Here at iPhoneAppCafe we all love our iPhones. This is only natural and pretty much part of the job. However, one iPhone fan is taking things that little bit further and is conducting a social media experiment where he camps out in London for the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5. There’s just one catch…he can’t spend any money. Companies sponsoring the project are donating gifts for all of his travel, equipment, food etc, which means that he will not be spending a penny while he is camping in central London. iPhoneAppCafe caught up with Rob Shoesmith, the former bin man who is launching one of the most unique social media experiments of recent years.
iPhoneAppCafe: Hi Rob, thanks for chatting with us; you must be busy in your preparations! Tell us a little something about yourself and how you got to be an app developer…
Rob Shoesmith: I’m a former bin man who now works as a marketing and Pr executive for an app developer called MEDL Mobile; a couple of years ago I stumbled across an app called the ‘App Incubator’ in the AppStore. Users of this free app have the opportunity to pitch MEDL mobile with ideas for iPhone apps; if they like the idea they will develop it and share a percentage of the profits.
So, I submitted an app called Problem Halved, which was one of the first apps to be developed. I generated all of my own press for Problem Halved, which was featured worldwide. MEDL Mobile were really impressed with the press coverage I generated and they offered me part time work to promote other apps for them including Boxhead and Fruit Blast. The good news is that I’m now in a position to quit the bins and work for MEDL Mobile full time!
iPhoneAppCafe: Sounds like a dream journey! So, let’s get down to this experiment that you have planned
Rob Shoesmith: The iPhone 5 experiment will involve me travelling down to London and camping outside the Apple Store in Regent Street in the run up to the iPhone 5 release date. There is one rule to the experiment: I cannot spend any money on anything! All of the travel, camping equipment, clothing, gadgets, food and entertainment must be donated by participating companies.
iPhoneAppCafe: Wow! Sounds great! How has the response been so far?
Rob Shoesmith: Well, so far the response has been amazing. I even have posh restaurants delivering meals to my tent free of charge, a personal trainer, live band and a mobile hairdresser. The whole experience has been wild!
iPhoneAppCafe: This sounds incredible and so much fun. What made you think of doing this?
Rob Shoesmith: Apple has such a powerful media and marketing draw I thought to myself wouldn’t it be cool to camp outside the Apple shop living off Apple’s influence? I want to see the types of companies that piggyback on the apple marketing train.
I have been to numerous Apple release days and they are events in themselves; it’s nice meeting and connecting with other people in line who share a common interest.
It’s been like Christmas in my house with the amount of products companies and PR’s have been sending me. It would be so funny and ironic to live a life of luxury outside the Apple store.
iPhoneAppCafe: Ha ha, well any leftovers will certainly make for good Christmas presents. So, what are your aims with this project?
Rob Shoesmith: It will be great to network with people in the industry and I’m sure I’ll generate a lot of media and PR connections along the way to help in my new role.
Also one of my aims to see how far this experiment can go. The wild and wackier the better. The beauty of what I’m doing is that I have free reign to see how the experiment evolves over the next few months.
iPhoneAppCafe: Have you done anything like this before?
Rob Shoesmith: I have waited in line for apple products for a maximum of 4 hours before. Depending on interest companies and media show in this I’m fully prepared to camp out for days, weeks or even months!
I will be blogging live from outside the Apple shop, which should give fellow Apple fans an insight into the whole camping for an iPhone experience.
iPhoneAppCafe: Do you have anything similar in the pipeline?
Rob Shoesmith: I have a few other experiments involving apple launches, including a world record attempt that I’m working on involving a trip to the USA…but for now I’m solely concentrating on the iPhone 5 experiment in London.
iPhoneAppCafe: Phew! Sounds like you are a busy man! OK, let’s lighten it up a bit…what is your favourite iPhone app?
Rob Shoesmith: Well, naturally I’m going to have to mention my own app Problem Halved, which allows people the opportunity to post a question about anything and let the community to come and help them out. Problem halved has had such a profound effect on my life and was the catalyst to change my life for the better.
Other apps I like include twitter and blogpress, which I will use for this experiment.
iPhoneAppCafe: Amazing stuff! Well, thanks for catching up with us Rob and we’ll be sure to come and bring you a cup of cocoa when you are starting your camping session!
To follow Rob’s iPhone 5 Experiment check out his blog or if you are a company who would like to get involved with the project, then email him at email@example.com, tweet him at @shoesmith81 or give him a call on +44(0)7969812324.
iPhoneAppCafe will be covering the camping experiment and will be posting updates on our Facebook page!