Meet Gemma. Our newest Matchbooker

Well, hello.

My name is Gemma and I am Matchbook’s newest addition. I’m thrilled to be here and want to tell you a little about me, a little about what I’ll be doing, and most importantly a little about what is coming up with the app.

My Matchbook journey began just over a year ago when I saw the team launch at the New York Tech Meetup. At the time I was sans-iPhone and when I upgraded from my Blackberry a few months later, Matchbook had made such an impact that it was among the first apps I downloaded.

Fast-forward 13 months and I found myself sitting in a bar chatting with Jason, Matchbook’s founder, about how I use the app, what I like, and what I wish for. It turns out, sitting down to talk with users is a big part of how things are done at Matchbook. Our continued conversations evolved into an opportunity for me to join Matchbook, and here I am. Who doesn’t love a bit of serendipity in their lives?

Over the last 18 or so months the team here has been hard at work building an amazing product for us all. My job here is pretty pin-point — to get more people saving the places they want to remember. For those of you who already love Matchbook, I’ll be sharing tips, new features and maybe an anecdote or two to help you get the most out of it. It really is a nifty life tool that has allowed me to be more curious, organized and spontaneous.

Our social channels will be getting some love, so feel free to say hi to us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Very soon we are releasing an app update with many of the features you have been requesting. Keep an eye out for that little update icon — we promise, it will be worth it.

The number of matchbookers around the world is pretty impressive. We have people from the US, UK, Canada, China, Australia, Germany, Japan, Brazil and even Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and the Philippines! It a great tool for matchbooking the places you want to visit on your holiday, so it’s no wonder we’re global. Proud as punch.

On a more personal note, I’m originally from Australia so please don’t hold it against me if I occasionally use a word you don’t understand. Just let me know and I’ll give you a humorous tale to explain what it means.

You may have noticed that I’m fond of a bit of a story. Send me yours. I like to talk and write, but I love to listen. You can reach me at gemma AT matchbookit.com.

— Gemma is Matchbook’s Head of Marketing.

Matchbook Launches!

Today, Matchbook is available worldwide in the app store.  You can download it here.

Matchbook is a dead simple bookmarking application for places like bars, restaurants, and shops. The idea is akin to taking a matchbook from a restaurant or bar so you remember to return to that spot. Lets say that a friend recommends that you should stop by the Ace Hotel:

  1. You search for Ace Hotel or click “I’m walking by it” if you’re nearby
  2. Matchbook pulls up Ace Hotel and you simply click “bookmark this place”
  3. At this point you can add a note or tags to describe the place
  4. Your bookmarked places are automatically organized by neighborhood and viewable on map
  5. You can run a search such as, “I’m looking for a place in the West Village that’s good for a date”.  It will return the best places from your bookmarks, as well as the top saved places from all the other users.

That’s Matchbook in a nutshell, but there are a few other cool features we built in to make sure the experience is silky smooth.

  • There is a bookmarklet to instantly send places from your web browser to the app, similar to Instapaper.
  • Registration/Login is not required to use the app
  • All bookmarks are stored locally so the app works in the subway
  • You can share a place with a friend via text message.  It includes the name and address in the body of the text, automatically creates a Matchbook account for the your friend, adds the place to their account, and provides a link where they can retrieve it.

We believe in building software that has its roots in the already occurring behavior of people outside the tech industry.  Before we wrote a single line of code, we did a lot of user research.   We knew that females have been slow to adopt location based services due to privacy concerns.   We wanted to find out what women would be willing to do doing around location. After speaking with hundreds of women we found a very pervasive pattern.  A huge percentage of them already had some method of bookmarking places, such as emailing themselves or writing it in their notepad. Despite doing this work, they explained that the result wasn’t useful because the places weren’t centralized or organized on a map.  Matchbook solves this problem.

Since privacy was the number one reason women shied away from other location services, we were very conservative with social features.  We see this as a growing trend with apps like Path, that are socially cautious until there are better solutions for the elastic social network problem.

As we move forward, “where you are now” is only going to be one part of the location-based space.  We are asking the question “where do you want to go in the future”.  Ultimately it’s a different way to capture location data that will be used to tap the $140 billion dollar local ad market.

You can download Matchbook here

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