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Startup idea presented by me at @TechHubRiga meetup: Vintage clothes app

Problem: Women love vintage clothes & shoes, but there is no convenient way for them to exchange these goods online. Of course, classified ads sites can be used, but they are robust and and are not user friendly. The clothes & shoes are being presented in ugly way which doesn’t create positive or fun experience. Market: There clearly is market since there are vintage events which gather thousands of women who buy and sell these clothes. Information about these events is being distributed via social networks- it means that these women are also socially savvy. Solution: Mobile app which implements all the functions of classified ads site + adds SoLoMo features to the process. For starters, it is clear that full publishing of such ads can be done on almost any kind of smartphone. And more, in controlled environment (in this case- mobile app) through various mechanics it is possible to make the content better – for example- in phase of taking photos with shadowlines of expected pictures we can motivate user to take photos from our desired angles, which ensures that photos of products are taken in consistent manner and provide better experience for anyone who browses through, let’s say, shoes. The same goes for adding sizes, special features and other data to the advertisment. Full integration for sharing the ads on social networks should be implemented as well, so user can use his/her network to spread the word about the goods available. Using mobile app adds one more benefit over simple classified ads site- it’s easy leveraging of location data. So both seller and buyer can use the benefits of location based service- seller sets the selling place (where buyers can receive the goods), but buyers can browse things according to his/her location. The delivery of goods would happen on the site hand to hand- that would add a social aspect and possibility of networking by bringing together people with similar interests. The biggest beneficiaries of the app would be the buyers- possibility to enter (and save, of course) user’s preferred sizes, tipes of clothing he/she is interested in and possibility to have a network of favourite sellers and/or people with similar tastes. (there should be a way to favourite or “like” the clothes & shoes) Of course, the location is serious benefit as well- it’s a chance to buy from locals and not to increase our carbon footprint becouse of ones desire for cool stuff. By creating a fun & effective ways of browsing these things, in my humble opinion, such app could make it. Where’s the money? a) Various ways of advertisements can be used- we know pretty much about end users- what they like, where they are b) In app payment systems can be introduced (micro payments for posting items, extra features, etc.) c) Donations can be encouraged with promise to support women health organisations If you have any comments or questions- use the comments section- I will be happy to answer.

April 18, 2012

Hey, @twitter, here’s this one thing you should fix

About mentions It’s no coincidence that the title of this article contains a word which is formatted as twitter „mention”. Mentions are great help to users, marketers and everyone else who uses twitter for communication with friends, brands, companies, local businesses, peers, professionals and opinion leaders. It is a great way to ensure that we are heard by account holders who don’t follow us. I enjoy and use this feature both as brand marketer and simple everyday user. Thanks for that! But there’s room for improvement:  Protected (Private) accounts The other thing is that all the accounts can be divided in two groups- the ones which are protected (or private) and the ones which aren’t. On this occasion I will talk about the ones which are private and how twitter handles mentions for these accounts. Relationships between accounts Right now there is just one kind of relationship possible between two twitter accounts- either one is following the other account or it is not. Yes, there is this one thing for protected accounts- they can choose whether to allow someone to follow them or not. But that’s it- after allowing someone to follow them, they become simple followers (who have the privilege to see tweets made by this account). What’s the problem? In order to see tweets mentioning me (or just simple plain replies) from protected accounts I have to follow them. There is no other way. This is not a problem for accounts like Justin Bieber’s which follow thousands of users (and it’s clear to everyone that no one could ever read all those tweets). It is problem for opinion leaders, sophisticated brands (who follow just professionals of their professional field), small business owners and everyone else who have short following lists (which are actually being read) and a lot followers that he, she or brand doesn’t follow and for whatever reasons has no intention to follow (or to follow just the ones with protected accounts- for the same reasons). Why it’s a problem? On several occasions, when I go through the follower lists to see if there’s someone I know (or should follow for some other reasons) I have found such persons with protected accounts and when they approve me, I usually look in their streams to see what they are up to. Sometimes that’s the first time I see that they have responded to my tweets or mentioned me in tweets to other persons. And by the looks of it I’m 100% sure that they had no idea (and still don’t have) that I haven’t seen those tweets previously (when they were tweeted). To them I seem just ignorant or worse, they suppose that their opinions or answers to my questions don’t mean anything to me. This is a bad PR both for brand or person. The same goes for brands. I have been managing several accounts for brands and when I do, I make sure that I follow bloggers, other brands (competition), partners and other accounts which […]

April 18, 2012