New app keeps students connected to Hamilton
A new app has been released to burst the campus “bubble.”
MyHamilton, a new community-based app, was released last Thursday at a City Hall event. The app was produced by a collaboration of McMaster University, Mohawk College, Columbia College, the City of Hamilton and Weever Apps.
While still in the growing stages, there are high expectations for the interface, which was named through a contest open to McMaster/Mohawk students.
The MyHamilton app attempts to address the issue of students not being connected with the community by offering students an interactive way to explore Hamilton and explore the culture and spirit of the city.
The McMaster Students Union conducted a survey last year to gauge students’ plans following the completion of their studies. Of the 800 students polled, 40 per cent stated they would not consider living in Hamilton following graduation, 24 per cent said they would not look for a job within the city and 34 per cent said they would only take the job as a last resort.
The app currently focuses on the downtown area, spanning from the escarpment to Bayfront Park, and from Wentworth Street to Dundurn Street.
Kathy Woo, Social Media and Digital Communications manager at the Student Success Centre, explained the app’s use of Twitter, as opposed to other social media platforms like Facebook.
“Hamilton is such a huge Twitter community, and that seems to be where a lot of the students are engaging right now. It’s immediate, it’s real-time, and it’s on the fly,” said Woo.
The app, using Twitter and Google Maps, enables users to explore Hamilton, sharing their finding with friends.
Once a post is made, the tweet, along with picture provided by the user, will appear as a pin on the map that will then be visible to other users.
The app also includes a list of discounts for local events and businesses, as well as directions and methods of transportation to navigate the city.
It is expected to give a leg up to local businesses in Hamilton while helping students find those “hidden gems” throughout the city.
The app’s profiling feature, in which students enter information such as their name, email, faculty and year of study, allows businesses to track their client demographic.
Talks regarding the development of the app have been going on since May. Discussions about the app’s progress and features will take place once feedback regarding the app has been received.
Gisela Oliveira, Employment Services Coordinator at the Student Success Centre, said, “the best part about this app is that it’s a student telling a student, or it’s a young professional telling a student [about local businesses].”
“It’s not necessarily the businesses shoving it down their throat that Hamilton is the place to be,” said Oliveira.
To get the app, students must scan a QR Code.
To join the Twitter conversation with MyHamilton, users must tweet a picture with the geolocation setting on and include the hashtag #MyHamilton.