My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Brown Dawg and I Spy Rewards- Geo-location rewards system for Mobile Social Networking

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brown Dawg and I Spy Rewards- Geo-location rewards system for Mobile Social Networking

“I don't spend a nickel, if I can help it, unless it somehow profits my mileage account.”

Comment by George Clooney in the movie Up in the Air

Geo-location is trending this Summer of 2010 both on Facebook and on Twitter as confirmed by multiple reports as stated in the articles “Facebook will allow users to share location”, published March 9 2010, 1:44 PM by Nick Bilton, the New York Times and CNET Buzz Report aired March 12th2010 by Molly Wood, Executive Editor, CNET News (CBS).

But it is widely accepted that the Social Network that started what is considered to be the fastest growing trend that is accelerating the adoption of smart phones with GPS is FourSquare.

FourSquare is the catalyst for the increased upgrade to smart phones with GPS by reintroducing smart phone users with data plans to another old tried and tested marketing concept known here in Jamaica as the Rewards System, wherein the Customer or Subscriber achieves certain tasks while using a particular company or business place’s service

He or she is then rewarded with Points that, once accumulated to a high enough preset level, can be converted to discounts on products or services items, such as free products from the company or business place or even frequent flier miles as parodied in the movie Up in the Air (2009).

In the case of FourSquare, this is done by awarding members with Badges, somewhat reminiscent of the Boy Scout or PathFinder, where members receive badges for achieving certain set objectives, such as a First Aid Badge or a Cooking Badge.

FourSquare Rewards system is being copied by non-Social Network such as Gravity and niche discussion sites such as HomeRun and Groupon.

Even a newspaper, The Huffington Post, which recently began rewarding members for participation in comment discussion and moderation on the site as stated in the article “Social Media Games: Badges or Badgering?” published May 3, 2010 4:00 AM PDT, by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News - The Social.

Thus, by making the Rewards system like a game e.g. WOW (World of Warcraft) with Badges as awards and advances up by levels, with titles being given for the different levels but with discounts on products and services for companies affiliated with the Social Network

A successful Rewards System can be created based on any social network that has incorporated geo-location, be it FaceBook, Twitter or Google Buzz…………or even Brown Dawg, the Mobile Social Network concept for Telecom Provider Digicel. If implemented, George Clooney will not be the only one enjoying the privileges of frequent flier miles………but I digress, for I may be getting a bit ahead of myself……

However with the increasing interest evident here in Jamaica as it relates to having a Blackberry that seems to mirror demand in the United States of America as stated in the article “iPhone will continue to beckon BlackBerry owners”, published March 18, 2010 11:40 PM PDT by Brooke Crothers, CNET News Nanotech - The Circuits Blog.

Or even smart messaging phones as stated in the article as well as quick messaging phones specifically sliders optimized for “texters”, such as the LG Neon, Zenon and Karma as stated in the article “AT&T pushes quick-messaging phones”, published March 24, 2010 6:10 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - CTIA 2010.

These are key to the adoption of Brown Dawg as stated in my blog entitled “Brown Dawg, a Mobile Social Networking Site based on mobile phones”. Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network is ripe for the inclusion of this service.

Best of all, it does not hurt Telecom Provider Digicel to own Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network as the idea of FourSquare being part of Telecom Provider AT&T is gaining some traction, at least with one CNET writer as stated in the article “Time for AT&T to buy FourSquare”, published April 26, 2010 9:14 AM PDT by Matt Asay CNET News - The Open Road.

Thus this sentiment would be enough to propel the popularity of the Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network.

Thus where I am going is now glaringly obvious but already previously hinted at in my previous proposal mentioned  proposal for Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network, wherein which I mentioned that geo-location as elucidated in another of my my blog articles entitled “Brown Dawg and A So di Ting Set - A API tool for user preferences and avoid backlash

This would be a part of the system by which members are rewarded with JA$100 phone credit whenever they are in close proximity to a company or business place that they choose from the list as one of their Favorites Ads which they support by having:

  1. Ring Back Tune Ads
  2. MMS (Multi-Messaging Service) Ads
  3. SMS (Short Messaging Service) Ads

These would be generated whenever other persons call their mobile phones or whenever they send a MMS or SMS message respectively.

With this additional service which would be a three (3) way partnership between Magna Rewards Card provider and MonaGIS (Mona Geo-Informatics System) for the geo-location mapping, which I shall call Project I Spy Rewards, a play on the Digicel I Spy Game that became popular in 2004 (or was it 2005? The year eludes me…).

Much in the same manner that Customers and Subscribers are rewarded with Badges in FourSquare for visiting a certain location more frequently.

Customers and Subscribers can be given massive discounts on products and services for just simply going to the location of the company or business place’s product or service often enough. This once they have opted into Project I Spy Rewards, from discounts on food items, fuel for their motor vehicles  - and yes, even frequent flier miles like George Clooney.

The company or business place merely has to have their various business places and establishments that Customers and Subscribers frequent patronize mapped using precise GPS readings, a service that could be contracted to MonaGIS.

Points earned could be transferred to the Customers and Subscribers Magna Rewards Card in order to be able use the Rewards Points at other business establishments that are not in the Customers and Subscribers list of Favorites Ads which they support by having Ring Back Tune Ads, MMS Ads and SMS Ads, making the service exclusive to users of the Magna Rewards and thus a boost for them via this partnership.

An example would be a Brown Dawg member who visits KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) often enough, say twenty (20) times or a certain preset number times within the week, a “visit” being regarded as when the Customer or Subscriber is within the confines of the company or business place based on their GPS location for approximately one (1) hour and purchases product or services at the restaurant using their Magna Rewards Card.

As an example, after the twentieth visit, he receives either free complimentary drinks or other things just to start and is advanced to a higher rank, using a system based on the SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) Pathfinder badges system.

With each Badge and Rank earned giving the Customer or Subscriber higher levels of discounts as their visits become more frequent per week. By copying an already existent Badge and Rank system, it makes implementation of Project I Spy Rewards easier.

Especially as the SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) Pathfinder has the same level of basic familiarity as the Boy Scouts but with a more structured system so as to make it difficult for people to abuse the system by visiting a location multiple times for the day to gain Rewards under false pretext.

As an example demonstrating this, the Customer or Subscriber going to KFC would have to be in the location for at least one (1) hour or more time stipulated, state to the Cashier that they are a member of the Brown Dawg network and use their Magna Rewards Card to verify their Points for the transaction as well as SMS text in a post on their Brown Dawg status update stating that they have visited and dined at a certain KFC location.

A posting which would automatically log the Customers and Subscribers GPS coordinates, a task set should not be too hard, as the Rewards are rather compelling and so would not be to difficult a hoop to jump through to gain the point, an effective triple tier deterrent to would be abuser yet maintaining the game-like feel of the Rewards program.

Also, the Badge and Rank earned carry from month to month and guarantee the Customer or Subscriber automatic entry into any promotions that the company or business place which they are a fan of may be doing, the Points system being similar to that being used currently by Telecom Provider Digicel to reward Customers and Subscribers for buying phones.

The Points can even be used discounts on products and services offered by companies that are not on the list of Favorites Ads which they support by having Ring Back Tune Ads, MMS Ads and SMS Ads so long as the company or business place supports the Magna Rewards Card.

This Points system also eliminates the need for the company or business place which is selling the product or service to opt into having to support another Rewards Card if they already support the Magna Rewards Card.

Thus the system is not only flexible, easy to implement and secure, but guarantees Customers and Subscribers savings just for being loyal to Telecom Provider Digicel Brown Dawg and once the Customer or Subscriber opt into Project I Spy Rewards…….frequent flier miles included!

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