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An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

New York Tech Meet Up Recap

And here it goes. Once again, I spent the last few days running from meeting to meeting, event to event and still don't have time for the gym. Go figure. But another lesson on branding and customer service done right; I finally received my fancy scale from Gilt. Over a month ago, right after I got Thomas, my scale broke. Thomas sat on it for lengthy periods of time while he was hiding under my bed. At the same time, Gilt listed a fancy scale that calculates your body fat percentage. I know. Why would I want to know that? In any case, I ordered it, not realizing it would take 5 weeks for delivery! But through email, was able to re-route it to my apartment and received it just in time to learn... drum roll please... that I weigh exactly the same I did 4-5 weeks ago. Victory.

Okay. I digress.

My first rookie mistake was that I had a fake name on my Meet Up name tag - "MissMoll" my internet "handle," not realizing we'd get pre-made name tags. #Fail. Secondly, I was never able to sell my 2nd ticket but the event was well worth the extra $10. The FIT auditorium was PACKED. Highlights and commentary: The mid 40's crowd talks about Generation Y as being tech savvy and they complain they're entitled and don't pay their dues. Sounds like they're threatened. NO. Actually, the Xers and Baby-Boomers should really be worried about the kids just graduating college. They're the tech savvy ones. Wait. No.

A sixth grader confidently presented how he created his gaming software to a room full of 500+ tech savvy New Yorkers. Yeah. I know.

That's where this world of technology is going. So a recent college grad introduced the next generation of Facebook meets Match meets Chatroulette. Not entirely unique but I'm sure there's a need for it because the college kids want their own thing and let's face it, both my parents are on Facebook. Randomdorm.com and Goodcrush.com. See a larger list of new ventures on NYTM.org along with videos of their demos. I was particularly impressed with Bit.ly's presentation of their latest website re-design. I can't imagine why you'd want to use any other website shortner. With bit.ly you can track your users by demographic, have a record of how many hits your link gets and a whole host of other features. It even goes through their system so you can be assured a bit.ly link isn't connected to a virus, etc.
And finally, we get to stickybits.com. This, I believe, is the real winner. You download an App that scans bar codes. You receive a physical packet of stickies with bar codes on the stickies (the size of a business card) and you can attach digital content to the bar code. So in theory, you can attach this bar code to the back of your resume (with a unique code) and attach a link to your website, upload your resume, etc. Your recipient can scan the bar code and access the information instead of going home and inputting the link to your website on his computer. So holy crap. You have an instant connection between the physical and digital worlds. Just imagine the implications for advertisers. Or think about how they can track the effectiveness of "guerrilla marketing," billboards, magazine ads, you name it. I think their biggest hurdle is getting people to understand how to use the service and distributing the stickers. Even Foursquare, with over a 1/2 million users, is something you have to get in the habit of using - checking in when you get to a location. And the motivation comes from essentially the social network equivalent of a pat on the back.

So that's my social media, marketing, advertising prediction of what will take off in May 2010 - or at least has a shot of revolutionizing how advertisers and consumers interact. What are your thoughts? Oh and P.S. Naturally I met some very cool people, got to hang out with a cool new friend who's sooo going places, and ran into someone I went to high school with! Just a typical, amazing, post break-up, post Birthday/laid off, full of inspiration-  type of evening.