I made it!
This is my 1000th Daily Golden Nugget. That's 1000 weekdays since I started writing them on July 26, 2010 with the headline "Google Maps can drive visitors directly to your doorstep, literally."
In honor of this achievement, I've spent the last 9 days detailing all the features within the redesigned Google Maps and Google Places for Business dashboard and how jewelers should be using them. I have a few more dashboard details to go over next week, but for today I wanted to present something a little more lighthearted, although still on the topic of Google Maps, of course.
The inspiration to start writing these Daily Golden Nuggets occurred during a 32 day road trip around France back in the summer of 2010. During the trip, I discovered that smartphone usage was more prevalent in France than in the US, and mobile marketing was far more mature there as well.
It was this firsthand experience using Google Maps as my guide through a 3700 mile (6000 km) road trip, which actually triggered the idea for that first Nugget.
Over the past 4 years, I've been traveling back and forth to France as a way to continually monitor new marketing trends I find over here. I've learned that the French not only offer the latest fashion trends, but also the latest marketing trends. I can tell you that, without question, even 4 years later, the marketing trends in the US are still behind what's happening in Europe.
Some of the "new" marketing ideas that I've presented in these Nuggets were inspired by marketing campaigns I saw in France. I personally tested or analyzed their feasibility for jewelers in the US before presenting them there.
The thing about mobile marketing is that you need to be out in the world, away from that infamous office computer, in order to experience it. The key word there is "experience." Too many marketing agencies dream up concepts at their desk and never consider how those concepts will play out in the real world.
Although the marketing ideas are usually more advanced over here (I'm in Bordeaux, France as I write this), the agencies still make mistakes. I've seen dozens of billboards which incentivized people to take immediate action on their smartphones even though those billboards were underground in an area without cell phone reception. That's just one simple mistake that all agencies make when they don't spend time exploring where their ads will be placed.
In order for me to experience new ideas, I have to leave my computer and put myself out there to explore. I walk around the city of Bordeaux listening to podcasts and audiobooks while also taking notes of things I see and ideas I have. I also photo document each of the walks I take and post photos socially.
I even started a Google+ Community for Bordeaux Photography that you can browse through here.
Some of my recent photos are on Instagram here:
The sun rising on Bordeaux Quai Des Chartrons
Tightrope walkers at Place des Quinconces
One of my favorite locations on Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Shoes on a street light
Of course my photo documenting the city is nothing compared to how Google Maps creates the Street View that's available within Maps. They have a fleet of cars equipped with special cameras that drive around the world. Their mission is to take photos of all public streets and places.
Google has an entire website explaining the car and the behind the scenes of Street View here.
On April 28, 2014 I finally saw one of these Google cars in person. I didn't see the car approach before it passed right in front of me, and it took me by surprise. I had wondered if I would ever see one of these elusive cars in person, and suddenly it happened.
I think I stood there with my mouth open as it drove away down the street. Then it stopped and turned left down a side street that I knew was rather narrow. "Maybe I can catch it!" I thought to myself.
I started running down the street and around the corner to see if I could catch it in time, and I did!
Here's one of the photos I took:
(click to enlarge)
Sometime in the next few months you should be able to see me in the Street View standing at this corner taking this photo:
I assume my face will be blurred out as they usually do.
I shared that photo to my friends, family, socially, and to everyone in my company shortly after taking it.
Perhaps the best reply came from George, my business partner and also the editor of these Daily Golden Nuggets:
"Some people chase after Justin Bieber. Some people chase Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. You paparazzi'd a Google car."
So there you have it. Not only did I make it to 1000, but I will soon make it onto the Google Map.
In closing, I have to thank everyone who reads these Nuggets and socially likes, comments, replies, and sends me occasional thank-you emails. I know a few readers have even stayed on the email list since the first Nugget.
I invite you to seek me out on the social networks and ask questions, say hello, or just enjoy my daily photo walks. I have to assume that those of you reading these Nuggets on a regular basis are part of a very special, forward thinking tribe of people in the jewelry industry, and I'd love to connect with you as a real person.
Here are the popular networks you can find me on:
On most other social networks you can search for the handle "matthewperosi."
What's next? I don't know. There's sure more to come...
PS: Perhaps a little ironic, but this Nugget is 1000 words too!