There’s a big buzz in certain parts of South Barron Park, a part of Palo Alto, a part of South Palo Alto that I have, in previous posts likened to the Vieux Carre (a poetic and sometimes metaphorically useful part of New Orleans, if New Orleans is to beignets and funky piano what Palo Alto is to billion dollar apps), for a new potential-billion-dollar-exit-strategy app, called World Cup Buzz. World Cup Buzz, which you can find on that Google Play Store, was previously known, pre-launch, as HeadCount and Pow-Wow-Wow, before it morphed into something that would be fun (and propitious) for the thousands of soccer fans attending next month’s (next weeks’, starting in 17 days) soccer championship finals in that South American nation, famous for “the beautiful game”. Is World Cup Buzz “the beautiful app”? How will we know? How soon will we now? Or, how far from being “the beautiful app” (which basically means, one that can be quickly developed, launched, buzz-worthy, a mass appeal, you know for kids, bundled, shopped, and sold to the highest bidder, a bonus baby, a billion-dollar-bouncing baby, with or without its rubber baby bumper or App-ri-ca stroller, like a wheel-barrow on the way to the the bank, laughing, or whistling ey-away-away-away, ole, ole) is “World Cup Buzz”? World Cup Buzz started as something that, for example, would tell you how long the line is at Izzy’s Bagel. If you were hungry for a bagel, and lived 10 minutes from Izzy’s — let’s say it’s 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning — and planned on playing soccer at noon in San Jose –let’s say you played on an 0ver 35 men’s team, like as a sweeper or stopper, you are good on defense, you have speed and instinct and a team spirit, you are a soccer dad and entrepreneur with a track record for high tech — it seems like all your days are either
coding, playing soccer, or driving one of your two boys to their matches — you use Waze — Waze, in a way, is precedent for World Cup Buzz, as is, truthfully, and you are lying if you claim that for your baby, your app, it is not, as is WatsApp (the nineteen-X-billion dollar app) — and you happen to play on a team with a anomalistic preponderance of Azerbaijanis, whether or not you caught the result of the friendly at Candlestick, whether or not you, being only 30 minutes by bike from their training ground for 10 days, caught any of the U.S. team’s training at nearby World Class University and Wealth Incubator (Named for or Created For Sadly Too Soonly Departed Son of Wealth — were Leland and Jane the first Soccer Parents? — where was I? — oh, yeah, Sunday morning, tasting bagel and watching my time. With this app, World Cup Buzz, formerly known as HeadCount or Pow-wow-Wow! you can tell how many other users — WCBuzzers?? — are there, at Izzy’s, and re-calculate, if needs be, how to use your valuable time. Time is money, right? Buzz gives you the power to beat crowds or join them – anytime and anywhere, with ease. The app, once a sufficient number, a critical mass, of users are also playing along, Brazillian-style, quick passing, no long balls necessary, are also using it, will tell you whether it is a long wait or a short wait, relative to the week before or what you might expect, pre-World Cup Buzz (I hesitate to call it BWCB like B.C. — too soon to shorted the new meme to a shorter meme — meme v. trope — and I wonder, if this is the right place, how many gigs did Stipes and Mills perform as Rapid Eye Movement before fore-shortening or circumcisioning to REM, or is it R.E.M.? ) You can also post comments about the site, for the benefit of the other users of the app. The comments are anonymous and stay visible for two hours.
Buzz blends location data with anonymous messaging to help you find the action or avoid long waits.
So, because the founders of the potentially-billion dollar app (or next-billion-dollar-app) are soccer lovers, and because the Gods conspired to synchronize the development with the 20th World Cup, he pivoted (which is jargon, but also conjures, to me, Beckenbauer in 1974, or even Andrew Jacobson in Pac 10 final at Berkeley in 2004, Jacobson the FC Dallas footballer from, coinkydinky or not, this same part of South Barron Park Palo Alto) and okay this is admittedly kind of like British style, kicking long, he moved an set of domains from places to eat within 10 minute drives and 10-20 minute weights near South Barron Park, to South America Following the international sensation of questionable musical value that was the vuvuzela – the multi-coloured, two-foot long plastic horn that became such a hit with football fans at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that they were subsequently banned – the caxirola has been unveiled as the aural stimulant of choice at next year’s tournament in Brazil. This time the instrument, which has been created in a collaboration between the Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown and the country’s ministry of sports, has been carefully designed to sound considerably less grating. Unlike the vuvuzela, which has historical cultural significance in South Africa, the caxirola has been designed especially for use in stadiums. A yellow and green percussion instrument, it makes a rattling sound when shaken, not dissimilar to the South American “rainstick”. (That’s from New Zealand Herald website, which somehow pops up via the search engines when you type in “world cup buzz” BEFORE this app; years from now we will be laughing about it and say “you know, there was a time when the New Zealand Herald article on caxirola versus zuzuvela would pop up before…” this). Another way to think about it is that World Cup Buzz, the app, seeks to be as popular as vuvuzela, it seeks to make noise, in a sense, like a buzz, but not be annoying. Maybe it wants to be like caxirola, assuming caxirola, actually pans out, becomes a phenomenon, there is money in it, and is not just hype. Too soon to tell for caxirola. Although we are counting on World Cup Buzz. Caxirola, relative to vuvuzela has the potential to be World Cup Buzz of in-stadium -analog- noise -making-devices, or ISANMDs. And not to confuse the tech-savvy, sports fan but: wonder if Smule has a caxirola–simulator, a digital-caxirola? (It’s a bell). World Cup Buzz has domains set up for each of the 12 stadiums that comprise the World Cup. Coincidentally, or not, I have fond memory of U.S. -Brazil at Stanford Stadium in 1994, with my Mom and Dad. I think we walked from Cali Ave. The stadiums are:
Estadio Das Dunas, in Natal, where the U.S. opens, against Ghana, on June 16
and Estadio do Maracana, in Rio Di Janeiro which hosts the final match, July 13, and was also where in 1950, prior to a recent facelift, and before there was World Cup Buzz, the App, Brazil beat Uruguay in an exciting final.
And this is probably a wee bit out of bound, even by Plastic Alto standards, which, after all, is a music blog, but I recently caught a tribute to Vince Guaraldi (“Linus and Lucy”) in which the musician explained that the famous Brazilian jazz guitarist Bola Sete was named for billiards (the auto-speller, especially here in Silicon Valley, and S0uth Barron Park South Palo Alto, wants to change “billiards” to “billions” and who could blame her?); in Brazil, and I believe this, the black ball is a 7, not an 8; i.e. an “eight ball” is a “seven ball”; the jazz guitarist was black. I should at least link in (but not, never, Linked In — I have a wordpress blog but otherwise do not engage in social media, and rarely refer to brands by name) if not embed a piece by him. I’m also flashing, because that’s how I roll, my synapses, to a Cape Verdean singer I met, friend of Larry Dunlap, who loves soccer and when I first attempted small-talk with him — and this was before the definitive book on small talk by Rob Baedeker and Chris Colin — I guessed “soccer” naturally — Cape Verde is a small island off of Africa that, like Brazil, is a former Portuguese colony — he pointed out that Eusebio once out-played Pele. I will come back later with his actual name and maybe a little blurb about the cite: although it was a European Club match perhaps not World Cup. I have watched parts of every World Cup since 1990, or avidly since 1990 when I lived in North Beach, San Francisco and would choose my pub based on the game; this was before World Cup Buzz, of course. This time I would have to say I am as excited by the launch of this App, World Cup Buzz as I am for the tournament itself. And I am not being paid to say this, although as a matter of disclosure it is true, to say the least, that I am often invited to join the founder at his home, for example, for well-grilled high-end meat products, like sausages or hot dogs and yes, the occasional choice cut of grilled meat. footie (I was waiting to say that, inside or instep joke): * when I wrote Manaus I made a mental note and am now letting loose of the fingers — which would draw a yellow card in soccer but is okay, so far, in the blogosphere, although I heard that someday the NSA will be able to tell if we are typing with our fingers or typing with our toes and may restrict use of fingers, some people will be forced for arbitrary reasons to only type with their toes — to mention, in a Plastic Alto joint coverage of tech and soccer summits — WORLD CUP BUZZ, the app — WORLD CUP BUZZ, The app — this is a good time to remember Les Blank, traveling to not Brazil but Peru with Werner Herzog, as documented in “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe” and “Fitzcaraldo”; surely getting from a dozen users all related by blood or marriage to a couple million users, the next thousand or so related by soccer is easier than building a replica of a ship and hiring actual Indians to haul it across the isthmus? (if you can both grant me poetic license and in your mind at least picture as a form of substitution, which is limited to two per match for FIFA but virtually unlimited in the internet, to speak of Peru as if they were Brazil: don’t get me wrong, World Cup Buzz works in Peru as well). If you are a “Plastic Alto” subscriber / follower and are reading an early edition of this post with only about 1,633 words you can listen for about five minutes to Bola Sete and Vince Guaraldi here, while you wait for me to add the links to the other 9 stadiums. But also check back for other colorful links, not necessarily designed to create interest in World Cup Buzz, The App: World Cup Buzz, The App is as of this writing for android only although rumor has it that a highly placed member of the federation is secretly working on an IOS version. The term “android” incidentally is licensed for all of our use by George Lucas; he makes some money every time we say “android” even in Plastic Alto, although, did I mention I am not being paid to do all this? Tikkun Olam could also be seen as imaging the Buckminster Fuller soccer ball in a world with apparently a lack of glue, or thread and needle and we or people like me — I know I ‘m not alone — are trying to put the ball together, so that kids can play, and not fight over the lack of a ball. That’s my only motivation. (The Buckminster soccer ball is probably the most iconic soccer ball design throughout history. Originally created by Richard Buckminster Fuller, the Buckminster soccer ball design consisted of a series of 20 hexagonal and 12 pentagonal surfaces sewn together to make a nearly perfect sphere. Alternation of black and white panels helped players discern any movement in the balls trajectory. from this). By the way, Pele, and this occurred to me watching the Bola Sete video, is a contraction of his previous nickname “Perola Negra” (Black Pearl); his real name is Eduardo Something. Another thing, World Cup Buzz, The App is not “ambush marketing” or an unauthorized use of a trademark or someone else’s intellectual property — I’m not speaking for the owners or creators of the software, like I said above I just happen to root for them and am a longtime Silicon Valley insider and retired advertising executive and English major who follows these things. I think their tack is that they are commenting on the tournament so it’s fair use, they are not claiming to be the “(Valueable Trademark) of Apps” or something. If anything, developing a billion-dollar piece of software that enables soccer fans and makes the world a better place for soccer fans only enhances the value of FIFA’s World Cup, which features $1.4 billion in corporate sponsorship in 2014 event. And even better, after this FREE software enhances the spectator experience for thousands of FIFA customers, it will help soccer dads and weekend warriors time their visit to Izzy’s Bagels, or House of Bagels, or decide Izzy’s versus House of Bagels and all that. It’s a win-win-win-win-win to an infinite progression, perhaps also helping find the Riemann Primes on the zeta landscape. There’s absolutely no downside to World Cup Buzz The App reaching its goal of 19 billion users. What’s good for World Cup Buzz The Ap is good for you, dear reader. And another thing, game or not, a billion dollar, I mean, ahem, nineteen billion dollar idea or not, one thing that if you are of a certain age, like you can identify “Max McGee” and maybe know that “Richard Kimball” is “The Fugitive” it is simple enough fun and a challenge to, even if we don’t get thru, try to memorize the names and locations of all 12 Brazilian arenas and stadiums, and for bonus points where they are roughly on the map, relative to Cristo Redentor, and see if you can still do that in five years. Whether or not you, in 2019, have saved those 12 sights and domains on your World Cup Buzz. edit to add: I’m picturing an edit to add, an illustration, of a soccer jersey with the name SoLoMo on the back, as the player’s name. Also, something about the fact that World Cup Buzz, The app users can also comment on the various “kits” (uniforms) worn by the respective teams, while at the games or they (and we) can cheat and check it out here on the internet, thanks to Telegraph. Related: FIFA World Cup’s social media strategy, known as Global Stadium.
The more widely Buzz is used, the better Buzz becomes for everyone.
edit to add, 10:15 the next morning, Saturday or Shabbat:
“Do you live with your daughters?”, I asked Maria; it was a stab in the dark and wishful thinking but sometimes I do have an uncanny knack for pulling facts out of the aether.
“No, I have no children”, Maria said.
Maria is an 81-year-old Mountain View resident, since 1968 and had flagged me down to get directions. She is heading to the Seventh Day Adventist in East Palo Alto. She is a congregant of the Mountain View chapter. I called the number someone had written down for her but there was no answer.
“They have already started,” she explained.
I estimated that she was about five miles from the church. It is on Beech Street, (at least, according to those directions), but I am not sure where that is. (I have lived in the area on and off since 1974, but rarely visit our neighboring community to the east, especially not on Shabbat).
Maria offered the fact (and I believe her, have no reason to doubt) that she was married once, briefly, but broke it off because “he wanted someone to Mommy him, and I wanted to be an independent woman.” I said “I can imagine” or maybe only “I can believe that.”
I apologized in advance but asked her if she would consider going home and trying to find the East Palo Alto church on another day, perhaps with a navigator. I couldn’t think of the word for “navigator” and as I stammered she said “I don’t like GPS.” She had revealed earlier that she had no cell phone either.
I could not think of what else I could do to help her but after she left I doubled back to see if she had pulled over again. In those few minutes I was pondering the fact that I could offer to drive her back to Mountain View and then take the train back to University Avenue.
I said “God bless”, shook her hand, and that I had enjoyed meeting her. Before that we traded what passes for my basic exchange of thoughts about Brazil; I said, referencing the above, that I had been trying to learn the names of the 12 stadiums.
“There’s one in the Amazon,” she offered.
“Manaus” we both said, semi-in-synch.
I thought about making this it’s own post, maybe “God as My Co-Pilot” but opted to addend (or “edita”) the 2,500 words from yesterday.
The U.S. tangles (tangoes?) with Portugal on June 22 in Manaus, in Group G action.
As the technology improves, as more users add more buzz to World Cup Buzz, The App, we may soon get real-time info (comments) about how crowded this or that gate or cage is:
4. If mentions of Les Blank and Werner Herzog are not gratuitous enough, when I say “eats his shoe” above I am thinking of Errol Morris. There is always room for an Errol Morris reference in Plastic Alto; he looms over everything here like Cristo Redentor, a Colossus of oblique reference. When Errol Morris was merely talking about making his first film, “Gates of Heaven”, about the Cupertino pet cemetery soon to be relocating to Napa, and not making it per se — and remember, there were no blogs in those days, which legitimize all this talking about but not actually doing, even Chomsky would agree — Werner Herzog said, within ear shot of Les Blank — maybe they were all at Peets, the original Peets, in North Berkeley, and the “ear shot” was actually a “spit-take” — “if that guy finishes that film I will eat my shoe”. And the rest is history. Anyhow, Steve Cohen, who is a leading character in Plastic Alto and actually exists, or a factual version of the fictional character – He’s like the Dr. Gonzo of Plastic Alto — Steve Cohen told me yesterday via cellphones (and not Cohome, as I used to have it programmed) that he saw an enhanced re-issue of “A Brief History Of Time” with bonus material in which Errol Morris claims that rather than shooting on location they shot in a studio that featured reproductions of the various mundane settings, homes and offices of all the principal characters, Steve Hawking and his friends and family. Which I guess is kinda analogous to the suites and domains we can create via coding half a world away from the actual Estadios Beira-Rios and Das Dunas. I mean, yes, our goal is that in these 7 weeks, by halftime of the final match (I’m guessing Brazil v. Italia), there will be enough World Cup Buzz The App users that we here at wCBTA HQ in Palo Alto, watching on tv, can tell when someone makes a comment — “let’s do the wave” — and actually impact the game, but it will also be fun, even if we are short of 20,000 users in Brazil, for us in Palo Alto to feel we are there, to have created this imaginary-to-virtual presence via the miracle that is this technology. Stay tuned to see if we have iOS on line by then. Time by the way is getting briefer every minute.