A new mobile phone app will launch today, Aug. 15, in a partnership between the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce and the Inhabit app company – an app that the Chamber hopes will streamline events and fundraisers throughout the Town.
The Chamber’s Jimmy Lister and Inhabit representative Stacy Meeker announced the rollout this week, noting that it was used for a trial run to announce the Chamber’s Master Plan meeting on July 31.
Lister said he hopes that the app can help centralize events, fundraisers and community organizations into one mobile app – something that has yet to be done.
“One of the challenges we’ve had with the Chamber is we have to constantly monitor our events and our posts to see how many people are coming here,” he said. “This is a comprehensive neighborhood invitation system. We have an e-mail list and we send out e-mail blasts, but not everyone sees them…We have an e-mail list, but we get so many non-working addresses and we don’t know if people are reading the e-mails we do get out to them.”
Added Meeker, “Many people don’t want to sign up for an e-mail blast and so they miss many great opportunities in the community. This will help you know everything going on in the community while also not getting slammed with unwanted e-mails. Community content will be the focus for us.”
The app works through creating fliers within the system that come up for anyone who has installed the app on their phone or mobile device. One can read about and see what the event is about, and then choose to let the organizer know they are coming or not.
The service is free, Meeker said, and any organization gets three free fliers per month to post. After posting three free fliers, all others are $9.99 per post.
Lister said the Chamber had thought about modifying their website, but ended up deciding that this was more cost effective and convenient for members of the Chamber and the community.
“We talked about getting a new website for the Chamber,” he said. “The cost is so expensive and we would need to fundraise to do it. This gets us to the public and it’s a perfect fit for the community to get the word out and do it cost effectively.”
Added Meeker, “It’s easy to feel disconnected for a community. In Charlestown, there is so much will to get people together. We’re really trying to rally the group together with this digital infrastructure.”
Inhabit started its run in Boston with a pilot program in Beacon Hill last year. They worked with businesses there and community organizations to refine the app that is launching in Charlestown Aug. 15. The app is available in the App Store for Apple products and also on Google Play for Android system.