Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: how social media built an empire

by: David Murphy


Food trucks have become a huge fad. It is difficult to say whether this fad will pan out for the long run or if it will dissipate as time moves on. One thing is for certain: the food truck market is still growing and some companies have had quite a success.

But what has brought about this success? It seems that in the past, a food truck’s survivability would have been nearly impossible for the lack of ability for regular customers to find it, considering its mobility and all. That is where social media comes in.

Social media has become the single most effective way to reach a large audience at a moment’s notice, and this is how many food trucks have driven their followings (pun intended).

As I found in an article on Mashable.com, in the case with the Big Gay Ice Cream truck, social media has been the key tool in reaching customers to both find out where to go and inform people of where to find them.

Big Gay Ice Cream started out in 2009 as a simple soft serve truck and has grown to having two built in locations and extensions in states on either coast. The owners contribute the growth to their Twitter account, in particular, where they have logged over 31,000 tweets, gaining them over 53,000 followers.

The company also has high traffic profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare. These tools have been extremely effective in the company’s success, and while a large part of it is surely do to the exceptional dessert options they offer, much of it could not have been possible without this new media creation of social networking.

If you’re from Atlanta like me, you may be interested in checking out the local food truck scene. Here is a link to my favorite place to find some great local food truck companies.

Panono camera raises the bar

by: David Murphy

Panoramic photos have been around for a long, long time, but have always been a pain to produce. As featured today on Mashable.com, however, the Panono camera will soon change that. This new camera prototype is shaped like a ball and has 36 cameras facing all directions. The internal workings of the Panono camera cause each of the cameras to capture their images at once when the ball has reached its highest point in the air, at which time the ball stops moving and therefore reduces blurring.

The result: an instant 360 degree panoramic photo with minimal editing required to achieve the desired effect. 

Panono Camera

This is a prime example of modern technology and how this technology is driven by consumerism. This is not the only ball of its kind, either. Other examples of cameras attempting to achieve the same thing include the Squito from serveball, and the Bubblcam. All these new techs have been made recently possible by other advancements in technology and the constantly reducing cost of said technologies.

Much of the designs are taken from the simple technologies of every day smart phones, so you could say much of their work has been cut out for them.

I am very curious to see how this product will sell once it hits the open market, because in my opinion, I don’t think many people will go in for it in the long run. It is a novel idea and there are many people who may have a real use for these things, but I think if you can’t make this work with just a regular smartphone, people just won’t spend too much money for something they can’t carry with them all the time. Still, I think it is a cool idea and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Back to basics: the modular smartphone

by: David Murphy

Several years ago, Dutch designer Dave Hakkens came up with a design for a modular phone, but didn’t have the headwind or support to continue with the idea of what he called Phoneblocks. Now, in an article on Mashable.com, I have learned of a new phone project from Google’s Motorola called Project Ara.

Project Ara

Project Ara is grounded in the idea that we should be able to build our own phones to our own specifications. With this phone, we will be able to take the parts we want (iPod, phone, keypad, battery, etc.) and put it all together in a unique way, as to not waste any parts of the phone we would not use. This would also make it easier to replace one small part of the phone, should that be necessary, rather than replacing the whole thing.

The above listed factors cause this phone to have the potential to cut down greatly on waste, which makes it all the more a progressive concept.

Media outlets are referring to this as the Lego phone, which is not far from true, considering it is essentially a choice of hardware building blocks that come together however the user wishes, creating a fully functional, personalized smartphone. 

This is an awesome idea and I am excited to see where the design team goes with this phone, as well as what options they will provide.

Not even the government shutdown can cause the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to go unguarded. The sentinels have remained on duty 24/7 in every type of weather and political condition thrown at them since 1921.

(Source: lndscpr)

(Reblogged from ellegadodeunguerrero)

The Bell at Coronado

Every Navy SEAL trainee that has ever dropped during BUD/S training has rung this bell.

The moment when you think you have even the slightest idea what a man goes through to become a Navy SEAL, you don’t.

Shoutabl: new media for new bands

by: David Murphy


In an article published on Mashable.com, the author, Tom Olmstead reveals a new website called Shoutable.com. This site is a service tool designed for young, upcoming musical artists and allows them to host and manage everything they need to succeed online, such as websites, social media accounts and e-commerce channels all on one service.

Shoutabl has the potential to redefine the game played by bands trying to break into the music industry. This website is straight forward and simple, allowing anyone to use it and in turn makes the adventure of getting one’s name out less daunting and more exciting. With Shoutabl, bands don’t have to stress out over who has posted what to where, instead, they can get easy access to all their social media pages, such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and any other page they may have, all through one window.

I think this is a great tool and a genius idea that creates an entirely new concept for a demographic that is easy overlooked. Few people care about a band starting up and struggling to achieve its desired level of fame and success until after that band has become famous, but by then the struggle has subsided, because at that moment the band finally has enough cash flow to solve most of its problems. Shoutabl is designed to target the lower tier of the music world and provide the band with no income an easier way to get the word out and sell the occasional merchandise. With Shoutabl, bands can manage their e-commerce channels to allow fans an easy way to shop for t-shirts and mp3s. This provides earlier and steadier cash flow, which in turn pushes this band further along in its goal of producing that next album.

Kudos to Travis Morrison and Travis Donovan for helping out the little guy and creating a new and innovative way for bands to achieve their dreams.

David Murphy

blarsenb:

The four pillars of mental toughness.

-Lars Draeger

(Reblogged from blarsenb)
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