First, a quick recap of our project: CityCircles is a multi-platform portal (using web and mobile) which delivers stop by stop information for Phoenix’s light rail system. Information includes businesses and services, news, events, and promotions around each stop. We encourage collaboration and will feature a social networking aspect to the site.

Our launch party in Tempe this past month led me to realize that this is all just now starting…

Up until that moment CityCircles had been a concept that we’ve had to explain to our friends and colleagues – using hand gestures or drawings. Many people thought the idea was cool but just couldn’t visualize it. Lots of people asked: “when can we play with it??”

On October 8th we finally had something to show our constituents! At our launch party we demo’d the alpha site and received lots of great feedback. With every comment made by our audience (about 70 or so individuals) I realized how much potential this project has and how much work is yet to be done.

In the meantime (while our brilliant programmers are hammering away on changes, additions, features and functions) Adam and I have been working on building relationships with the communities around the light rail as well as the local merchants. We’re looking for participation from the communities in creating content for our site – neighborhood news, community improvement projects, neighborhood events, etc.

Getting buy-in from local merchants will be crucial in building a sustainable business model. So far a lot of local businesses have expressed enthusiasm in trying to promote via our site. We’ve got some eager participants who can’t wait to see this site launch.

We’re trying our best to build momentum before CityCircles is released to the public. We’ll be sending some invites out this week so we can get users to play with the site and provide as much feedback as possible. However, we plan on releasing new functionality and features very often in the next coming months.