Nothing? Us either, but this is what makes quality tourism/location based apps important to communities. Did you know that 50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus, OH? Maybe it’s time for visit!
Rashied Tyre, founder of Harbinger, created Columbus – The App to share the love of his city with the world. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
Tell us about your city Columbus, OH and what inspired you to create this app for your community…
Columbus is a pretty diverse city with a strong focus on the arts. From visual artists to musicians, there’s a great deal of local talent seeking an audience. In addition, we have a large restaurant and bar market with a very supportive yet discerning consumer community. Add in The Ohio State University, one of the three largest schools in the U.S., and the need for an app like Columbus – The App (CTA) quickly becomes apparent. Jake Sidorski and Jesse Straight (my Columbus-based partners) were very supportive of my concept and gave me the ball to run with. We wanted to be sure that we didn’t just do “well”, but do “good”, meaning that we provide a free service to the over 1,600 people who’ve downloaded Columbus – The App.
We at Harbinger felt the same need when putting together our most recent release, Tampa Bay Bars (TBB), which is a mobile bar locator serving the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area. One of our partners, Pavlo Synadinos, saw an opening for such an app due to the fact that the area is a prime tourist destination year-round, especially for Spring Break.
What are some of the features Columbus residents, or tourists to your area can utilize in your app?
We really gave the Shoutem platform a workout when building CTA. For music fans, the app features an event calendar, a feed from local indie music bible Donewaiting.com, and a weekly in-app podcast of local music from WCRS Community Radio. We’re in talks to bring videos of live shows to the app in the very near future as well. Food and drink lovers can use our curated GPS-enabled list of bars and restaurants that we’ve give the “thumbs up”, reviews from The CMH Gourmand, as well as our in-house profiles that feed in from our blog. We’re really glad we landed our content partners, especially The Naked Redhead, whose blog/advice column shows a wit and vulnerability that we like to think is uniquely Columbus. Columbus – The App started off very simply but is quickly evolving into an app-as-magazine sort of concept, which is more than I initially imagined it would be.
Born and raised in Columbus, or a proud transplant? What are some of your favorite Columbus memories?
I’m a transplant, arriving here during high school after an amazing childhood in New York City and Southern California. While I’ve had a lot of great memories in NY & CA, Columbus is where my love of music took me from being a fan to being an artist. I can’t count how many incredible bands I’ve seen perform in this town, how many talented artists I’ve had the fortune of meeting, or how many great nights of fantastic food and drink I’ve enjoyed – sometimes a little too much. So while I may be a transplant, I am quite proud of this place and hope that Columbus – The App is helping others to have their own versions of those same moments.
Care to share some of your favorite places/pastimes in Columbus?
Favorite Columbus places & pastimes? Well, The Varsity Club counts as both because it’s where we watch Ohio State football games in the fall. We’re big fans of the Short North area, with establishments like Press Grill, Betty’s, and Skully’s, which is one of THE best venues to hear music in the city. We’ve even got Brothers Drake Meadery, for those moments you just have to have delicious alcohol made from honey. Lately, my home away from home is Dick’s Den – a cheap, friendly watering hole with a very diverse crowd and a ton of good Jazz and Bluegrass performances.
We couldn’t have created Columbus – The App or Tampa Bay Bars anywhere near as quickly as we have without ShoutEm. Go Bucks!
Columbus – The App is available in both the iTunes Store and Android Market. We’ve included the links to each version here:
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