Greetings all. We have some exciting news. You can now set up a Journeywatch network completely free! Whether you are a sales team needing to keep track of where people are, an aid agency in a developing country, a business with travellers spread across the world, a school trip or a group of friends having fun in a city, this is for you. So sign up on the home page and test it out! Oh, and it would be great to get your feedback.
Organisations can subscribe to add the ‘full monty’ service that also includes itinerary travel tracking, bulk SMS messaging and country reports.
Against the backdrop of heavy floods in the UK, protests in Southern Europe, Bangladesh and Bahrain, a kidnapping in Mali and the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, it is a good time to tell you about the recent enhancements and changes to the Journeywatch platform designed to keep you on the map and make travel and living safer, at home and overseas.
We’ve now added a map page to the smartphone app for group accounts so that you can see your and your colleagues’ locations worldwide from the palm of your hand. If you hover over a location dot on the map, a pop up will show you who it is. Also, in the app we have added a ‘Report on Arrival’ setting in addition to ‘Live Tracking’ that allows you automatically to send a location ‘ping’ on arrival in a country before your smartphone returns to the passive mode. This is great for people who are forgetful! – It’s not big brother, but it will let people at home or back at the office know that you have arrived, giving them some peace of mind.
Our smartphone app now has an emergency button that enables travellers to alert groups of managers or loved ones of an emergency situation by SMS, in addition to posting on the Journeywatch network. As long as they have cell network coverage they’ll receive your emergency post wherever they are.
The website has some changes too. We have rearranged the logged in interface, added an itinerary and a message page.
Anyone can create an account so sign up and give it a go in your organisation or group!
The BlackBerry app is now sitting in BlackBerry App World ready for Crackberry addicts everywhere to download. This is a beta version; while it locates and works fine, we are currently tweaking it to make the experience smoother and more robust. BlackBerry is a notoriously complicated multi-platform operating system generally unloved by app developers, so things take time.
We’re very excited about the new Journeywatch Travel Network for business travellers. Imagine a kind of ‘Twitter for travellers’ with geo-locating functionality and mapping. Travellers can be located to their smartphones, check on itinerary data, receive the latest critical event information and, in a personal or general emergency, communicate important location-linked information both ways.
In contrast, the majority of other corporate tracking products style themselves as tracking systems but they do not actually do tracking. All they do is monitor itinerary information feeds, meaning that they know when the traveller flies in and out of a city, and theoretically which hotel they are staying in, but the period between arrival and departure is a hazy unknown.
Using the Journeywatch Travel Network, organisations are crystal clear about the locations of their travellers when they need to be. Executives need not worry that big brother in corporate headquarters is watching your every move. The default setting for the app is passive. That is, you have to post a message on your smartphone in order to reveal your location.
Should you need to, you can flick the app to automatic tracking and this will report your location every hour. Back in the office you and your colleagues’ updates and positions will appear on a map, which you can also access from where you are. So it’s really a private corporate travel community involving you and your colleagues.
If you’d like more information or a free trial please get in touch.
Finally, there are also developments afoot on the public social network side. But we’ll update you about those here soon!
From today onwards there will be a weekly competition on the Journeywatch Facebook Fan Page . Journeywatch app users who post the most useful comment from the most original ‘Action-Zone’ in the world will WIN a grand prize, outlined below.
What is an Action-Zone?
We define an Action-Zone as a place where significant events are taking place. These are events that might affect people travelling in the vicinity. It could be a protest in the Middle East, an earthquake in Indonesia or even a traffic jam on London’s M25 ring road.
To win, you need to keep your eyes open and be where things are happening. We will also verify that the event took place (you can submit a supporting photo if you wish, to firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Prizes (for tourist businesses and individuals).
The winner each week will get free worldwide advertising for their tourist outlet for 30 days. The business should offer a discount on a product or service to Journeywatch’s top-rated Red Star users. For example, 10% off cappuccinos, dives, meals, room charges, hire rates etc. Individual winners who don’t have a business to advertise get instant Red Star status for a fixed period. The competition is open to app users only.
Awesome Location Finding Technology.
We help you target your potential customers with incredible accuracy. Using the global positioning capabilities of current generation smart phones, Journeywatch apps deliver ads to travellers relevant to their location. With 10,000 app users and growing, they could be near your outlet right now.
Whether you’re from a guest house in Cambodia, a cafe in Bogota or a diving outfit in the Red Sea, this opens up a new and very personal channel of communication with your audience.
It’s time to get CREatiVe! So get in the Action-Zone and see if you can win!
The competition will be drawn every Friday starting 22 Apr 2011. The results will be announced on the Journeywatch Facebook Fan Page.
It’s been a while since we did an update so.. here goes,
Thanks for some great comments! Especially to users in India, Indonesia and the UK.
With your help we’re building a real time information system for travellers and countries. Whatever you see, whether it’s a tailback, a forest fire or even rebels on the road to a nameless North African capital, this helps describe what’s happening in any region right NOW. Real time is very useful for every user.
On the user pages the country information is about to go through a major transformation. We’re adding in content feeds from media sources worldwide specifically focusing on things that might affect or disrupt your travel, so you’ll find out immediately whether you’re logged in online, or mobile with the app.
iPhone has joined Nokia in the free app ‘stable’, if that’s the correct collective term for apps. Now we have to decide which app to do next: Android or BlackBerry? With all the hype about Android’s stellar growth as an operating system recently it will probably be this first. Let’s see.
We’re really pleased with the clean new home page with ‘planet Journeywatch’ in centre position. As they say, ‘a picture paints 100 words’, and so we hope it does.
Here at JW HQ we’re launching exciting changes to enhance your travel experiences, enabling you to stay updated about the places you visit while you’re on the move.
We’ve already launched a Journeywatch app beta for Nokia. This is available for the latest generation of Nokia touchscreen smart phones, including the impressive N8-00. Steve Jobs and his App Store permitting, the Journeywatch app is also about to become available in the App Store for iPhones.
Turn On, Tune In
You know how when you’ve travelled in the past, you arrive in a country and are temporarily ‘blind’, experiencing a feeling of cultural disorientation, otherwise known as ‘culture shock’? Sound familiar?
Switch on your smart phone as you walk off the plane at your destination and the Journeywatch app will recognise where you are and feed you the latest travel and in-country information.
Using Journeywatch you can see what issues are taking place near you and what others are saying about their location. You can also connect with other travellers to verify events or to make new friends.
We think of this as a 360 degree travel network giving you the ‘fly on the wall’ view of the person on the street and the view of the professional travel analyst.
Street Cred and the Red Stars
We’ve also introduced a coloured star rating system that rewards you for frequent and useful comments. When you reach the red star you become eligible for discounts with affiliate retailers (these are the Red Star Offers). Give it a try!
If you happen to pass through Dublin Airport in the next couple of weeks take a look at the Nokia poster advertisements and you’ll make out the JW app with the ‘finger of God’ pointing at it!