“Yeah, I live in Detroit, what of it?” I snarled back at the inebriated fellow three stools down from me at Sloppy Joe’s, the well-known watering hole on Key West’s Duvall street. He had apparently picked up on my “Made in Detroit” T-shirt.
Turns out he was a friendly. “Your city is like a zombie that nobody can kill, isn’t it? I hear you’ve even got a high tech scene up there.”
As a matter of fact we do.
Which, in this writer’s opinion, makes for a great fit with our tool and never-say-die heritage. It may have taken the Big Three 30 years and a government bailout (except for Ford, of course, which mortgaged the farm right down to their famous blue oval logo to keep the lights on) to get to where we are now, but we’re back. Detroit is again ascendant, producing world class wheels with tight fit and finish and ultra-high performance–check out the new 600hp Cadillacs or the new Z06 Corvette, a Ferrari killer at at a bargain price, for proof.
Long pre-amble, and thanks for reading, but all this history lies behind my hope and dream we can do the same thing here with high tech and new Internet businesses.
Linkies is a bootstrap startup that’s the brainchild of Chad Priest, a full stack Web developer with a background at Campbell Ewald serving clients like Chevrolet and Navy.com.
What Linkies proprietary technology does, in a nutshell, is to crawl the Web on behalf of the brands who retain it, searching out hash tags relevant to said brand’s social media presence and displaying those tags along with relevant content on live video feeds at large events and other public locations. Sort of like the “tag clouds” you see on blogs, scaled up big and bold and displayed in virtual real time to add excitement and fodder for further social sharing by the attending audience.
Another way to look at it might be to imagine a CIA for brands, where analysts sit in front of huge monitors and track the latest trending Tweets and other social shares and posts of a given brand to get a feel for which way the wind is blowing. Except Linkies is all about public display.
And now, with good content being the single most difficult (and expensive) challenge to growing brands in the social universe, Linkies is adding in the ability to aggregate cool Tweets and other social posted content for re-distribution after clearing usage rights. If it’s hash tagged, Linkies will find it. Think of it as automated curation and a legal team rolled into one.
Fact is, Twitter is still fighting to re-define and refine its service to be more understandable and useful to both businesses and individuals–from celebrities to consumers. Linkies may be just the kind of measuring and filtering device that leverages the overwhelming amount of content that courses through Twitter’s servers 24/7 that we need, like a Dow Jones Industrial Average of trending content and public sentiment. Which includes “sentiment” that can easily turn on and bite a brand for even one mis-step in the quest for a solid public image.
I asked founder Chad Priest about the utility of Linkies for helping brands dominate the social world, and he explained that Linkies can also search and catalog hash tags created by users, allowing companies to add those tags and new content into all its social feeds.
With clients such as The Detroit Lions, Olympia Development and the Michigan Democratic party using Linkie to feed live displays at games and events in order to amplify their social impact as people liveTweet as well as post to Instagram, Facebook and more, it appears we have a winner.
As always, the longer form content behind all those millions of fast flowing tags and posts matters for deeper brand engagement and eyeball retention, but it will be up to the brands themselves to figure out how to further leverage tools like Linkies. You can be sure the Linkies team is also hard at work, figuring out how to add features to optimize and harness the raw power of all that content, not unlike engineering a virtual Hoover dam that can think for itself–and all of it built in Detroit.
P.S. If your appetite was whetted to know more about the good and powerful stuff coming out of Detroit, namely the Cadillac CTS-v (640 hp, 200+ mph) read about it by clicking here.