Apps, Anyone?

By Nicole Caldwell


iPhone applications offer everything from restaurant reviews to walking directions. But what if there was a Times Square app that offered great ideas for plays, movies, or drinks that were off the beaten path right in this neighborhood?

Michael Quintos, president and CEO of Media-Fuse and a social media expert, has worked on projects with Disney, Warner Brothers, and The Motley Fool, to name a few. We tracked Quintos down to hear about a new idea he has for an iPhone app that could change the face of Times Square tourism.

How has social media affected the way we see things?
Brands used to come up with an ad featuring a catchy jingle. But as technology evolved, individuals shaped the conversation. Facebook, MySpace, and other social media sites allow participants to share their favorite content with friends.

What is a widget? How are widgets relevant to Times Square?
A widget can best be described as a mini Web site. Widgets are especially useful for the launch of albums; or, in the case of Times Square, the opening of a Broadway show. A widget can help show all content—reviews, show times, trailers, ring tones, or songs—in a self-contained box posted on the site. Fans of the show can “grab” the widget and share it with friends by posting it on their Facebook pages.

How do I Phone Applications work?
iPhone apps allow anything that is done in front of your computer to be done via your mobile phone. When you look at what people use their iPhone apps for, it’s mostly for getting relevant content. So if someone misses an important flight out of New York and has several hours to kill in Times Square, they might like to know what there is to do.

Which is where you come in.
What I think is missing is something called a tastemaker. If I’m going to New York, I might call up my friend and ask for the name of a good play. Or if I want to go to one of these trendy places off the beaten path, I might ask about that. You could create an app so that if you’re in that kind of scenario you’re able to look at your phone and immediately find three or four really
great restaurants.

What might a Times Square app feature?
The app would give the community showcasing power. Creating widgets for shows, plays, comedy acts, restaurants, and musicals would be a tremendous opportunity. You would have an app filled with premier theater companies, entertainment, cozy restaurants, and great club ideas. It could also allow you to search for available tickets to shows. This (Times Square) is the most visited zip code; so why not give those visitors a streamlined way to navigate it?

[Originally published in The Times Square Chronicle, July 7, 2009]