Marco! Polo! Loco?

Yesterday I wrote about needing a better way to communicate. There is too much clutter, too many interruptions, too many messages that, while potentially relevant, don’t work because of timing or location.

Time and location need to be taken into consideration when dealing with communication. As an example, if someone wants to know if I can meet them for a drink, it’s not just about whether I want to meet them but also, am I in the area at that time. I might love the opportunity to get together but if I’m traveling at that time, it’s not going to happen.

As another example of the importance of time in communication, how many times have you received an email, text, voice mail, tweet, etc but by the time you received it, it was no longer relevant because it was too late?

We have a new way to communicate called MarcoPoloLoco (http://www.marcopololoco.com/) which allows you to communicate with people taking into consideration time and location. For example, if you want to meet some people for a drink here in Charleston WV this Friday, you could send a message (a Marco) to your contact list and only those in the area you sent the message to (in this case you might send to the greater Charleston area) would receive the message. If someone is traveling and not in the area, they don’t get interrupted with your message. The message gets deleted at a time of your choosing so when they get back to town, they don’t see a message about an event that has already happened.

If you are running late to a meeting, you can send a message to the location of the meeting and those who are there already will receive the message and know you are running late. If someone else is running late, they don’t see the message because they aren’t at the location yet.

Last spring I went to a college football game with some friends and they inadvertently left the tickets back at home (two and a half hours away). We had to call and text everyone we knew looking for extra tickets. One person who was called normally is at the games but in this case, instead of being in Morgantown WV, they were in Hawaii on vacation. With MarcoPoloLoco we could have sent a message to the Morgantown area and not bothered the people who weren’t there.

MarcoPoloLoco also allows “back in time” messaging. For example, you can send a message to anyone who was at a location at a specific time previously. Let’s use local music as an example. You hear a group perform at a club and really loved their sound. A few weeks later you find out they are playing an hour away. You can send a message to those people who heard them play live previously and let them know about the next performance. Or, if your car was hit by a hit and run driver, you can send a message to that general location at the time of the accident, looking for witnesses.

Other uses for MarcoPoloLoco include help with tourism (cities can set up walking tours so you can learn about the history of the city, new locations etc), real estate (realtors can upload more information about a house including pictures, descriptions, video, links etc), emergency services (if there is a need for an evacuation, specific directions, based on your location can be sent instead of giving general directions to everyone), upgrades at events and much more.

MarcoPoloLoco is available for the iPhone as well as the Android and is a free app. There will also be the ability to use this via the web site and through facebook in the future.

One very important thing to understand about MarcoPoloLoco is that while it uses your location for messaging purposes, no one will ever know where you are, unless you tell them. A person can send a Marco to you at the location you are currently at and even though you are there and can receive it, unless you reply (a Polo) they will never know where you are. This is NOT used as a way to track, stalk or in any way invade a persons privacy. This is a VERY important thing for everyone involved in the development of this app.

There are many more features which will be added to the app including interest groups (if you like live music, you will be able to subscribe to the live music group and receive messages related to this interest and when you travel, you will receive message related to this interest based on your new location).

To learn more and to download the app, please go to http://www.marcopololoco.com/

The more people we can get to download this (remember, it’s free) and the more feedback we can get on how to make it better, the more effective we can be at changing the way we communicate.

Thanks a LOT and have a great day!

Lawrence

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