Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

#Hipster is an Instagram for Context Delivery and Meaningful Location Experience

People often search for places, things, or people with whom they can create a story.  Right? You go on vacation becuase you want an adventure and youw ant to bring something immaterial, but psychically valuable, back to the place you began your journey.

In a recent article about re-launched location-based app Hipster, I think Alexia Tsotsis missed the lede. She asked “Do we really need another location-based photo sharing app?”  I thought about that for a second, as I read her interview with Doug Ludlow, Hipster CEO, and I thought, “Forest. Trees.” That’s not what is going on with Hipster, in my consumer-centric point of view.

Let’s start with our idea of home. Home is the place where you process what happened so that you can live with the meaning and the realizations that your experience gave you.  This new app, Hipster, looks like it’s trying to bring all that data being processed for those memories live, at the place where they are happening.  Home is also a concept. This blog is one of my homes. I bring images, ideas, links and other people’s ideas back to this home. I process their meaning here, because I can’t do it anywhere else. I am not There.

Screenshot of Hipster app start page

Here’s an excerpt from the TechCrunch interview with Ludlow:

When asked the question in bold above [Do we really need another location-based photo sharing app?], which is likely to be any logical person’s first question upon seeing the product, Hipster CEO Doug Ludlow replied, “Sending a postcard is the first step in Hipster’s very, very long journey, and we decided to start this journey with a feature that is fun, beautiful and viral.”

Ludlow says that the company’s eventual goal is to capture “the most important information, the most fascinating people, and the most interesting moments that take place in the locations around us,” and eventually hopes that people will pull out Hipster to get a good sense of the stories surrounding a given location. The postcards are just a “wedge feature” he emphasizes, a way to get people to actually use the service.

A consumer would love this product, if that consumer is in the market to know what he can learn by being in a present place in a moment of time.

Ludlow’s view of what happens in a location is a kind of game changing proposition: that you can crowdsource your own sense of a place, by pulling in the strands of other people’s experiences. I imagine that the postcard delivery part of it is a kind of memory-spawning SEO. If I send something out, something will be returned to me.


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