Chronicle Books, the San Francisco-based publisher that collaborated with me to produce the Asian Market Shopper app, invited me to write a guest post about the iPhone app for their blog. I didn’t want to repeat myself too much since I had already written about the app on VWK in “Cool New Tool: Asian Market Shopper app” back in June.
However, I had this idea: Could we make a simple (unscripted) Flipcam video of using the Asian Market Shopper at an actual Asian market?
For many people who are new to Asian markets, venturing to one can be intimidating. There are many unknowns. You’re going into an unfamiliar territory looking for something that you’re unfamiliar with. Then, there are the potential language barriers. On top of that, you’re hoping to whip out an iPhone to bridge the communication and cultural divide!
Plus, though the app has recipes, it's not a cookbook. It's reference tool to help you shop smart and purchase the right ingredients. A video would help people understand the app's potential. Would Chronicle Books be willing?
Peter Perez, associate director of marketing, was totally game and we made a date to rendezvous on Clement Street, a major Asian hub in San Francisco's Richmond district. It was awkward for me to demo the app and Peter had already tried it out, so he persuaded his colleague David Hawk to test drive the app on camera.
The market where we ended up shooting had lovely fresh vegetables spilling out the storefront. Alas, all the hand-written signs were in Chinese. Explaining our project was challenging. At first, the market clerk was baffled -- my survival Mandarin didn't cut it -- but then I showed her the app. She instantly got what we were up to and grinned ear to ear. "Okay, okay," she said, nodding with approval to give us the go-ahead to make this video:
It was one thing for me to use the Asian Market Shopper app myself but it was really cool to see how it worked for David. Along the way, we made an new friend with the market gal! I hope you have a chance to explore and use the app to its fullest too.
If you don't yet have the Asian Market Shopper and want to check it out, Chronicle Books is doing a giveaway of three (3) FREE downloads of the app. To enter the drawing, leave a comment on the Asian Market Shopper post on their site. Note that the video is part of that post.
- Cool New Tool: Asian Market Shopper app (back story, multimedia functionality, reviews)
- Asian Market Shopper iTunes page (get more details, buy the $3.99 app)