A few weeks before I was supposed to hit the road in the RV, I got an interesting DM from a woman named Emily. It went something along the lines of:
“I think our company is a perfect match for your message. Are you interested in sponsors for your trip?”
As you may remember, I had already started working with another sponsor a few weeks earlier, a book publishing company that has been instrumental in our planning and research. That’s not to say that I was all “Sorry Charlie! All full up on money over here!” Gas is expensive. But I was cautious. I didn’t want to start wallpapering my site with tons of ads and I had to be careful not to take on a partnership that wouldn’t fit with the relationship I already had in place. Money is nice, but it’s not everything, you know?
Because you’re reading this post, you’ve likely already guessed the end of the story: I did join forces with the company behind the Twitter DM. I’ll spare you the conference call details and jump right to the line that won me over:
“Bizzy is about helping you find places that you’ll genuinely enjoy, not just settling for what’s close by.”
Hook. Line. Sinker.
That’s basically my life motto, with a little less angst and introspection!
So that’s the why, but what I want to talk to you about today is the what and the how – What Bizzy is and How you can help me help you help us take this trip together. Sort of.
What is Bizzy?
It’s a location-based social network type thing. Like Foursquare, but not. Where Foursquare is how you say “Hey! I’m here!”, Bizzy is how you say “Woah! I just went here and I loved/hated/meh’ed it. You should go/boycott.”
As you check out and rate various places, like restaurants and shops, Bizzy learns what you like and don’t like. It takes that information to recommend places you’ll like or not like in the future. So the next time you’re standing in Chinatown starving, you can search for food nearby and get a recommendation for the best damn dumplings in Manhattan, because you seem like the kind of girl who would like dumplings. (And you do, oh boy, do you!)
In addition to using your own checkouts, Bizzy also builds recommendations based on the activity of your friends that you have liked or marked as “want to do.”
AND, you can add something your friend in another city rated to your own “wants to go to there” list, and when you visit that city, Bizzy will remind you that you wanted to do that thing. This is my favorite part because I never remember (or save the emails) all the recommendations people give me for what I need to do when I get to their town, but I can keep track of things I see you doing on Bizzy that look interesting.
Are you confused? I don’t want you to be confused. But I do want you to play along, and not just because they’re paying me.
How can you help me help you help us with Bizzy?
So I have this idea. I’m checking out of some of my favorite places as we travel. Not the Duane Reede’s and the McDonald’s along the Interstate, but the kick ass place to get cheap BBQ in San Diego and the best thrift store in Philadelphia (and the place to get the best damn dumplings in Manhattan.) If you’re following me on Bizzy, you can follow along as I fall in love with these places and add them to your very own I Want to Go to There list.
AND, if you follow me on Bizzy and tell me to follow you on Bizzy, I can find out about your favorite places and add them to my I Want to Go to There list. It’s like you’re writing a guidebook for me without me having to pay you!
It’s like we’re taking this trip together!
So that’s the deal with my newest sponsor. I hope you’ll play along, because I really do think we can all do so much better than just settling for what’s close by.