Category: Blog

halloween social media
Don’t be scared of having some fun with your online community this Halloween! Check out these five must-reads for inspiration.
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firebelly midwest multifamily conference
Our own Duncan Alney will be presenting two sessions at the Midwest Multifamily Conference at the Indiana Convention Center on October 15th.
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ello logo
Ello claims to be the anti-Facebook social network. Learn all about it in these five must-reads.
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firebelly blog posts
Facebook was a popular subject on our blog in July, but interests varied in August. What would you like to see us write about in September? Let us know in a comment below!
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Twitter analytics
Numbers nerds rejoice! Twitter is finally providing all users with data on their tweets. Previously, this information was only available to advertisers and a limited number of other users.
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snapchat360b /
The brilliance of Snapchat is its capability to be in a digital social space where one has no fears of being found out. Most popular amongst ages 13-25, Snapchat is an app only made for mobile phones, with bills paid by parents. But why is this app more valuable to the most connected facet of American culture?

If you happen to personally know any millennials, the fact that this app tops Twitter comes as no surprise. 18-34 year olds have proven to keep their mobile phones within arms reach at all times. They open their phones and their apps much like meth addicts scratch their noses.

snapchat teens

But more to the point, Snapchat has not only proven to provide a quick dose of attention, it has also proven to further the illusion that the user is the center of the world. Millennials like nothing more than thinking of their social appearances, and Snapchat is the technology that makes them feel as though they are the center of the universe.

Snapchat has a few features that distinguish it from Twitter—firstly it is ephemeral, allowing the impulsive and distracted minds of millennials to act without thought—the impermanence of the content they share exists consequences or records, allowing for that content to be any variable of something their mother would not wish to see.

The next advantage that Snapchat has over Twitter is that it allows you to choose your audience, your crush, or your clique, allowing you to entertain and be entertained in many social circles and to extend your local into the digital social. On Snapchat, you have to know exact user names in order to find users and in many cases have to actually know the people you are chatting with.

Twitter is also constant updates that evoke conversation, but users often follow people and celebrities who carry significant social clout, real authority or wit. Most Snapchats are 10 seconds of, at best, banal material. If you look at Google images of Snapchat, you start to get an idea of the raunchy content being shared (Naughties, Screenshot Leaked, etc.) Millennials aren’t looking for another platform to interact with real issues, they are looking to be constantly updated with bits of things they and their friends find funny, raunchy, or sexy.


Think about all the photos you take in a week, in a month, how about the last six months. Think about all of those pictures, not just of you, but of your friends. Places you’ve gone, things you’ve eaten, exercise routines you’ve started, ballgames, concerts, movies, vacations, on, and on, and on.
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Why does working in internet marketing sometimes seem to suck so much more than it really should have to?
Okay real quick so that you don’t get bored before I get to my point, here’s why:

1. Marketing professionals are perversely incentivized to focus on delivering services that are already declining in terms of their impact, and may already be obsolete. 
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Firebelly blog posts
Facebook was a popular subject on our blog in July! All three of our most-read posts were about everyone’s favorite (or not-so-favorite) social network. In case you missed them, here they are.
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The idea of being on your phone is, these days, associated with waiting for your coffee, trying to look cool when your date is late, or using GPS maps to try and find a bar. But what if there was something that encouraged you to not only use your phone in public, but simultaneously connect you more deeply with your physical surrounding? What if your phone urged you to explore—to get out and see a city? Here in Indy, that idea is in full swing with The City of Forking Paths—the newest playable city game to hit town.

City of Forking Paths Indaianpolis

Vishant Shah, the man who made The City of Forking Paths a reality for Indianapolis, first saw the capabilities of a city adventure game while in London playing the Pan Studio game Hello Lamp Post. Shah found the game to be somewhat of a SMS guided walking tour, but also something that transformed the city into an adventure board—where local writers could host their own stories and people could pay to follow along.

Coming back to the states, Shah, a member of the crowd funding company Concept Catapult, thought to contact the developers for an Indianapolis version of the game. Today, City of Forking Paths is a reality.  It is a playable city game that will debut the weekend of August 14-17 on the streets of downtown Indianapolis. Players can choose to access different stories from the app that people can play, including a game targeted toward attendees of GenCon.

Boggstown version at GenCon

“Playable cities” are taking the gaming world and turning conventional physical stagnation of board games and computer games into a space where the city itself is the board and you are a piece of the puzzle. Playable cities also reach far beyond the convention of walking tours as far as getting to know a city because you are given the choice to go left or right, to see that monument or that library—you decide what you want to do.

And lastly, by choosing your game, you are deciding what story you want to hear from a local person who has a deep connection to their physical, local area. As you walk along the streets of Indianapolis getting text messages of your location and storyline—prompting you to change locations and answers—City of Forking Paths will blend fiction and truth, history and futurism, and you will enter a world that will make you remember the city in ways like never before.

If you’ve got 30 minutes around August 14-17, hand yourself over to the game, and let it take you wherever. Let your phone become your remote control for enjoying the city.

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