I Want to Talk About All the Things

i want to do all the thingsWhen most beginners start blogging, all them blogging and social media gurus tell you that you gotta pick something. Nobody likes jacks- and janes-of-all-trades, so you need to pick something and specialize in it and build a community around that one topic you picked. It's easier that way. It's easier to attract a community. It's easier to position and present yourself. Besides, you can't be everything to everybody and you can't possibly do everything anyway. All those gurus forget to mention HOW HARD it is to pick. People are complicated and often have a variety of interests and passions, sometimes competing interests and passions. Other people just don't know what their passions are, or aren't sure among several different choices so they don't want to commit to one topic. Although clarity comes from engagement, not thought, as the great Marie Forleo says, at times it can take quite a bit of "engagement" for folks to figure out which passions and interests to spend their time on.

Therefore, I'm Going to Do All the Things

I'm just going to do all the things cause I want to do all the things and I'm going to be my own blogging and social media guru and make it work. I'm going to make it work because I think it's awesome and I think just about everything is awesome (except cockroaches, as they are not awesome). There's probably going to be a lot of app marketing, inbound marketing and content marketing in here as well because I know a lot about that stuff and I do it for a living so it's kind of hard not to have it seep into the rest of my life. After all, I have plenty of categories in my sidebar, which illustrate that I certainly love all the things and have already made previous attempts at doing all the things, even though I wouldn't have called any of those posts or categories attempts when I first created them. Never mind some of the stuff that I wrote about previously. Some of it I will iterate and bring it back and others I will not.

I'm Also Probably Going to Promote Apps Here as Well

I know! It makes me such a shrill to promote products or whatever on the blog or on the sidebar. But, first of all, it's part of my job. I love my job and I do love the apps that we create. Our apps cover all sorts of topics, and some of those topics I'm probably never going to talk about in depth on this blog. For example, our latest app is Inside Drones, which is about hobby drones, quadcopters, and how they're used in various industries. It features drones news and only drones news. so it won't ever have celebrity news or sports news or even topics more closely related like gadgets or tech news. I'm probably never ever going to talk about drones in a blog post. But, people are doing some pretty awesome things with drones, like this Drones Racing Championship that's happening next month. That just sounds darn cool. How do you not promote that and talk about that?

On a side note, I need to create my reading list for this website. I like to all sorts of books and I have plenty of favorites and recommendations, spanning all sorts of topics. You know what, if I like it I'm gonna promote it. Plain and simple. Marie Forleo does that with some of the guests she has on her show, and I've certainly bought the books and other products from some of her guests. One of my particular favorites is Sally Hogshead. Her research and ideas on fascination is just amazing.

TaxiBeat: Only Ride with the Best Drivers

taxibeat appWhen traveling abroad, transportation is one of the more difficult aspects to figure out during your trip. Besides the possible language barrier, many cities don't have high quality or standardized services, forcing tourists to pay high prices for that quality or to take their chances on a taxi or bus that's cheaper but not necessarily legal or legitimate. Fortunately, there's a new app that makes it easier to find a great taxi without having to change the rules or learn a new language. TaxiBeat is a mobile app that improves the taxi-hailing experience by allowing users to rate their drivers, as well as locate the closest available taxi. Instead of flagging any random taxi driver, you can choose your driver through the app based on your needs as well as the ratings of other TaxiBeat users. Launched in spring 2011, TaxiBeat has been downloaded over half a million times.

"We don't just strip out the tedious call to the taxi operator, nor do we service a 'blind date' between passengers and drivers," said Nick Drandakis, founder of TaxiBeat. "Instead, we provide at-a-glance info to help you choose which car and driver you want to hail, and then rate them afterwards"

The app, headquartered in Athens, Greece, has a network of over 15,000 drivers worldwide. Drivers register to be featured in the app individually, as TaxiBeat does not work with taxi companies or any other middlemen. All drivers have to do is submit their paperwork proving that they can legally drive a taxi in their country, and can be approved and profiled in the system as quickly as an hour.

"We don't choose the drivers," Drandakis said. "Only the best drivers want to be in the app. They aren't afraid of ratings."

Drandakis said that these profiles include more than the ratings of previous passengers. Those seeking a taxi can also find out it a driver speaks a certain language, includes mobile phone chargers in his/her vehicle, or is child- or pet-friendly. This information helps users choose a driver that can meet their needs, but also informs the driver on what customers may want so they can adjust their offerings and serve more passengers.

"We award good drivers and punish bad drivers," he said. "Our customers determine who gets the most jobs."

TaxiBeat is specifically targeting cities that face a big problem with the quality of their taxi services, so cities such as London and New York City won't be part of the app's network because those cities have great taxi services. Drandakis wants to leverage reputation for the taxi industry, since drivers typically work as anonymous service providers. The anonymity makes it difficult for them to build a repeat customer base. Drandakis wants to change this, which will ultimately improve the safety and service quality in these specific markets.

"This is an element missing in this market," he said. "[TaxiBeat] is the future of the taxi market. It's how it should work."

The app first launched in Athens, and is now available in Paris, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City. Over the next few months, TaxiBeat plans to launch in Turkey and Peru. The app is free to download for iPhone or Android devices.

photo credit: jm3 via photopin cc