The Rapidian

Downtown Alliance ups cool factor with mobile site

Downtown GR's new mobile site

Downtown GR's new mobile site

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 The mobile site is intended to provide an easy way for people on-the-go to find places to eat, locations to shop and activities to attend in downtown GR.

Searchable listings

Searchable listings

Grand Rapids' Downtown Alliance has launched a new DowntownGR Mobile website. The site, for use with web-enabled phones, is intended to provide an easy way for people on-the-go to find places to eat, locations to shop and activities to attend.

The new site provides searchable listings, details and contact information for a variety of downtown venues, businesses and happenings. Additionally, the mobile site provides maps and walking directions. A holiday downtown parking special is currently featured, as well.

I am excited to see local deployments of technology that creatively leverage new trends. Mobile communication is certainly one of them. Earlier this year, the Alliance used QR codes (cell phone scan-able bar-codes) to help people easily vote in the annual Downtown Awards.  Artprize upped the fun factor by using the mobile game SCVNGR to help bring art and social media together. 

The Downtown Alliance is a Business Improvement District (BID) created to "make the downtown a better place to work, live, and visit" (according to the Downtown Alliance website). This handy new use of technology is really a nice step in that direction. I think it's great to see GR finding ways to make tech trends work to strengthen our community.

Disclosure: This writer is executive director of Community Media Center, whose IT department worked with the Downtown Alliance on development of the mobile site.

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