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Copyblogger has a great post today about utilizing ‘digital scraps’ to produce new content. Although the recommendation of repurposing media byproducts to jumpstart new products (or enhance existing ones) is simple, his tips can also be applied to place based media networks and campaigns.

A few ideas:

* Interactive cross-channel campaigns like Be Here benefit from a wide array of content submissions and messages. Encourage users to send in their media nuggets that don’t necessarily fit into their honeymoon album or family photo wall. Think of digital photo walls as the perfect place to submit that photo that is returned at the top of the “Interesting” search result query on Flickr.

* Wiffiti is basically a digital stream of consciousness conversation. There’s no need for users to overthink your CTA. In fact, simple CTAs produce more organic (not to mention more free-form, engaging and fun) content streams. For images, channel your inner Duchamp; txts can be sent in the spirit of Burroughs.

* Posting a contextually-relevant Wiffiti screen on your website invites a constant flow of user input that is automatically collated and displayed to your readers. This online version (whether embedded on Facebook, a dedicated microsite, or within an affiliated blog post), while technically a byproduct of a place based product, is a no-brainer as a value-add.

* The most successful place based apps often mashup multiple social media utilities (e.g. Wiffiti, Foursquare, Twitter, Flickr). Why not join the party?

In the place based mediasphere, encouraging recycling isn’t just the responsible thing to do, it’s the most fun for your viewers, too ;)


Because I don’t think it received nearly the attention it deserved the first time I posted about it, I wanted to pay heed to an original white paper by LocaModa Senior Systems Architect, Jacob Elder, entitled Twitter on Place Based Screens: Why It’s Not So Simple.

With the rise of place-based social media and new digital signage networks popping up everywhere, Jacob’s paper explains the complexities of real-time content display and the operational baggage that comes with it. For venues looking to integrate social media into their digital display network, it’s a must read.

Download the free full pdf version.


Last week, LocaModa announced a new white paper published by Senior Platform Architect Jacob Elder, which examines the technical and operational challenges of streaming real-time social media content on place-based screens.

Using Elder’s paper as inspiration, I wanted to point up a some of the unique features of custom LocaModa campaigns that prove why these executions aren’t as cut-and-dry as plugging in a monitor at an event and calling it a ‘feedback channel.’

1. Ability to automatically filter URLs from Twitter messages for place-based displays
According to Costin Raiu, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky, 26% of Twitter messages contain a URL (and half of those are spam). In a standard DOOH Twitter to Screen execution (without touch screen ability), these links often serve as eyeball clutter for viewers. While some URLs within Twitter messages may be paired with enough context to make sense, the ambient nature of the application doesn’t assign them enough value to compensate for the screen real estate they occupy.

This proves particularly resonant for messages containing bit.ly links, where the context is hidden from the viewer. In a way, it’s the DOOH equivalent of going to a wine tasting with a burnt tongue and a stuffy nose.

That said, many clients choose to include links, which is their preference (we’re happy to guide the experience, but it’s up to the individual needs of the event or venue). But with one simple step in the LocaModa admin panel, all messages containing “http” or “www” or “bit.ly” can be removed.

2. Ability for a ‘Screen Reveal’
Sometimes, the background of a Twitter to Screen, Text to Screen, or Photo to Screen display is ultra cool, yet we never get to see it behind all of the streaming social media content. Enter the ‘screen reveal’ feature. Opt for this, and the messages will disperse in set intervals (1 min, 3 minutes, etc). The screen below was used for Foursquare founder Naveen’s birthday ‘prom’… we had to showcase that hot background image!

These features are available as custom LocaModa executions – Check out our App Store for a general overview of content options.


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.


Although many of the posts here on The Web Outside showcase LocaModa’s finished products, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to pass the baton over to one of our developers and let him shed a bit of light on what goes on behind the scenes here.

Ben, a Platform Architect here at LocaModa, has written a two-part blog post in which he details the asynchronous sending and receiving of messages, as well as synchronous request/response using ActiveMQ and Spring.

Ben will be representing Loca at SXSW, so feel free to pick his brain in person if you’re headed to Austin. (He looks basically like the profile pic above, except in color.) If not, you can always hit him up on Twitter or leave a comment here.