Citizine: A curated look at the NoHo Arts District and L.A. through the eyes of neighborhood experts.
We like personalized. We like lists. And we like our info fast and organized.
THIS is Citizine – (pronounced sit-ih-ZEEN). It’s a one-stop shop to help keep your favorite places organized, and a forum for sharing and learning about experiences from one another. But we also like unique, fresh content. Citizine does this brilliantly by highlighting neighborhoods and events from neighborhood movers, shakers, experts and tastemakers. So, they give us inspiring content from a range of perspectives.
It’s probably easier if we show you. Check out NoHo’s own Shaun Evarito from Movement Lifestyle who is featured on CITIZINE. He talks about what he digs about his neighborhood – the NoHo Arts District.
We chatted with Founder and CEO of Citizine Philip DeBevoise to get some background on the site and, well, what’s neat about it.
What is Citizine?
Citizine is a global, lifestyle & travel platform targeting urban global citizens. In 2016, we launched our BETA mobile responsive website which provides our audience the ability to explore unique, story-driven and engaging content from around the world (with an initial deep focus on LA) along with the ability to transact off that content (research destinations, reserve restaurants, build & share personal travel profiles, etc.) In essence, we’re enabling our users to easily and powerfully “curate and share their cultural self” (think of a SPOTIFY for places/travel).
As part of our BETA product, we developed one-of-a-kind technology to “tag” videos, text and photos for “places / locations” which is getting a lot of attention as it allows our viewers/readers to save, share and transact with places mentioned in our videos and articles. I’m excited to announce that we’re currently working with the show THE AMAZING RACE on CBS to tag some of their online videos from their new season launching in April. The videos will be live at Citizine.tv and CBS will promote them on their social platforms!
Why is it the go-to site in LA?
Beyond the tagging technology we developed, one of the key elements that makes us different is that we explore LA and the world thru the lens of the tastemakers shaping its culture. For LA, we’ve interviewed over 400 chefs, artists, designers, entertainers, athletes, etc. that have curated and recommended over 5,000 places in LA. Every week we interview multiple tastemakers who share their passion for the city and the places the love to go and recommend to their friends. We also have weekly newsletters that are quickly growing in popularity as they provide ideas for what to do each week in LA. You can sign up via our Facebook page here.
Why did you create Citizine?
I created Citizine because I was frustrated with my general online experience to-date as it did not reflect my real-life behavior. What I mean is that in real life, I have built a curated way to explore the world by having a network of trusted friends and resources that I go to for advice and recommendations. I also watch a lot of video programming and read articles that fuel my passion to try new things and places. However, I’m frustrated because I don’t have a way to easily save, share and transact with the places that I see on an online video or on TV or read in an article. This is why we built technology that allows us to “tag” all the places in those videos and articles. This way, our viewers can actually save all the places in that video. They can share them with friends, use them to plan and organize a trip and also transact with those places.
I’ve recently noticed that more and more people are frustrated with resources that provide you “everyone’s opinion” (ex: Yelp or TripAdvisor). They no longer know what and who to believe, especially when they’re looking for a place that has conflicting reviews or they go somewhere that’s been recommended by these services and they have a bad experience. Most of these people have told me that they function differently in the real world as they ask their friends or want to know from trusted resources before they try something new. Citizine is built around providing that functionality and information.
What is this about tagging videos?
I wanted to build a technology that allowed video creators, tastemakers and now, everyone, to be able to use or find a video they like, tag it for the places they recommend in that video and then be able to share it with the world. When people watch our tagged videos it’s as if a light has gone off and they realize how frustrating and silly our current video experience is today online and on TV. Think about when you watch a video about a destination or follow someone you like such as Anthony Bourdain showing you a city or country and all you want to do is know more about those places they’ve shown you. Today, you can’t do anything with those videos and more importantly, it takes you a lot of time and energy to remember the names of the places and find them online and then save them somewhere for later. With our tech, all you do is click “save” from the list of places next to the video. You get all the information about that place, related videos and articles that might have also covered that place and the ability to share and transact with that place as well as see any comments from the person who has curated that video and recommended those places. The most amazing reaction we get is once they see a “tagged” video, most people tell us they never want to see an untagged video again because it’s frustrating not to have that power and knowledge at their fingertips.
What made you want to partner with NoHo Arts District?
For many reasons. First NoHo is a fast growing area of LA that’s important for the arts (music, dance, theatre, etc.) and anyone living or visiting LA should know about NoHo and should visit and support all of the wonderful local businesses. Second, what you’re doing is important in terms of keeping the light focused on what’s happening in NoHo and your approach, exploring NoHo thru the lens of someone who is shaping the culture of NoHo, is in step with what Citizine is doing for LA and the rest of the world.
Is there something you’d like to see in L.A. that we don’t have?
I have been fortunate to live in many places around the world including Rome, London and NYC. For a long time, i wished that LA had more outdoor experiences (cafes, restaurants, shopping and music venues, etc.) given how blessed we are with our weather. I also wished for more “walkable” neighborhoods with things to do that encouraged walking and biking. I must say that I’m very happy to see the progress that’s been made in all those areas over the last 15 years or so. I’m excited to see what the next 10 years bring us as the metro expands and more little neighborhoods such as NoHo, Highland Park, Echo Park, etc. become more accessible and pedestrian friendly.
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**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com. Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo. On Instagram @NoHoArtsDistrict and Facebook @NoHoArtsDistrict.