In what interesting ways are food tech innovators using Google+?
Joining Studiofeast founder Mike Lee for his first Google+ cooking demonstration two weeks ago opened my eyes to just how disruptive Hangouts could (will) be. The experience got me thinking about other innovative ways Google+ could be used by people across the food supply chain. Some of my initial ideas included things like interactive journalism, panel discussions, research, and connecting consumers with food producers.
I put the question out to my Google+ followers and was amazed by the lively conversation that ensued (see below for summary). While there has been minimal adoption throughout the food world , those who are using the service are doing so in interesting ways such as: using it as a platform for content distribution and sharing, a cooking school, a market research tool, a social feature to integrate into a mobile application, an interactive education platform, and as a collaboration tool. Across the board, it seems that everyone is embracing the enhanced level of interactivity this social platform offers, a natural fit for food.
The following video features excerpts from the Hangout I hosted to get to know some of the people who commented on the thread.
Synopsis of Responses:
Ardvark Co-founder and former Google+ Product Strategist Rob Spiro, uses his Google+ network of 3,209 followers to test assumptions and do market research as he and partner Alon Salant develop their new food and agriculture focused tech startup.
Edible San Francisco Editor Bruce Cole uses Google+ as a combination of Twitter and Facebook, regularly posting content and news items. He sees Google+ as platform for enriching the links he posts on twitter, as it allows him to share more photographs and information. Cole says he’s still “waiting patiently for the food crowd to embrace Google+, it seems like the ideal platform for discussing food issues, recipes, community, etc.”
Account Group Supervisor at Lewis & Neale Inc. Jason Stemm believes Google+ Hangouts have a lot of potential for video distribution. He also sees new opportunities for video producers, like Liza De Guia who produces short documentaries on local food producers, to engage their audiences and connect them with the individuals featured in the video. Check out his post about how food influencers are engaging on Google+.
Google+ Cooking School co-founder Lee Allison uses Google+ Hangouts to teach hour-long cooking classes three days a week along with his friend Eric McKee. According to Allison, “We find that people are really taking to a small-format class setting for learning about cooking. Any number of times we’ve heard, “I can’t believe how easy this was, I never would have tried this dish without you leading the way.” The classes are light, tons of fun and immensely cool to run. We strongly encourage people to cook along with us and will stop to explain technique, background, history or whatever else we know about the dish as we go through it. Allison just announced they will being launching The Social Skillet, which will have classes held through WebEx, the videoconferencing software.
Picdish co-founder Haitham Al-Beik is working on Google+ integration for the next version of their iPhone app. According to Al-Beik, “Picdish is about capturing the full experience instantly with friends and family around food. In life some of our best emotions and memories are around food. Picdish allows you to share these moments through photos and conversations, that are automatically organized into an unified experience.” They are awaiting access to Google’s API, which would allow their customers the ability to share within the Google+ community/circles.
E.A.T. – Education, Agriculture and Technology founder Ken Waagner is building a food access, education and opportunity platform that is fully integrated with Google+. The platform will feature interactive classroom exchanges, food and gardening tips, and other kinds of resources.
Follow me, Danielle Gould, on Google+ to receive updates about future Hangouts over the coming weeks.