Bang Arts posted January 24, 2013
In a world blessed and respectively plagued with an abundance of technology and convergence, one can get overwhelmed with all the information. Like it or not, however, technology is a part of all our lives. Someone should come along and simplify all of this, yes? Meet Hugh Malkin, one of the pioneers behind HUGECITY, a new app that will help figure it all out in a method tailored to you.
BANG! In essence, what will the HUGECITY app provide for users?
Hugh Malkin HUGECITY will solve the question “What’s going on tonight?” anywhere on the planet. Let’s say you and a friend just finished dinner at HD1. You know that this is Atlanta and there are tons of events within walking distance, but where? The HUGECITY app will allow you to listen to the band playing at the Highland Ballroom, see the art show at Young Blood Gallery and watch the trailer for the indie flick shown at Plaza Theatre. Because we use Facebook we will also show you which friends you should expect to see at each event.
BANG! What void do you think the app will be filling?
Hugh Malkin It’s 2013. You and I know that lots of information is out there. Huge companies are tracking everywhere we go, everything we buy, and everyone we know. These companies who own our information seem to be only using it to advertise to us. Our team thinks that only using this information for advertising is unimaginative and one-sided. We think our information is useful so we created a way to show you the public data that these big companies know. We make it even more useful by combining the information from different companies.We know that Facebook is the biggest event database on the planet but they make it impossible to discover the public events that you have not been invited to. So you turn to alternative newspapers like Creative Loafing to find out what is going on. Creative Loafing rocks but it doesn’t answer all of your questions about what event to go to. You end up spending the majority of your time between a map to find where everything is, with YouTube looking up what that band sounds like, and Facebook to find if anyone else wants to go with you. HUGECITY brings all of this together to become the ultimate place for event discovery.
BANG! What cities will be included?
Hugh Malkin HUGECITY changes the way you see Facebook events. Facebook is global so HUGECITY is in every city. Check out our map and you will see events all around the world.
BANG! What kind of activities will HUGECITY focus on to suggest to the user?
Hugh Malkin Unfortunately, Facebook does not have categories for their events so we show all events. Personally, I like events that remind me why I live in the city rather than out in the burbs and Atlanta has lots of them. From pop-up dinners in a top chef’s backyard, to world class lectures, to a homemade lantern parade celebrating the city’s latest improvement project. These events are happening in our city, in every city across the country and all over the planet. HUGECITY allows you to be a part of every single one of them.
BANG! What spurred the idea to create an app of this magnitude? It must be quite the endeavor.
Hugh Malkin I moved back to Atlanta from Amsterdam in 2010 and I was travelling 5 days a week. I knew I had friends in town and I knew Atlanta was even cooler than when I left in 2005. Back then I was the guy who knew everything that was happening but in 2010 I couldn’t seem to find Atlanta’s pulse. I went for a bike ride around the beltline and rode into a pack of Zombies crawling out of the Oakland Cemetery. My mouth dropped, I had found my people again! I asked them “how did you find out about the zombie crawl?” They all heard about it when they were invited to an event on Facebook. It wasn’t on Scoutmob or Creative Loafing, it had happened too quickly. Initially we only wanted to show events in Atlanta, but we quickly saw that events were all over the map in every country. HUGECITY got huge quick.
BANG! How will HUGECITY deem what to include in its services? What restaurants, venues, etc… get to make the cut to be included and/or mentioned?
Hugh Malkin Our goal is to concentrate on event discovery so we will only show events. We don’t want you to spend 30 minutes looking for something to do on HUGECITY. Our idea is that you want to go to events that you like and events that your friends are going to. We use your Facebook profile to show you those events first. Then we show you what is popular. We show all of the public events to every user but the order that they are shown is different for every user.
BANG! What is the process to create an app? It sounds pretty technical.
Hugh Malkin I think it’s different for every app team, but it always involves beer and coffee. HUGECITY is our first app and we got the idea after having a few beers and watching The Social Network. I am the head and the feet for HUGECITY while Adam and Jon are the body. I point us in a direction and get everything out of the way so Adam and Jon can focus on building everything that is HUGECITY.
BANG! With all the information being funneled into HUGECITY, how do you think you and your team will be able to sort it out to create a comprehensive service?
Hugh Malkin Our users do the sorting for us. When anyone gets to HUGECITY they see a list and a map. Everything that is on the list is on the map and visa versa. By zooming in to how far you want to travel you will see fewer events and get rid of the ones that are too far away. The events at the top of the list are the ones that were most visited, most saved and most attended by users. We also use your Facebook profile to show you which events your likes have created and which ones your friends are going to.
BANG! Who are your predecessors and what will HUGECITY be taking from previous apps?
Hugh Malkin We love the look of Svpply, Scoutmob, and Hotel Tonight. Our goal is to get you to quickly see what you want to do and bring others with you. These apps are great for doing just that.
BANG! How big, forgive the pun, do you think HUGECITY will get once it gets going?
Hugh Malkin I have met with several people in media and all of them complain about the same thing. We need a universal public calendar to show every event. HUGECITY is going to be that calendar. We know that more and more people are moving to cities and more and more amazing ideas are being created and shared. HUGECITY is here to accelerate the awareness and growth of those ideas. We want to make our world better, quicker. And we are going to start with the city we love, Atlanta.
Sounds good, right? Malkin and his team are working away to make HUGECITY the best it can be, and Atlanta gets to sink its fangs into the convenience-inspired creation first! Be sure to lookout for the app on your smartphones as it will surely become an extension of everyday life. Check it out and get hooked at https://www.hugecity.us/