Facebook & Google Racing to Establish In-Store Mobile Connections

A few months ago Google sent out QR code stickers for local businesses to put in their windows. If a passer-by snaps a picture of the QR code with their phone they're brought directly to the business's Google Places page where they can read reviews and learn more about the store. It would actually make more sense for stores to put the QR codes in other places, like on their delivery menus or on print ads, since when shoppers are at the store window they can just walk right in and experience the business first hand.

Well rather than be left out of the storefront window Facebook has now answered by shipping their own stickers that advertise a store's Facebook URL and the ability to "like" (formerly "fan") the brand's Facebook page via text message. As it lies now, Facebook's value proposition seems more significant. If a consumer is interested in the brand after browsing the physical destination, it's a great time get them to join the business's social network to kick off a lasting relationship. Google's Places page (at least right now) doesn't offer much to someone who's already been to the store.

It actually makes complete sense for Twitter to get in this game as well. I already see stores advertising on their signs to "follow" their Twitter feed, but that actually isn't so quick in a mobile client. Most people don't know you can just text "follow [twitter handle]" to 40404 to follow a profile immediately, but Twitter could definitely help stores advertise this.

Has anyone seen the Google QR or Facebook stickers in a local store? Which brands do you think make the most sense for in-store promotion? What type of offerings would you like to see as a product of the merging of web presence and physical presence through mobile moving forward?


East Village Blogging: My East Village Food Spots

Since my move to 11th & Broadway, I've been doing my best to explore the village as often as possible. Recently I've been spending hours just walking the East Village streets hanging out in parks, and eating a lot. I've also started following the East Village blogging scene, after reading Dave Winer's article about the EVB'ers vs NYU. Now Jeremiah's Vanishing New York and EV Grieve are added to my feeds, and I'm feeling the urge to contribute. So with this post I am going to begin what hopefully is an extended series of posts about my experiences in the village.

Since moving down to 11th street I've been trying to identify my go-to East Village spots. It's harder than you think to find the place you want to go to often, that has the right price, the right food, the right atmosphere, the right people. As of late I've been finding myself often drawn to the same 3 spots:

Everyman Espresso - This spot is so basic it's probably overlooked by most people. It's like sitting in a garage: a few metal chairs & tables, white brick walls, set up in the entrance of the Classic Stage Company. It has killer latte's though, wi-fi, the baristas put on good music, and it's barebones atmosphere means it's mostly visited (thankfully) by locals + regulars. I like to come here in the morning before work, or early on the weekends.

Dos Toros Taqueria - Opened by two brothers who came to New York City after living in the Mission District in San Francisco, a place well known for its amazing burritos. Their menu is minimal but you go there for burritos, and they're the best I've had in NYC and I can't help but eat here at least once a week. There also focused on sustainability, sourcing local farms, biodegradable products, their own compost, and more. It's a small spot but I plan on sitting at the street counter often when it's open on nice days.

Nori Sushi - Another small spot, stuck unnoticeably around the corner from St. Marx on the way to the much more popular Paul's and Pom Frit. It's cheap and good sushi, which is always a challenge to find. The owners are always there and really friendly. You can get 8 or more pieces of sushi for $1 a piece any night of the week, or check out their interesting specials. I am drawn to the sushi counter when I have a free night and time to myself for for dinner.

Do you live in the East Village? What are your favorite spots I should try? What are the places you're making home?