Skip to comments.Homeless Hotspots
Posted on 03/12/2012 3:37:01 PM PDT by Astronaut
It's one of the oddest marketing campaigns we have heard about in some time and some might even say it's deplorable. A marketing company has launched a new program at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It's called Homeless Hotspots and it involves turning homeless men on the streets of Austin into WiFi Internet hotspots; the men take donations from the public who can then access their hotspot.
The marketing firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty is in charge of this "experiment". The Homeless Hotspot web site equates this effort to street newspapers, which are created to be sold by homeless people in a number of major cities order to support them. The company claims that the money donated for the WiFi hotspot access goes directly to the homeless person who has made himself a wireless Internet connection. The Homeless Hotspot web site names 13 people who are currently out on the streets in Austin that are participating in this program and even uses Google Maps to show where they are located.
As you might expect, the reaction to this program has been polarizing. Time.com quotes SXSW attendee Anniina Jokinen as saying, "Anyone else find using homeless persons as 'Homeless Hotspots' at SXSWi disturbing, dehumanizing, offensive? There's no word yet if the Homeless Hotspots program will continue in Austin after SXSW nor if it will expand to other cities.
I think that it is a viable alternative to begging.
Keeping Austin weird ping.
This is kind of an interesting idea.
I guess the name they chose is better than Homeless Hookups? Might have gotten the guy more traffic, though.
Heard a story a while back about a homeless guy being interviewed by some reporterette. The guy bristled when the gal referred to him as homeless, telling her sternly that he preferred to be called an ‘Urban Outdoorsman’.
That’s only if you want to live in a weird place.
I have no desire to do so......
IRS, IRS, IRS, seems we be overlooking something.
These wireless vagrants will need a tax ID #, and a license to do business in the city.
I’m pretty sure that’s why they’re currently homeless.
“the men take donations from the public who can then access their hotspot”
I shall not touch that one liner for all the tea in china....
dang it all...
This cannot be a Fluke, can we not have the men getting paid to have their hot-spots accessed, in public?
I hate corny jokes as well....
Austin - the San Francisco of Texas. Or, as I like to call it “Hanoi in the Hill Country”.
I see there’s some companies hiring the homeless to sell ice cream during SBSW. They get to keep everything they make.
With the death of Leslie Cochran, Austin is just slightly less weird.
Not really, because the silly council voted to have a statute for Leslie.
That's the reason we moved out of there in 1990.