The city of North Charleston on Brightkite

At first glance, a city joining Brightkite seems a little strange — where would a city check in if it doesn’t move? However, North Charleston’s Brightkite account could be brilliant. It could be used to check in at events at their exact locations, post pictures of those events, and create quite a marketing stream for the city. Right now it’s just notes being posted at City Hall, but I could see this being much, much more. This is the first municipal usage of Brightkite I’ve seen; I’ll be interested to find more. (You can also find North Charleston on Twitter.)

10 thoughts on “The city of North Charleston on Brightkite

  1. Sean Hughes

    Interesting ideas on how to derive value and true usefulness via Brightkite for North Charleston as a marketing tool. I wonder if Charleston, Mt. P, West Ashley and all the islands will follow suit. A coordinated Lowcountry brightkite stream effort to drive both local involvement and tourism interest in events, ideas, media production (ie. pics, videos, etc) would truly be an asset to everyone involved, as well as the greater community. More and more I’m convinced that Charleston, as well as other cities that rely on tourism, need to own at least part of the effort to promote it on a locally produced level. It is mind boggling how many people are unaware/missing events happening now and in their own “backyard” that they would be interested in.

    Potential indeed.

  2. Sean Hughes

    Interesting ideas on how to derive value and true usefulness via Brightkite for North Charleston as a marketing tool. I wonder if Charleston, Mt. P, West Ashley and all the islands will follow suit. A coordinated Lowcountry brightkite stream effort to drive both local involvement and tourism interest in events, ideas, media production (ie. pics, videos, etc) would truly be an asset to everyone involved, as well as the greater community. More and more I’m convinced that Charleston, as well as other cities that rely on tourism, need to own at least part of the effort to promote it on a locally produced level. It is mind boggling how many people are unaware/missing events happening now and in their own “backyard” that they would be interested in.

    Potential indeed.

  3. krgaskins

    This is a brilliant idea.

    It’s 10x more motivating to find and attend an event through more novel “user-centric” means– relevant to one’s normal information routine and current location– than through more traditional methods.

    If Boston implemented a city Brightkite stream, I’d be much more tempted to check in on it because it’s:

    1) information integrated into my normal routine (ease of accessibility).

    2) right-now, location-relevant– over, say, scanning the Boston Phoenix (which, by the way, does a helluva job with local) for events that may or may not be near my current or projected future location.

    Cities, especially, offer so many amazing things to do that people don’t attend simply because they aren’t aware of them. I can even see delineated Brightkite streams for “The Arts,” “Nightlife,” “Educational,” and so on. I’d be much more likely to seize the moment and attend an interesting art exhibit several blocks away or a Greek festival two subway stops over if it popped up in my normal information stream, time- and space-relevant.

    And these are just possibilities for tourism, local businesses, cultural endeavors, etc.– not to mention, improved resident / visitor experiences.

    3) solicitous of (fluid, integrated, social) user commentary (reviews, reactions).

  4. krgaskins

    This is a brilliant idea.

    It’s 10x more motivating to find and attend an event through more novel “user-centric” means– relevant to one’s normal information routine and current location– than through more traditional methods.

    If Boston implemented a city Brightkite stream, I’d be much more tempted to check in on it because it’s:

    1) information integrated into my normal routine (ease of accessibility).

    2) right-now, location-relevant– over, say, scanning the Boston Phoenix (which, by the way, does a helluva job with local) for events that may or may not be near my current or projected future location.

    Cities, especially, offer so many amazing things to do that people don’t attend simply because they aren’t aware of them. I can even see delineated Brightkite streams for “The Arts,” “Nightlife,” “Educational,” and so on. I’d be much more likely to seize the moment and attend an interesting art exhibit several blocks away or a Greek festival two subway stops over if it popped up in my normal information stream, time- and space-relevant.

    And these are just possibilities for tourism, local businesses, cultural endeavors, etc.– not to mention, improved resident / visitor experiences.

    3) solicitous of (fluid, integrated, social) user commentary (reviews, reactions).

  5. Jared Smith

    Sean, agreed — it blows the mind that someone affiliated with the city, whether it be Chamber of Commerce or otherwise, are not Brightkiting up a storm around here (especially with Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto going on).

    Kim makes good points here. Imagine how cool it would be to see notes from an event that might be starting just a few blocks away, especially on a night when you need something to do?

    Kim and I had a Skype conversation last night on this very topic, and during that, I realized another way municipalities could rock Brightkite: Police reports. We have @MountPleasantPD on Twitter now, giving reports of traffic accidents so folks heading into Mt. Pleasant know what to expect. It would be infinitely more useful if those tweets were geotagged using a tool like Brightkite. I could see the accidents come into my stream and then route around them accordingly, for example. This could be rendered somewhat moot when Twitter begins geotagging tweets, but Brightkite has this functionality now and it’s something that could really rock out. Mt. Pleasant PD is already ahead of the game in the Lowcountry and I really like the idea of a police department disseminating information to the public in this way; this could really set them apart.

  6. Jared Smith Post author

    Sean, agreed — it blows the mind that someone affiliated with the city, whether it be Chamber of Commerce or otherwise, are not Brightkiting up a storm around here (especially with Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto going on).

    Kim makes good points here. Imagine how cool it would be to see notes from an event that might be starting just a few blocks away, especially on a night when you need something to do?

    Kim and I had a Skype conversation last night on this very topic, and during that, I realized another way municipalities could rock Brightkite: Police reports. We have @MountPleasantPD on Twitter now, giving reports of traffic accidents so folks heading into Mt. Pleasant know what to expect. It would be infinitely more useful if those tweets were geotagged using a tool like Brightkite. I could see the accidents come into my stream and then route around them accordingly, for example. This could be rendered somewhat moot when Twitter begins geotagging tweets, but Brightkite has this functionality now and it’s something that could really rock out. Mt. Pleasant PD is already ahead of the game in the Lowcountry and I really like the idea of a police department disseminating information to the public in this way; this could really set them apart.

  7. Ryan Johnson

    First, thank you Jared for the weblog and the coverage.

    The City is actively broadening its ability to reach out to the public directly and in real-time. Although it is still in its fledgling state, we are already on…twitter, twitpic, facebook, plurk, brightkite, jaiku, blogger, livejournal, hi5, wordpress, koornk, vox, streetmavens, picasa, vimeo, and youtube.

    As our followers, fans, and subscribers continue to grow, we hope to use these different forms of media to provide an amount of information vastly increased from what we were once able to do previously.

    1. Jared Smith

      Good to see you here, Ryan! :)

      Nice to see that you’re where you anticipate your constituents to be — you’re in places I’m not! :) Being proactive in social media is a must. The next big thing is always closer than we think.

      I would love to see the City in particular use Brightkite to check in at places where events are happening. Take pictures, make notes — all that counts because people on Brightkite who are close by get notified, and they might find something to do. :) Lots of cool ways to use each service’s perks to your advantage!

  8. Ryan Johnson

    First, thank you Jared for the weblog and the coverage.

    The City is actively broadening its ability to reach out to the public directly and in real-time. Although it is still in its fledgling state, we are already on…twitter, twitpic, facebook, plurk, brightkite, jaiku, blogger, livejournal, hi5, wordpress, koornk, vox, streetmavens, picasa, vimeo, and youtube.

    As our followers, fans, and subscribers continue to grow, we hope to use these different forms of media to provide an amount of information vastly increased from what we were once able to do previously.

    1. Jared Smith Post author

      Good to see you here, Ryan! :)

      Nice to see that you’re where you anticipate your constituents to be — you’re in places I’m not! :) Being proactive in social media is a must. The next big thing is always closer than we think.

      I would love to see the City in particular use Brightkite to check in at places where events are happening. Take pictures, make notes — all that counts because people on Brightkite who are close by get notified, and they might find something to do. :) Lots of cool ways to use each service’s perks to your advantage!

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