Curiosity Matters

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

New York Tech Meetup "March" Re-Cap

The New York Tech Meetup "March" event tops my list of best NYTM's. The technology and new products were both groundbreaking and more importantly, incredibly useful. First on the stage was Watch It. It was the first in a long list of "why didn't I think of that?" Watch It aggregates available movies across multiple platforms so you can easily find a movie you want to watch either online, DVD, in the theaters, etc. You can make a queue, share it with your friends, and get alerts when a movie becomes available. Simple yet brilliant.

Yapp took the stage next. I think Yapp marks an important milestone in our digital behaviors and needs. Yapp allows users to easily make a mobile app. Currently in beta, they demonstrated how to make an app for an event - which I'm sure all us nerdy tech folks will want to use to impress our other nerdy tech friends. So does that mean we will go from everyone having their own website to everyone having their own app? Special shout out to the preggers demoer who cracked us up with her Vegas wedding app suggestion. It's always nice to see female presenters onstage especially when they're developing startups outside of fashion.

For those of you trying to juggle your various social media presences (isn't that all of us?!), there's Engagio, a platform that allows you to see all your social media comments and interactions in one place.





Float schedule looks like a useful tool for agencies, studios, digital project managers - or anyone else who has to manage the schedules of various client projects. The act of producing projects is often under appreciated. I consider myself a dreamer or incrementalist according to Scott Belsky's Making Ideas Happen so any tools to help me be more of a "doer" is very much appreciated.

And another special shout-out - this time to my former hometown classmate Andy Tider who presented his Hack of the Month with Ben Fisher called Pool Party. I'm not 100% sure what it does because I was distracted by him throwing beach balls at the audience. Oh - and the hysterically awesome "please be patient" commentary while the program pulls data. Pool Party connects with LinkedIn's APi to help you make better use of a particular group's members - so when you sign in, it connects to LinkedIn, then one of the groups you belong to. From there, you can easily pull out UX Designers, Interaction, Product, Rails, etc. to better connect with. And as if I can't give enough props - another special shout out for getting the URL:

It would seem as if a shower of beach balls would be a tough act to follow but did it with ease. could be the most useful thing since ... email. is a very simple email add-on that allows you to easily unsubscribe to unwanted emails, receive the subscriptions you like in one convenient email and here's where this service can become the next Groupon: get recommendations on newsletters you may actually want to read. It's in beta so sign up and be sure to tell your friends, or work on making your newsletter more interesting and engaging so it doesn't end up "unrolled."

When Kapitall took the stage, it became apparent that the hits would keep coming. French accents, online gaming and stocks! OH MY! Kapitall aims to make investing in stocks understandable and engaging to the masses by creating a game around researching and trading stocks. I'd tell you more but I just signed up and want to go play! Sign up now because trades are only $5 up until March 31st. The potential for educating people about stock trading is groundbreaking. I'll let you ponder that while I introduce the final presenter.

Last but certainly not least, the seasoned Anthony Caselena from Squarespace took the stage with an introduction to their revised portfolio and website publishing platform. There were collective oohs and ahs as we watched Anthony create a photographer's portfolio under a minute. And cringes as we silently cursed ourselves for renewing our Wordpress hosting sites. And curses from web designers who realized they have some serious competition.

So the common theme with all of these, and why I think they're going to be successful, is that they were all incredibly useful. More importantly their use can easily be explained.

Be sure to sign up for the next NYTM on March 27th. If you haven't attended yet, you're missing out. A trick to getting the ticket before they sell out is to make sure your payment is correctly linked before they go on sale. Also, they sell like hotcakes so set your alarm and be on your computer when they sell. If you can't get a ticket, people often resell theirs closer to the date when they realize they have a conflict and can't make it so don't "unroll" your NYTM message board.