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A typical cafe, bar, restaurant etc isn’t interested in “audience.” They are interested in “customers.”

A location’s business drivers are different to a place based advertising network’s business drivers. Duh. Ask a store owner what her business needs are and she’ll probably mention attracting more customers, providing a better service to those customers, engaging them, reducing perceived (or real) wait time and ultimately selling more stuff.

A place based advertising network sells audiences. But it’s unlikely that even a fully sold ad network can move the revenue needle enough to interest a location. The network operator therefore has to deliver solutions that satisfy the location’s “customer” pain.

Simply stated, delivering customer engagement is a critical revenue driver for place based ad networks. Address that, then sell audience engagement.

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Photo by xJasonRogersx

On the 13th February, 2006, “Critical Fluff” a local, irreverent blog raved about LocaModa and awarded us “Unlimited Pineapples”. Clearly, “Unlimited Pineapples” was a measure that by the blog’s standards was about as great as anyone or anything could achieve. I commented on that blog, thanking the writer.

And that’s how we met Jayne Karolow, the blogger and voice behind “Critical Fluff”.

It is with sadness but also some pride that I announce that after four years with us, Jayne is leaving LocaModa to manage the marketing for a group of uber trendy local restaurants. (We’re confident that those restaurants will soon be sporting LocaModa enabled place based social media screens, so every cloud has a silver lining, but I digress.)

Jayne built and managed and was the principal voice of The Web Outside. Today, The Web Outside is one of the most respected and informative blogs in our industry. For her work on The Web Outside, I award Jayne unlimited pineapples. (Jayne will continue posting from time to time but will now have the unique view from the venue’s side of the experience.)

Jayne also project managed (or project wrangled) some of the most chaotic, innovative, award winning, cross channel, place based social media for the biggest clients in our industry including Calvin Klein, Captain Morgan, Stride, Sprint, VH1, AT&T, GM, Vans and Verizon. For her project management skills, I also award Jayne unlimited pineapples.

As a serial entrepreneur, I recognize that as a startup evolves, it attracts different people at different stages of their careers. A colleague once described startups as “leggy” meaning that they are like Bambie when he tried to stand for the first time. Jayne regularly and diplomatically dealt with our legginess. She calmed chaotic Mad Man and was a bridge between what sales people promise and what engineers have to deliver. All part of a typical day dealing with media agencies, digital out of home networks, creative directors (and their egos), lawyers and tech teams.

As startups grow up, they (hopefully) get less leggy, but they unfortunately can lose great people – especially those accustomed to legginess.

We wish Jayne the very best of luck and, if ANYONE wants a reference for Jayne from me – I can honestly and unequivocally give her unlimited pineapples.

Good luck Jayne, we’ll miss you.

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I’ll be headed to Austin next week for the third annual Netroots Nation Convention (formerly YearlyKos), where LocaModa will be powering Wiffiti!

I attended last year in Chicago and had a fantastic time, so I’m psyched to see what this year has in store.  Caucuses, mixers, blogger sessions– it’s always a very FULL long weekend.  Howard Dean will be giving the opening keynote on Thursday night, as he did last year… and he’s guaranteed to get everyone riled up and rearin’ to go.

Of course, I’ll be blogging and twittering from the event.  If you’ll be there, be sure to drop me a line or tweet me a tweet (@jayniek).  And if anyone has any suggestions for things I need to check out while I’m there, please help out an Austin newbie!

Here’s a glimpse of last year’s event (HELLO Progressive Bloggers!!)

And, for those of you who won’t be joining me in the trek to Austin, I highly recommend hitting up PodCamp in Boston– I’d be there if I wasn’t going to be here!

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Back in February, I spoke at a roundtable discussion about the intersection of new media (specifically Wikipedia) and social change.  A fun and diverse group of techies, nonprofiteers, and social media junkies came together to chat about ways that new technologies can be leveraged to encourage social activism.

One surprising discovery came when –amongst a crew of self-proclaimed advocacy nerds– we admitted that very few of us had actually edited a Wikipedia page.  The general diagnosis?  There is still an invisible hand reigning over the Wiki model; and until this is dissolved (likely as a gradual epistemic change), some semblance of a traditional authorial hierarchy will remain.
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