One type of mobile application that is always on my radar is a solid events guide. Of course there’s local ‘rags’ or free newspapers and ‘zines, even flyers or Facebook events to find out where some of friends are hanging out — but shouldn’t it be easier than that? I mean, why is it so hard for U.S. cities to have a unified source of events and attractions that get updated and are easily accessed?
Undoubtedly there’s a common need for this service — locals and tourists alike could understand the real benefit. It just hasn’t been executed so well yet (at least in my experience, please fill me in if you know something that I don’t.)So if a publication is setting out to create said app, who’s better to do so than the Voice Media Group?
If the name seems oddly familiar to you, it probably is. Fellow New York City expatriates, VMG is responsible for providing us with the untouchable Village Voice publication for over 50 years and counting. Boasting ownership and operating 11 of the country’s top weekly newspapers, the ‘Voice’ are experts in the localized publishing game, covering arts and culture, music and events listings. Clearly, the news of the company relaunching their BestOf app on Monday got me pretty excited.
The BestOf app provides users with years of curated local recommendations archived from the publisher’s printed outlets, as well as regularly updated data of events and local places to visit, dine, explore and more. All the information is categorized by type and by location, making it easy to scan on-the-fly when you’re out, or checking out what’s happening around the city before embarking on some festivities.
“When we re-launched the company as Voice Media Group last year, we made it clear that robust localized content would be the primary focus across our digital properties,” said Scott Tobias, CEO of Voice Media Group. “We overhauled the BestOf app with the functionality needed to create a location-based user experience that feels like a community and relies on our trusted content. It completely simplifies the process of finding the best places to go in a way that just makes sense.”
The app features a social aspect, allowing users to leave tips or recommendations to others, including a personal bookmarking feature and a direct link to sharing via social media. With that, the app can reveal what nearby users are up to by using My Voice Nation integration, a social events networking resource.
The BestOf app includes data for Voice Media Group’s 11 local markets: New York (Village Voice,) Denver (Westword,) Phoenix (New Times,) Houston Press, Dallas Observer, St. Louis (Riverfront Times,) Miami (New Times,) Minneapolis (City Pages,) Broward (New Times,) and Orange County (OC Weekly.) Also, with the relaunch, BestOf will also include data from 21 non-VMG markets: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C.