Boulder, US-based Tagwhat has announced some major features today, including a Publishing Tool that allows anyone to tether digital content from across the Web to a specific geo-tagged real-world location.
The application, available for both iPhone and Android, describes itself as the "mobile tour guide for the world," promising to deliver "the web and social networking content about the places around you, wherever you are."
Essentially, the company takes content from across the Web and social networks, and then associates it to a real-world physical location via geo-tagging, thus making it possible to explore the vast archive on online content via a place-specific interface.
Dave Elchoness, founder and CEO ofTagwhat:
“Over the past 20 years, the world has developed billions of pages of Web content. But there continues to be no way to deliver the content to real-world settings -- where the information would be most meaningful. Rather than typing in a search engine query and hoping for the best, location-aware mobile devices now enable a new way to search for and discover Web content based on the context of a user’s location and their interests. By making it incredibly easy to geotag Web content, Tagwhat is helping to turn the Web into a massive tour guide with relevant content about the places around you.”
Tagwhat's latest update offers its 60,000 users the ability to geotag any piece of Web content in under 5 minutes, and upload the information to their content discovery platform.
This is an intriguing development, as it allows nearly any digital publisher to consider how their content might fit into a place-specific discovery application. Writing about a conference - tag it and have it appear for anyone searching that place. Own a restaurant - tag it and allow users to discover what the space is all about. Any type of content can be tagged.
Most importantly, the tags come with a raft of value added features great for any publisher, small business or content creator: add Facebook, Twitter, email and phone, so users can connect with you instantly.
Businesses can also choose a relevant channel for the tagged content and create multiple tags to promote different products: say catering and a cookbook, for restaurants.
The process for tagging content on Tagwhat goes like this:
- Install browser bookmarklet
- Navigate to desired piece of content to tag and click Tag It
- Tagwhat automatically pulls in Headline, Description, photos, videos and other data from the page
- Fill out all additional relevant information, including the location
Other Tagwhat users can then navigate this content remotely, either through the map or via the curated Channels interface, in addition to exploring tagged content on their mobile phones when they are nearby the physical location.
Dave explains how this new Publishing Tool will be valuable for user discovery:
The Publishing Tool allows users to attach relevant Twitter/Facebook/Foursquare. Rather than having to do research, everything is available to [the user] with context in one click. We've done the research and deliver everything to your fingertips on the phone. Imagine other apps that can be delivered into this experience - eg. Netflix - as a way to deliver commercial opportunities.
A feature called the Superslider will provide multiple services related to each particular tagged piece of content at the bottom of the screen: Reviews from Yelp, relevant Amazon searches, Netflix queues, Fandango for movies, OpenTable for reservations, etc.
Each service will be matched according to what would be useful to a user viewing this particular type of tagged content, both offering affiliate opportunities and ease-of-use.
Users can also mark places as "Want to Go" or "Been There" as they are navigating through interesting pieces of tagged content. Tagged stories will be delivered to the user's Travel Log for when the user arrives at the destination - a mobile wallet, so to speak, with a custom itinerary created by the user.
Partnerships with heritage societies, CVBs and other DMOs will not only provide a revenue stream but also a content archive to populate different areas of interest.
Traci Mayer, Executive Director of the Dallas/Fort Worth Area Tourism Council, has been testing Tagwhat over the past year:
“Over the past year, Tagwhat has been a great vehicle for us to push our content about the history, attractions and accommodations in the Dallas area to visitors when they are here or are planning a trip here. Tagwhat’s new publishing tools make this process even easier and enable us to expand the amount of content we have currently tagged.”
Tagwhat is one to watch out for - organizing the vast content archive of the digital Web is increasingly important, and providing a location-specific way to explore content is a refreshing take on content discovery that is, at the surface, a rare win-win: users get an innovative and fun way to explore the whimsical world around them, and partners get an additional touchpoint of engagement with targeted, curious consumers.
The main challenge for Tagwhat is getting enough loyal users to both reach profitability from affiliate revenues, as well as legitimizing the monthly subscription model for destinations, businesses and other organizations that would benefit from making their geo-tagged content available to the Tagwhat community.