Stories live everywhere, with everyone. But how can we see and hear the stories and local wisdom that relate to particular places, and experience them when we’re there?
Yonward is a unique platform for creating, publishing, sharing, and experiencing location-aware mobile place guides that expose the interesting things around us that are often hiding in plain sight.
Because local guides and stories should be available to everyone, everywhere.
Local experts, community leaders, and students across the Boston area have already made over 200 Yonward guides focused on history, innovation, institutions, sports, neighborhoods, food, shopping, events, and other themes. More are coming every day, and new guides are starting to pop up around the U.S. – and around the world.
So who’s creating Yonward guides, and what for?
Travel / Local Bloggers
Bloggers author terrific posts on their websites, and build dedicated followings. Yonward allows them to connect their posts to the physical places they’re writing about, making it easy for readers to discover them on their iPhones at the most relevant moment – when they’re nearby.
Independent tour guides can bring a city to life, and create unmatched insight and entertainment for visitors. That said, they can’t reach everyone, as schedules don’t always align, some people don’t like big groups, and guides can’t present tours in multiple languages at once. Yonward offers a way for tour guides to do all these things and more.
Historical and Cultural Organizations
Historical societies have enormous amounts of interesting content that they want to share with members and visitors, but it’s currently trapped on the web, at best. Cambridge Historical Society took five local walking tours that had been languishing on its website and put them on Yonward to make it easy for people to find and use them as they expect to – on their smart phones. Several of these now rank among Yonward’s most active guides.
Organizations responsible for promoting and developing urban commercial areas are using Yonward to highlight unique attractions, businesses, and activities. Union Square Main Streets in Somerville shares its diverse character through Yonward guides highlighting artisans, ethnic restaurants, and hipster hangouts.
Hotels, Inns, and B&Bs
Hotels are looking for better ways to serve their guests with unique insights and tips that will improve the quality of their visits. Yonward provides a platform for hotel marketers and concierges to share place-based information with their guests on their mobile devices – through guides they develop as well as all the others. Guests of several Cambridge hotels are among Yonward’s most active users, and they use the app on successive visits to town.
Parks and Arboretums
Many parks and cemeteries have invested in developing their own custom mobile guides, but they’ve learned that they’re expensive to create and maintain, difficult for visitors to find, and challenging for users to learn, since every one is different. Historic Mt. Auburn Cemetery has published six guides on the free Yonward platform, and has overcome all of these challenges. Downloads and use of Yonward guides at MAC has taken off, eclipsing their previous webapp.
Events, Fairs, and Festivals
Visitors to events that take place across a large area increasingly expect native mobile guides to organize their experience. Yonward has been the mobile guide of choice for major Boston events including HUBweek, Fluff Fest, Oktoberfest, the HONK! Festival, and Harvard Scare, providing venue maps and schedules.
Communicating the distinctive features of a neighborhood can be a key advantage driving success among AirBnB hosts. AirBnB’s site offers hosts a place to create a web map, but it’s not functional on mobile devices. Yonward offers a unique platform for hosts to share the attractions of their neighborhood with their guests, who also be able to explore with other Yonward guides nearby.
Musicians and Artists
Artists rely on social media to connect with their fans and followers. Yonward provides a unique platform to highlight the locations of recent and scheduled shows, and to link photos, playlists, and audio or video clips to specific performances.
Museums’ missions don’t stop at their walls – they need to be present in their communities to be fully relevant, and to engage their members when they’re not in the building. Yonward is a platform for outreach, allowing curators and staff to extend their reach into the community via topical guides related to public art or neighborhood guides to improve the visiting experience.
Whatever your expertise or interests, share them on Yonward.
How do Yonward guides work?
There’s no cost for either the author or the user.
Touch Nearby, and see what’s around you. Or, explore what’s New, Popular or Featured.
Anyone can make and share guides, remarkably quickly.
You can “heart” guides, send postcards, share with friends, and follow your favorite guide authors.
Activate one or several guides, and Yonward presents the information you’re interested in seeing, exactly when and where you need it.