Conceived of a brief, visual campaign to satisfy important internal objectives for a State of California department:
Demonstrate public support of employee work and contribution
Emphasize brand value of data, expertise, natural resource authority
Connect employees across disparate work locations
Promote official Facebook channel and convert internal staff into followers
Called Faces of Conservation, the idea was to focus on the individual, get a snapshot of him or her in her “natural work environment,” and craft a caption and quote to support the four project goals.
I created the campaign, template, process for securing content (interviews, photos), guided graphics development and advised on strategy for ongoing publication. From there, the public affairs team picked it up and has run with it since.
Like many government – especially at the state level – the organization was resistant to sharing personal details on a public site and it took a few rounds of requests and negotiating to secure the initial featured staff. However, after the first three profiles, Facebook engagement had ticked up with each post, and remains at a consistently high level (views, likes, shares) compared or other posts and channels.
We’re calling all Bay Area artists to once again create awe-inspiring art for over 700,000 daily Muni riders.
The SFMTA, in partnership with San Francisco Beautiful, is excited to announce the second annual Muni Art Project. This time, Muni will celebrate local artists by displaying art on twice as many buses – 100 instead of 50.
Fresh artwork from five selected artists will grace Muni buses next January through April. The deadline for submissions is June 17 (more details below).
The return of Muni Art reignites a beautiful relationship between local art and local transit. It’s not just easy on the eyes – this is one way we’re helping make transit and public spaces more attractive and engage with our diverse communities.
Philip Hua and four other artists had their work displayed on Muni buses last fall. Hua’s project, “Unified Portraits of A Divided San Francisco,” combined digital portraits of San Franciscans to highlight the city’s diversity. Photo: Phillip Hua, Handout
Happy MuniMobile Monday! We are excited to announce the launch of MuniMobile, our new app that allows you to purchase Muni bus, rail and cable car tickets right from your phone.
This morning, we officially launched the app at Powell Station, a key transportation hub with Muni Metro, the F Line and Cable Cars all passing nearby. For downtown visitors, our friends at the San Francisco Travel Visitor Information Center were also on hand to offer their expertise on how to get to the best spots within our 7×7 miles via Muni.
Muni has long been a popular subject of transit apps in the city, but MuniMobile combines NextMuni arrival information and ticketing.
The MuniMobile app is available in the iPhone App Store and on Google Play for Android. To make sure you find the official one, note the full Muni worm in the app thumbnail and that “MuniMobile” is one word.
Once you download the app, you’re all set to purchase your tickets and get on your way. Remember to activate the ticket when you board or enter a paid area. Your phone is your fare — be ready to show the active MuniMobile screen as your proof of payment.
As the name implies, MuniMobile is specific for the Muni transit system. Mobile tickets work through visual validation by SFMTA staff so to board or enter metro faregates, flash your phone screen to the vehicle operator or station agent. With visual validation there’s no tapping at the gate.
Help us transition Muni successfully into the app age and begin using MuniMobile today! Then share how it works for you. This is a pilot program so your feedback is in integral part of evaluation and further development. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
SFMTA Ambassadors greeted Muni riders to provide tips and answer questions this morning to announce the new app.
The other day, a coworker friend asked me if anything changed after I got married.
You’d think after being the oldest person in graduate school, I’d become accustomed to this question. But, it has been a few months since then and my brain has since aged exponentially (due to the oldness).
As a result, this question completed voided my mind of understanding and I was dumbfounded.
What has changed? Changed, like…my name? I just couldn’t think of anything big that is different in life now, that was not so different with that other last name I had, oh whenever that was.
Just two years in, I act like a tenured ball and chain.
It’s just that once you get over the baffling sloppiness of living with a man, life resumes as before. There are times both your names fit into the same addressee line on bills, and that whole M-R-S concoction is unsettlingly old-sounding, but these things settle quietly atop life as it always was.
Okay…that’s not entirely true.
For example, today I woke up early and went to the gym. Then I returned home and ate two donuts. Had a cup of coffee, then ate a chocolate chip cookie.
Single girls don’t do that shit.
Girl, if you had my husband, you could have the whole baker’s dozen.
Alex is forever reminding me how great I look, even as the second Krispy Kreme donut enters my mouth and spills frosted sugar chunks all over my stupidly smiling face.
There are more serious changes, too.
My least favorite is finding the leeway between “nagging” and “doting,” aiming to err to the former in attempt to perpetuate myself as The Pants-Wearer. I almost always fail.
Being called nagging is among the worst things to do to a wife, yet what is my retaliation? I am legally, contractually obliged to grin and bear it.
There are books aplenty reminding women that they are not supposed to fly off the handle at their inevitably ridiculous husbands. Instead, we are to learn to channel the seething irritation into baking or how to master the elegant quip.
Marriage is an endless game of strategy. Monopoly that never concludes.
It’s a test of the wits and the pride. Similar to how going to graduate school made me wonder if I ever deservedany degree, marriage makes you question your self-worth. Sure, you were the shit in your early twenties. Probably were a nice piece of intellectual curiosity in college (see what I did there?).
But then, you got engaged. You said, “Hey, this person, this guy/gal/thing is a KEEPER! The One.”
Now, take a moment and pull yourself aside to say goodbye to those rollicking days of whimsy and adventure that fed your ego and inflated your sense of personal uniqueness.
Yes, you are still you, you are special, blah, blah, blah.
Fascinating or insipid as you may be, your marriage will not add value to yourself, and it does not remove value. It will, however, make you share everything. Including your reputation and your perception of what’s worth your time, with your partner.
You will have to work harder to stay in touch with your individuality.
It’s a daily exercise. It makes you stronger if you remember to do it regularly. Just do it a few extra times if you’ve got a soft spot (or a couple pounds of soft spots?) for donuts.
Other than that, life is exactly the same as before but with better company built in…for better or worse.
And now for another lesson in newlywed bliss: don’t spend an hour and a half trying a new recipe unless you’re sure your husband actually likes the main ingredient.This is how I found out Alex doesn’t like sweet potatoes.
At the point I was tempted to take my own photo, but it was not attractive. Thanks, lickthebowlgood.blogspot.com for showing me up.
The rest of the recipe turned out surprisingly well, considering the unwanted chunks. However, all my failed mashing, chopping and aggressive blending turned this“10 minute” prep into an hour.
Flour on my nose and decorating my shirt, I managed to fry up a pile of nutmeg-scented beauties. I also managed to realize the recipe makes 24 pancakes and I was making breakfast only for myself, Alex and my sister.
People eat nine pancakes each, right?
Noticing Alex eyeing my Pisa-like tower of potato hotcakes, I offered, oh-so generously, “do you want some?”
Shrugging and looking nonchalantly at his coffee, he responds, “maybe I’ll taste one. I don’t like sweet potatoes.”
What?! As if these orange frisbees hadn’t damaged my ego enough.
Second trap: Pinterest and food porn don’t work on all husbands. If you’re married to the stubborn “I like Uncrustables!” type, sweet potato pancakes just can’t compete. Some of us care about the vitamins and minerals we put into our bodies, some of us prefer to marry healthier spouses and life a vitamin-enriched life by proxy.
I’d like to blame Pinterest, modern kitchen appliances and Internet recipes for luring me – yet again – down the rabbit hole of modern wifehood expectations, where I stand unable to defend myself with just a cast iron skillet and wooden spoon in hand.
Also, it helps to ask Alex directly, if he likes a food before I try to make it. Talking about it to his family, then to our friends, then to myself, with him in earshot doesn’t count.
The MuniMobile app has been updated with some key design improvements, thanks to feedback from users like you.
In the new version, you may notice our mobile ticketing app provides faster access to active and stored tickets upon startup as well as clearer screen prompts on when to activate tickets and ticket expiration time. The display has also been enhanced to be more accessible for users with visual impairments.
So if you haven’t already, be sure to update your MuniMobile app to enjoy all of the new features. MuniMobile version 1.7.1 is available for iPhone on the App Store and for Android devices on Google Play.
If you run into any issues with the app, email us at email@example.com or call 311 for assistance. We want to ensure your mobile ticketing is as sleek as our new Muni buses.
Coming Soon: Rate My Ride
Later this summer, MuniMobile will also get a new feature: Rate My Ride.
Rate My Ride will allow you to provide specific feedback about any Muni trip in seconds. With a simple click to the left or right, you can rate your trip time, vehicle conditions and even the etiquette of fellow riders.
Rate My Ride is just one more way we’re making it easier for you to tell us how we can improve your SF transportation experience. Rate My Ride is simple, it’s interactive — plus, you can’t beat MuniMobile’s cute interface.
Do you want to know why it is hard to be married and a broke graduate student these days? Because America is a mean place to live.
We can all blame this guy:
Don’t be fooled by his gentle, grandfatherly appearance. He is a ruthless hope killer who represses the weak and bolsters the rich. HE IS THE MAN. Damn the man!
This week I learned how to play Monopoly. Have you ever played Monopoly – the real way? All of my childhood I thought the game was an endless loop about the board, trying to avoid jail and roll doubles every time.
There is money exchanging in the real game. A little economy between players. Who knew?!
I didn’t. Alex taught me (chalk up another point for the husband).
Here’s the catch – the game of Monopoly is just as is sounds. A quest for MONOPOLY.
It is unethical! Illegal!
Especially with only two players, it is inevitable that one player will dominate the board slowly driving the other into defaulting on mortgages and selling little plastic kidneysjust to pay for utilities.
Is this America or what? And the game is not even ashamed. Official rules of the game state, winning is not only amassing wealth but making all other players bankrupt.
Look at pretentious old gramps, sneering at your common man-ness.
This game is bad for mental health. Unless your a trust fund baby zooming through life on your daddy’s little tin race car, you’re doomed to an existence of overextended credit.
That said, 3 out of the 4 games Alex & I have played I bankrupted Alex. It’s a terrible thing to watch your partner sink into unresolvable debt while your piles of $500 bills lay watching in ennui.
The view from the wealthy side of the game.
‘Murica. The land where you don’t lend your neighbor money cause you want him to be tortured by the mob in attempt to draw loan repayment from his blood. Fuck yeah. Now I buy a hotel.
Speaking of the greatness of American commercialism, have you all seen this commercial?
It hurts my heart. And not in the way that Prilosec wants.
Some days, the relentless pursuit of mindless wealth makes me want to quit life and turn back into a monkey.
Other days, I play Monopoly, kick Alex’s ass and think,
“My, what a terrific guy this Alex is. He lets me win Monopoly without pouting! He is not threatened by any potential or existing successes of mine. He supports me going to school fulltime while he works crazy hours. Hmm, he even job hunts for me.”
“He wants me to be the breadwinner.”
Then, I get stressed out by all the pressure and have to leave the game to eat a slice of pumpkin pie. Then I return to give Alex a hug and feel less stressed and a bit more inspired.
As much as I don’t want to be part of our ubercapitalistic society, is it comforting to know that someone around here truly thinks I can succeed in this rat race.
Before we were engaged, I heard many a person warn me that finances would be the thorniest issue about newlywed life. About married life. People are liars, that’s the hardest part about life in general.
The worst part about newlywed life is keeping a clean apartment.
Keeping this space tidy has caused many a passionate disagreement around here. It is enough to make me feel genuinely neurotic. Like I am recently uncovering a latent case of obsessive compulsive disorder and my darling new husband has no sympathy for this disease. Current fiancees, be forewarned. In my case, I simply thought a tidy workspace and constantly clean kitchen were signs of an organized and efficient person. Apparently, not everyone agrees.
Oh the humanity! Get them out of there before something awful grows.
The decreased size of our apartment has magnified the effect of the dirty dish. A pile of plates in the sink are a Pisa tower of soggy dinner filth, threatening to direct wafts of watery spaghetti sauce in the direction of my breakfast toast. How’s a girl to read the morning news with that thought tickling her peripheral vision?
To make matters worse, I attempted to make them better.
Our chalkboard is used for organizing, note writing, etc. Now it also shows the kitchen cleaning duties for each day. In more than one colored chalk because that means it’s fun! Of course, before I took to scribbling my clean dictatorship about the house, I asked Alex’s opinion. He, in typical dirty boy fashion, nodded and mumbled something inaudibly. This is where a good wife would probably infer something empathetic, but I inferred reluctant guilt at being a dirty boy and pranced into chore assignment with gusto.
Is it because my handwriting is so terrible?
So far, Alex has not adhered to the rules of my game. Apparently imposing OCD onto another by rules of daily chores is not effective? I have tried to give him a couple days leeway but I cannot bring myself to ignore a dirty kitchen for very long…it truly makes me angry.
Uh oh. Neurosis.
How do other couples solve this? To be an organized graduate student and keep a schedule of early shifts at Starbucks, afternoon classes and evening homework, organization must exist, right? Where is that elusive balance of happy home and clean home?
Perhaps I need a boy’s opinion. A tidy boy’s opinion? Or at least some tips on that reverse psychology, I’m getting desperate here.
Applications for LBS have been around for years, though the market for mobile LBS is recently gaining momentum. For example, Foursquare, the largest LBS company, attracted 21 million of its 25 million worldwide users in the past two years (“About,” 2012; Van Grove, 2012). Foursquare offers users a database of businesses in a given area, so they can “check in” to the business or restaurant they are visiting. Check-ins allow Foursquare users to crowd source tips or insights on specific businesses from other users, and track the places their friends visit. A similar service is Yelp which brings the Yelp! community of user reviewers mobile, syncing photos, tips and check ins with the main online website. Google has also joined the fray, overlaying Zagat business reviews into Google Maps for a now well-know mobile service called “local guides” within Google Maps.
The LBS market is growing as mobile phone users become more comfortable adding location services into their daily routine. However, it is still an evolving market, flowing with demand and innovation. In 2010, Mashable declared startup business Neer as the most practical of the top five location-based services, a leader for its simplicity. Today, the business is defunct.
Considering the volatility of evolving consumer technology, public relations professionals representing LBS companies must keep several unique characteristics in mind. The greatest PR asset within the industry is access to specific audiences and key behavior information. Users provide basic information such as age, city, gender upon sign-up. They then begin using the location-based functions to specify shopping, dining or entertainment preferences. After regular use, all this LBS data coalesce to provide PR and marketing teams with a cohesive profile of its users. Likewise, the connections between users provide another layer of insight to psychographics and attitudes. This convergence of social networks and LBS does two things for communication professionals in the industry: opportunity to use user data to form partnerships with local businesses and potential for personalized, two way, even realtime, interaction with customers.
Partnerships increase the clout of LBS companies, giving them a “real world” presence and linking an online influence to an enhanced offline experience for users. Foursquare has partnered with American Express to provide discounts to Foursquare users at local businesses, and modernizing the AMEX image for younger demographics. This has also benefited local business in both online and offline contexts, bolstering direct sales and boosting online reputation.
Greater personalization depends on regular data from users and responsibility from the LBS company. PR representatives must be prepared to handle concerns about privacy and how LBS companies are securing the data they collect. There are legal issues with data collection from users under age 13; PR representatives must be familiar with these statutes and how to address them to users or the media. One LBS company, Skout, had to shut down it’s teen community after it service was implicated in several rape charges.
Broadcasting one’s location to the world strikes many people as unsettling. Facebook Places, the mobile LBS application for Facebook, failed to rival Foursquare’s explosion of growth because it was perceived to encourage stalking and unwanted behavior tracking. It is of extreme importance that companies are promoting policies to protect users and that PR professionals convey this fact clearly and openly. Perception may trump technical superiority if the public doesn’t feel it can trust an LBS company.
One company that has found unique success in the LBS market despite these challenges is Grindr. Grindr is a social networking service for gay men. Tuning into the dating scene has been tricky for other LBS companies, in large part due to women’s unwillingness to broadcast their location, fearing they will appear too vulnerable. So far, gay men do not have the same concerns, embracing the capability to broadcast and receive these personal details. Although the company bills itself as the “largest and most popular all-male location-based social network” it’s four million users pales in comparison to mainstream, general interest networks like Foursquare.
Still, four million users is significant in the dating LBS scene, especially one focused on a very specific demographic. Grindr’s success lead to the creation of an application for lesbians (Qrushr), and one for straight users (Blendr) to respond to community demand. However, neither Qrushr nor Blendr have had the widespread adoption of Grindr yet. Part of the allure of Grindr was its acute identification with its user base – it met a need that no other business was addressing. Grindr CEO, Joel Simkhai, is openly gay, and created the company to facilitate how gay, curious and bisexual men connect and socialize. Though much of Grindr’s users found the application through word of mouth, savvy PR has also played a part in bringing this company into the attention of mainstream public. For example, Grindr is struggling secure adoption by women, even on Qrushr and Blendr, so the PR team is altering its messaging. Grindr can be an application for straight women to find gay friends who share their interests or may be in the same mall shopping.
But for Grindr, the core of business is the gay community. Simkhai feels a responsibility to use Grindr as a platform for awareness as well as socializing. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Grindr became a platform of social change through the campaign, “Grindr for Equality.” “We must elect not only a president but representatives and senators who are supportive of our community and our equality,” said Simkhai. He knew that all users of Grindr were of legal voting age because of the requirements of the application. Using other user-specific information, Grindr delivered hundred of tailored messages to encourage users to politically support gay rights. For example, users in Minnesota were alerted to Amendment 1, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and encouraged to contact their local representatives.
Successful mobile LBS applications offer companies – and their PR representatives – direct access to a community that can be mobilized to promote a cause or ideal. Grindr is just scratching the surface, but it is possible this tight-knit group of four million was instrumental in voting down Minnesota’s Amendment 1, as well as legalizing gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Grindr can capitalize upon these milestones to increase political mobilization, inspiring gay rights activism within the other 191 countries of its users.
Once people embrace a platform in the LBS space, invaluable business and PR outreach opportunities emerge. The future of LBS is engagement, as is the future of new media overall. In LBS, the privacy and adoption stakes are higher but the impact will be more focused, and potentially, more lasting.