By a show of hands who’s old enough to remember the community bulletin board at the grocery store? Sure there are probably some grocery stores that still have them, but they don’t fill up like they used to. Everyone has resorted to some kind of app or some kind of social network.
Well London startup StreetPin is looking to bring the community bulletin board back in a social, mobile sort of way. It’s actually a novel concept. They are of course building it in London and hopefully they will scale up large enough to adopt here in the U.S.
Now we know that Craigslist has a community section but StreetPin is more about short little pin up notes that are looking for reaction, remedy and answers as quick as possible. It’s kind of like a simplified version of both Craigslist and Zaarly all rolled up into one with a sense of urgency and immediacy about it.
We got a chance to talk with StreetPin co-founder and CEO Tim Buick about StreetPin. He gives some great examples of how to use the new service in the interview below the break.
What is StreetPin?
StreetPin is a global network of localised, community ‘notice boards’. We facilitate open interaction around any neighbourhood, business, event or venue.
“Trains are delayed, anyone want to share a cab?”
“Here on business on my own, anyone fancy a drink?”
“Anyone want to cut my grass for £30?”
“I’m going to be in Bangkok on holiday next week – who’s about?”
To use a current buzzword – StreetPin is a ‘SoLoMo’ (social, location, mobile) platform. We will concentrate on our viral potential, user incentives and distinct revenue model from the outset. We aim to provide open communication with a view that every opinion counts and the online community world should not just be restricted to existing contacts. We intend to be the catalyst of local opinion, and have a number of USPs:
We present our own virtual land grab – we want to allow users to claim their local area with an individualised board – this creates ownership far more than becoming a temporary mayor. These user boards are created directly from your handset, wherever you are. Once an area is gone, it’s gone – get in there quick. Of course business/paid boards can over lap.
We enable users to start their own local community boards anywhere, or join an existing community, for a minute or a lifetime
We ensure content is relevant & fresh by restricting the starting a new post to within 500m of a board (replies from anywhere), each post lasts up to 3 months
Advertisers place adverts on boards in locations of their choice, or on those with a theme that are likely to attract a target audience.
Weighting is given to ‘relevant’ adverts, for example Dave is interested in food and drink – a pub providing a 2for1 in his area will have higher value than a 25% off shoes advert. With so many deal aggregators becoming commonplace, StreetPin has the ability to become the aggregator of aggregators, displaying only relevant, local offers.
The StreetPin application will include a free upgrade to integrate a location-based game, StreetPearl – designed to entertain, connect & catch location-based offers. The game combines an orienteering, collect ‘em approach with location questions (add your own or answer others) & ability to challenge others in their location.
Our boards are essentially two-tiered, generic (free) boards and branded (paid) boards. We will aim to gain revenue either from the supply of advert-free business boards or via advertising on the free boards.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Tim Buick, CEO – with 12 years+ web experience, Tim’s background is firmly within the creative build and delivery of online/mobile projects with considerable team building/leading experience. He also ran several start-up companies including hospitality and software company, online wedding gift company & alcoholic fruit juice company (as seen on ITV’s Tycoon).
Derek Sansom, CTO – is an experienced Android, mobile and web application developer with particular experience in Java/J2EE enterprise systems, Web development, XML technologies. Team lead, Sun Certified Web Components Developer, Sun Certified Java Programmer 1.2, CIW – Certified Internet Webmaster
Dweeti Fanshawe (MBA), Programme Director – has over 10 years’ experience in web development and e-marketing, proven experience of delivering multiple high revenue generating e-commerce websites and IT projects.
Mark Stacey, company secretary – Marketing & Business Development Manager for a luxury tour operator. Experience in B2B & B2C marketing across print and digital channels.
Nick Forster, iOS lead – is an Enterprise Solution designer & developer with 20 years experience including 4 years on iOS systems. He holds a BSc, is a Sun Certified Java Programmer and a Certified Oracle DBA.
Where are you based?
London & Kent
What is the problem that StreetPin solves?
We allow people in the same location to actually ‘meet’ and discuss the environment/atmosphere they are sharing right here and now. Essentially we provide a truly open, location-based community network that can provide hubs of activity based on businesses, hobbies or place of interest – anyone can start one, directly from their handset.
Advertising competitors include Auto Trader, Ebay, Monster, Yell, Facebook & Google PPC – we enable a single advert to be posted to a tailored audience and/or area very cheaply. A corporate sports company could post an advert for trainers on every running club board, likewise ‘Dave’ could sell his car on a board at his local pub. We facilitate advertising for the masses and the individual.
What is your secret sauce?
As a startup, we have a number of key elements that we are desperate to shout about, but must refrain until we have the product available. In the meantime, we want to get people behind our forthcoming ‘virtual land grab’ campaign. This social media allows you create, claim and influence a 500m area of prime, virtual land.
What’s one lesson you learned in the startup process?
Get out there! I’ve met so many great people to share the startup process with, by writing the odd article, getting involved on Twitter, speaking at an event, networking… I’m just at the tip of the iceberg, but fully intend to embrace the networking circles as time permits.
What’s next for SteetPin?
We are currently looking for seed investment of £50k which will include getting our Beta product updated, back-end admin updated and providing a handset-agnostic HTML5 version. We have some great potential partners in the background to give StreetPin the springboard it needs, but we need to get the base product to a fantastic level, and soon ☺
Check out StreetPin at their website here
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