.” Well, maybe they do. But probably not while they’re eating.

Instead of tagging simply “joe” and “pizza,” tag the entire phrase “Joe’s Gourmet Pizza.” You’ll sacrifice message volume the more specific you are, but you’ll gain precision. If you’re not going to go the curation route, specificity in tagging will save you headaches from patrons later.

2. Watch your homophones. As an example of our current World Cup campaign: the Brazil superstar, Kaka. You giggle; Venue owners won’t. Toilet humor and selling sandwiches don’t mix.

3. Some venues try to take the easy way out and tag their screens with random “fun” tags like “party,” “bash,” and “awesome,” thinking it will pull in light, happy messages. Well, let’s experiment. I just went to Twitter and searched for “party.” The first tweet in the list:

It’s not offensive, but it’s certainly irrelevant, particularly if the venue was going for a fun and light vibe. In short, perform multiple Twitter and/or Flickr searches for the tags you have in mind before committing. Oftentimes, the context you’re thinking about isn’t the prevalent one.

4. Along the same vein, watch your hashtags. If you’re staging the National Safety for Farm Workers convention, you probably don’t want to tag your screen #nsfw. That’s probably not how you want to envision your horses.


This post is a follow up to Part I: Tips for Displaying Social Media Content on Place Based Screens: Removing URLs and Revealing Backgrounds.

Our current cross-channel campaign for World Cup has proved to be a telling case study for message curation versus message moderation. For text messages and direct-from-web messages, LocaModa relies on a queue view for moderation, in which messages are immediately rated and approved/rejected for display depending upon network, venue and brand guidelines. In the moderation model, messages are handled chronologically by time sent.

However, when we’re looking at the millions of messages tagged #worldcup over the duration of the tournament (300,000 per game and up to 3,000 per second), we’re facing a message saturation level that begs the Moderation Queue to be weeded. We’re no longer in the position where having every message displayed is the best solution; instead, the ability to choose the most relevant and timely messages out of the tens of thousands per hour received becomes a huge boost to the value of the content stream. While on one level hashtags have made it easier to filter content quickly, overused or misused hashtags threaten the integrity of the practice.

That’s where LocaModa flips the switch to Message Curation

In this model, a moderator can quickly sift messages for context and nuance that tags can miss. The goal is to fill the allotted place-based display time with as many quality, campaign-relevant messages as possible, while weeding out the messages that tagging alone couldn’t cull.

For an event with as much social media traffic as the World Cup, message curation proves a necessary step to whittling down the noise.

Now pass me my vuvuzela.

[For more insight on displaying social media content on place-based screens, you can download a full version of LocaModa's recent white paper, "Twitter on Place Based Screens: Why It’s Not So Simple," written by Senior Systems Architect Jacob Elder.]


This is one of the greatest photo captures of a LocaModa app ever! Thanks to Gabi Porter at Metromix NY for nabbing this awesome photo at the Foursquare Mayors Ball at Thompson LES in NYC. The event proved to be a gathering of today’s Bright Young Things of Social Media, and the venue certainly provided a fitting backdrop to the action!


Kicking off tomorrow, LocaModa’s place-based social media platform will be powering a cross-channel campaign for World Cup, streaming txts and tweets across more than 800 venues nationwide. Users can interact in real-time using Facebook, Twitter or their mobile phone.

More links and pics to come after launch! Stay tuned!