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Ice Cream Spy’s Conclusion…For Now…

This certainly isn’t the conclusion for the NYC Ice Cream Spy, but just of me formally keeping the class updated on its whereabouts. I definitely intend to keep carrying out this project and seeing how far I can take it throughout the Spring and into the Summer.

I’ve moved my “How-To” section on how I made the bot/website back to the WordPress blog, as to not clutter  the Blogger site, containing the map that I am hoping NYCers will use. Sorry for all the changing up!

Here’s my post on how the promotion of Ice Cream Spy has been going over this past week: http://icecreamspy.wordpress.com/

A quick look at the stats:

  • @IceCreamSpy – Following: 413 | Followers: 82 | Listed: 6
  • 7 ice cream trucks displaying sticker (Honieh & Ryan- thank you for the wonderful idea of making stickers/talking to ice cream truck owners; it seems to be working well!)
  • 24 geotagged ice cream trucks on map (on Blogger site)

Ice cream truck displaying sticker

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  1. Juliette 06:31, Apr 13th, 10

    Leslie, I am impressed!
    I think that realizing the idea of stickers is really cool cause you targeted both the trucks owners and the clients. Now you are becoming a useful interface between ice cream lovers and ice cream sellers.

    Also it seems to me that your number of followers is pretty good for a start. I will definitely follow you over the summer!

    What about proposing, in the near future,to icecream trucks to offer special discount or incentives to clients that found their trucks through you?

  2. ElzbthMllr 07:38, Apr 13th, 10

    This is my favorite travalogue of the semester! You seriously did such a good job and I’m so impressed. Getting stickers on the trucks is a really great idea. I also like Juliette’s idea about offering special discounts to clients that found their trucks through you. I think the next step is to get more followers on Twitter, though you definitely have a good start. Try adding yourself to the Twitter Directory and Search, WeFollow: http://wefollow.com/. I think as the weather warms up you will only get more and more tagged trucks. Then you can expand it to other cities! Great great job.

  3. HoniehLayla 11:11, Apr 13th, 10

    L -

    Your welcome! You should definitely trademark #ictruck and expand more on this idea (ie: tshirts, bumper stickers, the sky is the limit)! You could make a killing on this idea (I’m money orientated haha).

    I actually took a look at your map a few times this week to see if there were any trucks nearby my neighborhood.

    I hope you continue with this project and I will definitely be checking in on twitter for more updates.

    My Favorite project by far :)

  4. Ryan 11:26, Apr 13th, 10

    I must say this has been the most wonderful and creative travelogue! The stickers are the coolest! I want one! I hate to constantly comment and have to agree with Elizabeth but ‘incentives’ a la Jimena’s project really help to promote and attract people to getting behind it. Advocating for the purpose of it is important as you need people who are dedicated and aware of this. I think this will pick up during the warmer months.

    My big concern is this: ok, someone geotags a truck, but these trucks are constantly moving, so how do you track it more efficiently. It’s like ok, I saw one, but it’s a truck, and it’s driving away somewhere else. Ok, so here’s my suggestion. Go back and talk with the drivers again and try to convince them to give you their routes. Color coordinate each drivers route which will add to the effectiveness of the geotagging so that people can anticipate the truck after viewing a recent tag. Furthermore, you don’t want old tags to keep lingering on the map, so maybe have a way where you can keep the map and geotaggs updated. Anyways, I am inspired by your project and admire your work. I humbly bow to your ice cream spy geotagging travelogue. Oh, by the way, the website is cool too. I know that you’ll get it better as you learn more about coding and how to formulate the website, but it’s simple and cool. I like how the tweets are on the sidebar.

    Lastly, yesterday I saw an ice cream truck drive right by me off of Washington square park and I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT of you and wanted to desperately tweet about it, but was sad that I don’t have an iPhone :( Now I think of icecreamspy every time I see a truck.

    Your use of media (website, geotagging, twitter, STICKERS!!!!) was definitely complementary to your travelogue idea.

    Question: How much did the icecreamspy stickers cost???? Curious

  5. Alexandra 11:38, Apr 13th, 10

    Nice work! Did you ask the ice cream truck drivers before putting the stickers on their trucks? It’s great that they are working – sometimes old fashioned, low tech is the way to go!

  6. nadine 11:53, Apr 13th, 10

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!! Just amazing, really!!! We’ll all invite you to ice cream after our last class :-) (though you should get a free city pass!)
    @Ryan: I actually like that the truck location isn’t absolute, and that position can change. It adds the hunting fun challenge!

  7. Jimena 15:25, Apr 13th, 10

    I think that your travelogue is AMAZING. You truly went overboard with the rich media usage–from planning, learning programming, creating a network, finding the best platforms… all the way to branding and marketing. I really admire it and learned a lot from it.

    For me it was like a class, really. I think that your WordPress blog is a great, friendly how-to use tools that I’m somewhat confused/scared to use, and it really clarifies what can be done with stuff–even Pipes, which I considered totally out of my technological league :) I especially liked how you had a clear plan of what to do and how to tackle each of the areas that needed to be covered for this to be successful. As you know, my travelogue was about getting people to collaborate, too, but I kept “patching up” my project as it went along, while you really had a sharp strategy. I’m with Ryan: “I humbly bow to your ice cream spy geotagging travelogue” :)

  8. Leslie 00:37, Apr 20th, 10

    Hey! Sorry for the late response, but I wanted to make sure I answered your guys questions. Thank you all for the kind comments, & I hope this service can help you find some ice cream over the soon to be summer!

    @Juliette: That’s a really good idea to use special offers to get people to use the system- I’m sure that will work well! I think I need to get ice cream truck owners/drivers to believe in my cause first, and then maybe I can ask them to take part in that in the future.

    @Honieh: That would be great to make shirts! You’re good with the marketing ideas- the sticker seems to have worked at least once…someone followed me & tweeted that he found an ice cream truck at the same time- he had to of seen a sticker on the truck & decided to participate!

    @Ryan: Yea, getting the information out & educating people are definitely and important (and difficult) part in making this project succeed.

    I’ve actually been noticing that these ice cream truck drivers tend to just hang out in the same place for the majority of the day. So, I don’t think tracking their every move will be such a necessary thing. Also, I’ve been working on getting some ice cream truck drives that actually found me on Twitter to tweet their location using #ictruck. I’ve gotten one to do it so far. But, they’re both a little confused about what geotagging is, so I’m going to need to visit them soon & explain the concept.

    I agree though- old tags lingering on the map is bad. Bing Maps (what I’m using now) only posts geotags from the past 3 days. So, since not very many people are using the service right now, 3 days seems to be a good time frame, as to make sure that the map never looks empty. But, if the service does get popular, I’m going to need to find a new way of displaying the geotags on a map.

    And you need to get an iPhone please!! I need all the help I can get with this tweeting!!

    The sticker pack was $13 for 30 8×11 sheets of stickers. My bf has a printer in his apt luckily, so I’ve just been printing them myself, rather than going to Kinkos. I’ve been able to fit 3 stickers to a sheet. So, not too bad. If you (or anyone else) wants any, I can definitely give you some!

    @Alex: I asked & talked to all the ice cream truck drivers first. It would be pretty funny if I just went up to unsuspecting truck drivers and slapped a sticker on their truck & ran away, though! I don’t think the sticker would last too long, though…I agree- it doesn’t hurt to mix a little old marketing techniques in with the new!

    @Nadine: Haha, I’m not sure I’ll need any more ice cream after this project- there’s been a couple truck drivers that were nice enough to give me complimentary ice cream. But…then again…you can’t ever have too much of it!

    And I agree- hopefully this idea makes searching for a truck into a fun game!

    @Jimena: When I first looked at Pipes, I thought the same thing- It was quite scary looking (and still is)! It just takes some playing around with & it’s great to be able to play with other people’s already made pipes. And, as I had explained to you a couple days ago, I am still very much in the beginning stages, and wouldn’t even say that anything has “taken off” or is successful yet. The technical aspects work, but there’s still a lot to be done to get people actually using the service. So, I can’t wait to read your concluding travelogue and hear what you have to say about yours!

  9. Juliette 13:43, Apr 24th, 10

    As I really hope to hear from Ice cream spy during summer times. I have created a link to your blog on the Ice cream van page in Wikipedia. I definitely think it is relevant as it is a such an American cultural specificity so I edited the paragraph focusing on ice cream trucks in the United States.

    Who know’s it might help recruiting Twitter userers!

  10. Jimena 21:34, Apr 25th, 10

    Both Ryan’s and Juliette’s edits on Wikipedia were deleted. It’s hard to use Wikipedia to gain advocates/market. I guess we need to make a business wiki page (such as Kotex’s)