LocaModa fires up social media-driven Community Board for Digital OOH networks

June 29, 2011 by Dave Haynes

LocaModa has announced a new service called Community Board 1.0 that allows any network – at least in theory – to integrate a broad, dynamic social element to the programming mix they power for clients.

Graphically, says the release, Community Board 1.0 looks like a traditional community board and features the ability for consumers and venues to “pin” digital messages, photos and posters to venue screens, react with digital offers and local announcements, and leverage built-in ad units.

Message types supported include Twitter, Foursquare, SMS, Email, RSS and Facebook. All messages have unique characteristics, for example, the mobile messages feature tear off slips that display being removed when they are redeemed.

“Community Board is the perfect intersection of Local + Mobile + Social,” says CEO Stephen Randall. “We’ve focused on simplifying how venues and agencies can leverage their social media assets in locations. This is important because with over 300 digital signage content management systems in the market, venues and agencies don’t have the time or ability to worry about systems and infrastructure. Community Board represents an elegantly simple approach to cross channel engagement.”

The Community Board app is patented, fully extensible, and has what LocaModa calls venue-safe real-time social media filters and moderation (which means nasty, naughty and competitive material is weeded out).

Two premier brands have bought ad time on Community Board for national campaigns running during Q3 and Q4 2011 in markets including health clubs, cafes and bars. Community Board will launch on six networks: Zoom Media & Marketing’s Fitness and Social Networks, RMG Networks, Health Club Media Network, Reach Sports Marketing Group, and Panel Media & Marketing.

Randall gets into more detail on the company blog explaining the background and thinking behind this.

Also, I asked and kindly got some more detail on aspects of the solution

Licensing: Networks license the LocaModa platform on a per month, per node basis (small networks of 50+ nodes pay $25/month/node. There are efficiencies on pricing that come with scale). Licensees get full access to the LocaModa Manager where they can configure any application to run on their network (including Community Board).

Advertising: I didn’t know LocaModa did this (keeping in mind I am not very bright) but the firm has a media sales team that sells campaigns leveraging its apps. The company then splits that revenue with network licensees.  Licensees can also sell media across a LocaModa application for their own network and keep 100 percent.

Tech stuff: Like other LocaModa apps, it’s a matter of scheduling a SWF file or plotting out a segment with a targeted URL. Interestingly, LocaModa’s Bill Nast says the platform is designed so an operations manager at a network only needs to schedule a single URL/SWF file across all locations on a network, even 1,000 venues. “LocaModa figures out where that venue is located and delivers the appropriate content.”

That, of course, makes it a hell of a lot more scalable/manageable.

The apps can run off persistent or periodic connections, the difference being persistent means pretty much real-time content change-outs if there is a busy social stream being queried and used.

Design: The Community Board has a modestly tweakable look and feel that allows some customization. Brands with paid campaigns can get more customization as, of course, money talks.

Ads: The Community Board has Skyscraper (320 x 720) and Full Screen (1280 x 720) ad units, and they can be rotated just like online ads.

All very interesting. I am not so sure, putting my smartypants strategy hat on, if this works well as PART of a playlist. I think it would border on annoying if this was on a screen in a venue and then disappeared for two minutes before returning for 15 seconds or whatever, as part of a rotation.

Were I using this in, let’s say, a bar, I think I’d want to see this running full time on one screen while the other Digital OOH network screen did its rotating playlist thing. A community/bulletin board kinda needs to be there when you want it.

Nice to see the integration of all the different elements and the tear off thing for mobile is pretty cool. I guess Bill’s spouse is a yoga instructor  ;-]


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