Does Poynt have potential to bring local communities together?

poynt

If you are fan of all those location-based technologies services trying to make our lives easier you might know about Poynt (app).

Poynt is a local search facility on your mobile. The app has no niche; you can search for almost anything.

It’s very useful if you are looking for the nearest gas station or restaurant etc… but to be honest it’s  not extraordinary as there are many services offering those features nowadays.

What we find quite interesting about this product: 

- They have added great messaging options including contacts

- Real-time search & answer.

- Great design (great user interface/experience)

- Smart weather icon (it is a utility app!)

- A very small move in getting a partnership with Nimbuzz ( a mobile messaging app). Perhaps this might be a good step forward in resolving their critical mass issue.

Small businesses should consider ReachLocal

A few months ago, I came across an interesting company which has been around for a while but not well known in the UK.

ReachLocal is a provider of online marketing solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. Basically they help Local businesses gain more customers through their online exposure platforms.

They specialise in offering Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools for small businesses; but also offer many more things. Check them out here: http://www.reachlocal.co.uk/

- J

Look at your local noticeboards for opportunities!

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A few weeks ago, I was taking a walk in my local area and came across those big local notice boards you see pretty much everywhere if you’re not buried in your smartphone or your thoughts.

In fact, if you have a closer look, you can notice that we are surrounded by them; in most of local shops, libraries, schools, colleges, local coffee shops, local supermarkets etc…

Whilst exploring modern tech initiatives to improve the old school notice board, I randomly thought of a french startup called Geokiwi (Unfortunately, it clearly looks like the startup isn’t running any longer).

A few years ago, when I came across Geokiwi through the famous Leweb conference, I can clearly remember thinking what a great idea.

Here is a video of Geokiwi presentation at Leweb in 2011.

Until now , I haven’t really seen( If you do, don’t hesitate to share) a product with a great solution but I definitely believe the opportunity is still there for innovative creation.

- J

Streethub – nearby item finder startup

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A few months ago, I came across a pretty ambitious startup in London, called Streethub. It is a ‘find a product near you’ service for consumers.

Streethub reminds me of a startup called Milo (which was bought by ebay in 2010) . For those of you who don’t know Milo, it was quite a popular silicon valley startup in 2010 with a big goal of building a bridge between online and offline commerce. Pretty quickly the young startup discovered that the vision was too ambitious and ended up by selling to the famous online auction site, Ebay.

So far, Streethub look like they are doing well by making deals with important strategic retailers and getting investment funds. Both crucial for any business start-up’s success.

The major weakness I see is their lack of a mobile application. In my humble opinion, there is no way to solve the local commerce holy grail without a first class mobile strategy. I have recently been made aware that they are working on their iPhone application.

Until they launch in more London areas and offer a great mobile experience, it will be hard to really see what Streethub can offer in their consumer market.

- J

Foursquare is getting interesting!

FOURSQUARE

I have been following Foursquare probably from around 2009/10

For the first couple of years , It was just a check in app. You give your location so you can connect with friends in the area or get info.

Nowadays, the startup has another dimension. Foursquare has moved from a checkin feature to a great location focused recommendation tool .

I never used it much personally. I guess the main reasons are because I never really understood why should I share my location and what I was really getting from it

But recently, I was at Southbank and I got a notification from a random person on Foursquare giving me info about the best places to visit in that area.

An other great experience was at the gym, I got a notification from the gym manager to remind me to put the weights back after I’d finished with them. Isn’t this great ?

Here are a few examples why I think Foursquare recommendation tool has a massive potential:

- Imagine being in a restaurant  and getting other people’s recommendations of what to/not to order. Good for consumers and for restaurants it can be a great marketing tool as well.

- Imagine going to a park you are unfamiliar with and getting feedback from people familiar with the park who share their favourite parts; where to get the best view, where is good for children, where to avoid going if you have a run, where regular music jams happen or sharing where the ice cream van is.

Anyway, you can let your imagination go and explore different directions that foursquare could go. There is a lot of potential. But at the moment the focus is still on connecting people as consumers to what local services are around.

We want to focus on community…

Locappy – a new way to discover offers in your neighbourhood

A couple of months ago I discovered a new product called Locappy through an event I was randomly invited to attend at the campus.

It was brilliantly organised event and interesting one for someone passionate about glocalising like myself.

What’s cool about Locappy? 

The service is a local marketing platform for small businesses. Basically this a tool for “small” local businesses to advertise and attract local people through mainly social media websites like Facebook, twitter… At the same time users will be able to receive nearby offers in real-time. In a way, it’s a much better version of Groupon too.

At the moment, It looks like they are at a very early stage of their adventure but I have to say, they are making lots of progress. Their strategy seems to conquer London from area to area. For now, the lucky areas available are Soho, Shoreditch and Marylebone (if you live in one of these area, give it a try and share your feedback).

But what do they do exactly ?

They offer to small businesses a tool to attract more customers through a targeted mobile advertising, social networks, hyperlocal blog adverts and a location based app. Recently they launched their android and as far as I know I don’t think their iPhone app is running yet. Also the web based product is only available in Soho and Shoreditch. I guess scalability is the real issue that they will have to figure out if they want even a glimpse of success.

So I can’t wait for the iPhone app and mainly for more places in South London to get online.

I sincerely hope Locappy takes off because it’s a good glocalisation tool. However, the focus is still on consuming rather than community.

Is hyperlocal “daily deals” business dead?

This might be quite an old videos but I think the subject of the debate is still quite relevant.

Nowadays , it seems like most of people have made they mind in admitting that the daily deals business is definitely dead.

The main arguments of users fatigue or seeing those deals as spams and mainly how irrelevant they are …. – those arguments are still strong reasons to think that the daily deal business was never a sustainable business.

But a new rebirth of this daily deal business seems to appear. This is what I personally call “a hyperlocal daily deal”!

How about if Groupon , LivingSocial and all those other look alike companies got it completely wrong?

How about if you could get relevant deals at a time you need it and mainly from where you really are?

Startups like Locappy ( http://www.locappy.com) seems to have a go at this and I am sure that we will see a crowd of companies jumping into this field again.