Las Vegas, NV — I’m in beautiful Las Vegas so I thought it appropriate to see how social media is being used out in Sin City or how it could be better leveraged. It’s 107 degrees here and I must have had five hundred people tell me “yeah, but it’s a dry heat.” True, but it’s still wicked hot. Speaking of hot, anyone that has flown into Las Vegas knows they are usually greeted with a long wait in the taxi line (think Disney Space Mountain line without the 6-year-olds).
As you know social media takes many forms and the advance of mobile technology is a great enabler of social media and vice versa (for mobile Internet penetration). Just think how often you look up something on Wikipedia on your phone (usually over an argument or friendly wager – we are in Vegas ), update your Facebook status, or send someone a tweet.
I still can’t believe they haven’t built a light tram/train in Las Vegas that shuttles from the airport to the Strip. I know part of it has to do with the strong taxi union here. Anyhow, I digress. Since there will be long taxi longs at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport for the foreseeable future, how can social media make this bearable? Aside from the fact I was able to engage with Facebook and Twitter while I waited in line here’s my thought for a mobile app:
When users approach the daunting taxi line let them enter into a mobile application which hotel they are going to. You already see the “offline version of this” with people shouted who’s going to Ceasar’s Palace and wants to split a cab!?” Obviously this takes some onions to be willing to shout this out; no problem for a New Yorker, but maybe not the forte of someone from El Paso.
The mobile application could quickly aggregate 2 people from El Paso and 2 people from the Bronx to share a cab to The Bellagio Hotel. And for those that don’t see the benefit of social media this example helps showcase the benefit:
- Consumers (taxi riders) win as they have reduced their taxi fare by 50%
- Environment wins as there are less total taxi rides for the day
- Rest of the line wins as it dramatically shortens the taxi line
- Airport wins as they need less people to manage the taxi line
- More people from different backgrounds meet each other – it is social media afterall
There could very well already be a mobile application for this that I’m not aware of, if this is the case please let me know as I could have used it last night. Now, I list the four benefits above, however with every winner there is often a loser. As a result of the increased efficiency from this mobile application there will be less of a need for taxi drivers and workers at the McCarran International airport to handle the line. However, in net, social media once again comes up aces.