Episode 224 – New Markets for Artists / Foursquare

Foursquare

This is another new platform that is fairly simple in its concept. If you have the application on your smartphone, you can “check in” when you walk around to different places, for example from the grocery store to school, or to a bar or a concert. That means you are using your phone’s global positioning system to determine where you are. For example, if I am on 23rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan and I click on “places”  in the foursquare app, I’ll see Madison Park and lots of delis, restaurants, and retail stores. Using a vast and constantly updated data bank, the phone can tell what’s around you. If I walk into a deli or go to a park, I can “check in” there, meaning that I can click on the name of the park and choose that as my location. I can also add a comment. Then when other people check in to the park, they can see my comment, and  it may even help them. Perhaps I might comment, “Don’t eat the hotdogs at the stand on the northeast corner. They taste terrible,” or I might say, “Watch out for the rats coming out of the hole underneath the sculpture in the middle of the park.” Those comments are a way for people to tell each other what they think is good and what isn’t at any particular location. But there are many more components to foursquare that have contributed to its popularity.

Becoming Mayor

If you check in to a location—say the park or a deli—multiple times, you may become the “mayor.” The title of mayor is given to the person who checks in the most times at any one location. You cannot check in more than once a day, to keep things fair, and you have to actually be there. If you become the mayor of a location or of many locations, anytime someone checks in at that spot, they will see that you are the mayor. This simple feature has caused people to check in everywhere and compete for the title of mayor. But there is another component that stores use and you can use it, too. Let’s say the local pizza place is on foursquare, which it most likely will be. The owner of the pizza place can post rewards on its place marker. For example, it could announce that whoever is the mayor of the pizza place gets a free slice or something like that. That makes more people who go there regularly want to “check in” so they can get their free slice. The pizza place benefits because more people are seeing check-ins at their restaurant, and it is becoming well known as a result. Like Facebook and Twitter, many of your friends may be on foursquare, and they will be able to see what you are the mayor of. Knowing that you go to certain places so often will make them consider checking them out as well.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 223 – New Markets for Artists / Template-Based Apps and Games

Template-Based Apps and Games

Template-based apps and games are all very easy to make. You just fill out templates, add words and pictures, and then share the results with friends. You can post them on their walls, and when they use them by sending “gifts” to their friends, they unlock new parts of the game you made to share. For example, in the game I created called “Box that opens when you close your eyes,” the gifts you unlock are new pictures and words. That is how I chose to design that game app, but you could use images of your own art or any- thing else related to it.

This is the easiest possible way to create apps and games, because they are template-based, but if you are feeling  more adventurous, you can create an app for the iPhone or for Android phones. That is a bit more difficult, but it is possible.

iPhone Apps and Creativity

To make an app for the iPhone, you would need help, unless you are very familiar with designing software or willing to learn. Apple is trying to make it easier for people to create apps by themselves, but as of this writing, it is still too complicated for most. But hey, you might pay printers or fabricators to help you with your artwork, so you could consider this another art supply expense. If you’re considering making an app for the iPhone or for Android phones, begin by looking at the apps that are out there and deciding if you would make something similar or different. You might be wondering what could you possibly make. How about an app for the iPhone or iPad that allows you to paint by numbers using your art? Or maybe a puzzle where the final picture is an artwork of yours? Or perhaps even backgrounds—otherwise known as “wall paper”—for peoples’ phones or tablets? Be creative, and try to get ideas by looking at others. If your idea is really good, you can even charge people to download it, so that you can make an income from it. Consider this for a moment; it’s a truly new market. If you could find a way to send images of your own through your phone app in a way that is fun and entertaining, you could earn real money without doing any selling. There are many different approaches to this, like starting with a free app and upgrading it to a paid one, but take your time; think and dream about it and, most importantly, play with other apps to see which ones you like and don’t like, and that will point you in the right direction.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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