Minneapolis, MN, July 01, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Itizen (www.itizen.com) launches a site that provides a way to tell, share, and follow the “life stories” of unique and meaningful objects. Users place Itizen TRACKit Tags on anything that has an intriguing story. Alphanumeric and QR codes on the tags connect the physical objects to their user-generated online stories that are co-authored by the people who make them, the people who own them, or anyone connected to them. Makers and sellers of interesting things can talk about their products—how they made it and from where it came. Buyers drawn to one-of-a-kind objects can access information on what makes the items unique. Givers can enhance the meaningfulness of the things they give. If items are sold, gifted, or otherwise passed on, the stories go with them. As a result, these stories give context and meaning to the things around us, and make the objects themselves more interesting and potentially more valuable.
Itizen seeks to promote a culture of giving, sharing, and repurposing so that others can benefit from the wealth of things around us. Itizen’s concept developed from the founders’ interest in elevating the role objects play in our communities, particularly shared belongings that have the capacity to strengthen people’s connections to one another. Co-founder Mary Fallon explains, “[Co-founder] Dori [Graff] and I were talking about how we shared and exchanged things with our friends and family more and more. Sometimes the reason was financial, but more often we had a particular niche need, and we found that so much already existed within our community. These shared objects also highlighted our common interests and became touch points. We appreciated that these things gained meaning beyond their intended utility.”
Fallon and Graff approached Andrew Norell to join the team as chief technology officer. “I was immediately drawn to this project,” Norell states. “Itizen is such a great complement to the emerging online culture of swapping, sharing, and giving. I'm particularly interested in seeing how the Internet can facilitate the repurposing and upcycling of things in creative ways.”
The founders have also identified ways in which Itizen's services can support the growing number of micro-businesses such as artisans and independent retailers who sell handmade, vintage, or other unique products. Itizen TRACKit Tags provide a way to differentiate the products they sell and enhance their appeal by alerting consumers to their uniqueness. Sellers can increase visibility among a community of people drawn to fascinating things and initiate a conversation with them. Once they tag their products and add their stories online, sellers are tied to the object for years to come even if the items are passed on to others. Consumers also benefit by being able to access specific information about the products they buy and from whom they purchase.
Graff adds, “We want to support people who make and sell unique and interesting things and hope to help local and independent businesses thrive — even in a difficult economy. Mary and I have spent years working in retail advertising and have learned that there are better, more innovative, and more cost-effective ways to reach consumers than traditional advertising. Itizen provides a way for sellers to develop an authentic relationship with consumers, one that provides clear benefits to both the retailer and the consumer.”
Itizen is currently in beta and is continually adding new functionality that will improve the user experience. The next development phase will include features specifically tailored to small retailers. These features will provide affordable and turnkey options for sellers to connect with consumers and increase brand presence and product visibility. Itizen is also in the process of developing a phone app and the mobile version of the site. The full site launch is scheduled for August 1, 2010. Free sample packs of TRACKit Tags are currently available at http://itizen.com/get-started/ while supplies last.
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For the online press release that includes photos and images, go to:
To learn more about Itizen, go to:
For additional information contact:
Dori Graff, co-founder
213 East Fourth Street, Suite 408
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Itizen (www.itizen.com) is a majority women-owned company based in Minneapolis, MN. The company was founded in the summer of 2009 by two design and advertising professionals, Dori Graff and Mary Fallon. Shortly thereafter Andrew Norell, Itizen’s chief technology officer, joined the team. To date, Itizen has received $100,000 in seed capital and is seeking additional funding to implement the next phase of development.
Itizen’s Management Team
Mary Fallon, co-founder and chief creative officer
Dori Graff, co-founder and chief strategy officer
Andrew Norell, co-founder and chief technology officer
Itizen’s management team has years of experience using emerging technology to create large-scale marketing campaigns for national retailers. They are experts at building brands and developing the trust and loyalty needed to establish meaningful connections with end users. Through Itizen, this expertise will now benefit small, local, and independent retailers. The team’s background and vision positions Itizen as an attractive partner for small retailers as a turnkey marketing solution.