Testing my sixth authentication factor on Omnitrans bus passes

I know that Bredemarket has pivoted away from full-time identity work in favor of part-time work with local businesses in Ontario, Eastvale, and other cities, but a recent local activity illustrated a possible identity issue that I’d like to explore here. So allow me this tangent; I’ll get back to my Ontario, California content marketing expert content later.

Identities and bus passes

Remember my trip to Eastvale yesterday? I had to use a bus to get there. And to do this, I bought a day pass.

Omnitrans Day Pass, July 23, 2022.

Now this is not the most robust proof of identity. As I recently noted in my JEBredCal blog (one of my other Google identities), it’s extremely easy for multiple people to use this day pass at different times during the day. Even the 7-day and 31-day passes, which must be signed and may be compared against an identity document, are not necessarily free from fraud.

However, this is not critical to Omnitrans, who would rather put up with a small amount of fraud than inconvenience its riders with multiple identity checks.

Identity proofing is more critical in some situations than it is in others.

From https://jebredcal.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/how-important-is-that-identity/.

Of course, if Omnitrans really wanted to, it could achieve the need for fraud prevention by using relatively frictionless forms of identity proofing. Rather than demaning to see a rider’s papers, Omnitrans could use passive methods to authenticate its riders. I won’t go into all the possible methods and their pros and cons here.

However, I would like to explore one possible identity proofing method to see if it would solve the Omnitrans pass use issue.

Returning to my sixth authentication factor

Can my self-proclaimed sixth factor of authentication provide a solution?

You’ll recall that many identity experts recognize five factors of authentication:

  • Something you know.
  • Something you are.
  • Something you have.
  • Something you do.
  • Somewhere you are.

Well, because I felt like it, I proclaimed a sixth factor of authentication.

  • Why?

I said, because I felt like it!

Whoops, “why?” is the sixth authentication factor. I still haven’t rendered it into the “somexxx you xxx” format yet.

Can Omnitrans use the “why?” factor to test the reasonableness that any particular trip is performed by the person who originally bought the pass?

Possibly.

Applying the “why?” question to bus boarding data

Assume the most challenging scenario, in which Omnitrans knows nothing about the person who purchases a 31-day pass. The person pays in cash and is wearing a face mask and sunglasses throughout the entire transaction. Therefore, the only identity information associated with the pass is the location where the pass was purchased, the date/time it was purchased, and some type of pass identification number. For this example, we’ll assume the pass number is 12345.

So Omnitrans really doesn’t know anything of importance about the holder of pass 12345…

…other than how it is used.

I’m making the assumption that Omnitrans logs information about every use of a pass. Since you don’t need to use your pass when you leave the bus, the only information available is when you board the bus.

So let’s look at some fake data.

Date and TimeBusLocation
Monday, July 25, 2022, 6:39 am87Euclid & Holt, Ontario
Monday, July 25, 2022, 6:35 pm87Amazon LGB3, Eastvale
Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 6:39 am87Euclid & Holt, Ontario
Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 6:35 pm87Amazon LGB3, Eastvale
Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 8:42 am87Euclid & Holt, Ontario
Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 6:35 pm87Amazon LGB3, Eastvale
Thursday, July 28, 2022, 6:39 am87Euclid & Holt, Ontario
Thursday, July 28, 2022, 6:35 pm87Amazon LGB3, Eastvale
Thursday, July 28, 2022, 7:20 pm61Plum & Holt, Ontario
Thursday July 28, 2022, 9:52 pm61Ontario Mills, Ontario
Friday, July 29, 2022, 6:39 am87Euclid & Holt, Ontario
Friday, July 29, 2022, 8:35 am87Amazon LGB3, Eastvale
Friday, July 29, 2022, 10:00 am66Vineyard & Foothill, Rancho Cucamonga
Friday, July 29, 2022, 11:26 am14Fontana Metrolink
Friday, July 29, 2022, 11:53 am82Fontana Metrolink
Friday, July 29, 2022, 12:08 pm66Fontana Metrolink
Hypothetical logging of trips on Omnitrans Pass 12345.

Even if you are not familiar with California’s Inland Empire, you can probably classify these trips into the following categories:

  • Trips that are probably legitimate.
  • Trips that may or may not be legitimate.
  • Trips that are probably fraudulent.
  • Trips that are definitely fraudulent.

For the most part, you can’t know with certainty about the legitimacy of most of these trips. Here’s a story that fits the facts.

  • Jack Jones starts his new job at Amazon on Monday, and works Monday and Tuesday with no incident. Jack overslept on Wednesday and was written up. He made sure to arrive at work on time Thursday, and at the end of the day he celebrated with a dinner at a restaurant in the Ontario Mills shopping center. After arriving at work on Friday, Sara Smith picked his pocket and took his pass, fleeing the scene an hour later and making her way to Fontana. She creates several clones of the bus pass and sells them at a discount before fleeing herself. Therefore, all trips beginning on Friday at 8:35 am are fraudulent.

But that might not be the true story. This one also fits the facts.

  • Jack Jones starts his new job at Amazon on Monday, and works Monday and Tuesday with no incident. On Wednesday Jack calls in sick, but lets his housemate Bob Brown (who also works at Amazon) use his pass on Wednesday and Thursday. By Thursday evening, Jack is feeling better, retrieves his pass from his housemate, and goes to Ontario Mills for the evening. On Friday Jack goes to work and is fired. He boards the 87, misses his stop in Ontario, and stays on the bus until he reaches Rancho Cucamonga. Despondent, he decides to visit his friend in Fontana. However, his Fontana friend, Sara Smile, secretly created several clones of Jack’s bus pass and sells them at a discount. Therefore, the Wednesday trips, the Thursday day trips, and all Friday trips beginning at 11:26 am are fraudulent.

Or perhaps some other set of facts fit the data.

  • It’s possible that the pass was stolen before it was ever used and all of the trips are fraudulent.
  • Or perhaps every trip before arriving in Fontana is legitimate, but how can we tell which one (if any) of the three trips from Fontana was undertaken by the true passholder?

But the data that Omnitrans captured provides a way to challenge the pass holder for possibly fraudulent trips.

  • If Omnitrans is really suspicious for some reason, it may choose to challenge every trip that didn’t take place at the “regular” times of 6:39 am or 6:35 pm. “Why are you boarding the 87 bus at this hour of the morning?” “Why are you boarding the 61 bus?”
  • Or Omnitrans may assume that all of the trips are reasonable and don’t necessitate a challenge. Yes, someone can go to work late. Yes, someone can go to Ontario Mills for the evening. Well, all of them are reasonable until Friday at 11:53 am, when a passholder boards a bus at the same location where the same passholder supposedly departed at 11:26 am.

Now even if strict identity checks are used with the “why?” statement, the data alone can’t detect all fraud. If Jack Jones and Bob Brown both work the day shift at Amazon, but on alternate days, how can Omnitrans detect the days when Jack Jones leaves Ontario at 6:39 am, vs. the days when Bob Brown leaves Ontario at 6:39 am?

Again, no identity proofing method is 100% foolproof.

But the “why?” question may detect some forms of fraud.

Or are there really only five factors of authentication after all?

Now I’ll grant that “why?” might not be a sixth factor of authentication at all, but may fall under the existing “something you do” category. This factor is normally reserved for gestures or touches. For example, some facial liveness detection methods require you to move your head up, down, right, or left on command to prove that you are a real person. But you could probably classify boarding a bus as “something you do.”

Anyway, thank you for engaging my tangent. If I can think of a “why?” example that doesn’t involve something you do, I’ll post it here. That will help me in my hopeful (?) quest to become the inventor of the sixth factor of authentication.

What about the businesses in cities where my bus trips took place?

But back to the businesses in Ontario, Eastvale, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, and other cities: need some content help? I can create esoteric long-winded content like this, or (what you probably want) more concise, customer-focused content that conveys your important message. My regular work includes case studies, white papers, proposal services, and other types of content. If you need someone to help you create this content:

Update on the Eastvale Restaurant Franchise

Remember the Which Wich in Eastvale that I wrote about in April?

Well, I actually saw it in person this morning.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Based upon the limited hours, I am guessing that the original franchise owner hasn’t sold it yet.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Some additional pictures from Eastvale, including a city informational kiosk and one very large Amazon distribution center.

Nice kiosk.
Big building.

Reminder that if you’re an Eastvale business (or any business) of any type who can benefit from Bredemarket’s content marketing and/or proposal services:

Happy July 2nd!

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain.

But we don’t celebrate on the anniversary of that day. Instead we celebrate the anniversary of the day that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Which is why 4th and Euclid looks like this on Saturday morning.

4th and Euclid, July 2, 2022.

Come back Monday morning and it will look different, since 4th and Euclid is where Ontario’s Independence Day Parade begins.

Oh, and don’t park on Euclid that day.

Euclid, July 2, 2022.

Why does Your Inland Empire Business Need Case Studies?

When marketing your Inland Empire business to potential customers, you don’t start the conversation by talking about yourself. You start the conversation with a customer focus by talking about your potential customer’s needs.

And what better way to speak about your potential customer’s needs than by talking about other customers who have faced the same problem, and who solved the problem using a solution from your business?

A case study is one way to share another customer’s successes with your potential customers. Case studies can follow a format such as this:

  • The problem. Henry’s Horse Rentals couldn’t get any businesses because all of the people in Alta Loma who rented horses preferred dark green horses, and Henry’s horses were brown and black.
  • The solution (literally). Jane’s Green Widgets and Other Green Stuff offered an environmentally safe horse bath, Jane’s Dark Green Animal Bath, that turned the horses dark green, posed no health hazard to horses or people, gave the scent of a pine forest, and made the horses happy because they looked really cool.
  • The results. Once Henry’s Horse Rentals posted pictures of the newly-bathed horses on its TikTok account, renters formed lines around the stables, requiring Henry to increase his stable from three horses to seventeen. The fivefold increase in revenue allowed Henry to franchise his operations, bringing in more money and starting a worldwide dark green horse craze.

When potential customers read about the original customer’s success, they will want to do business with your company also.

But aren’t case studies only for large national firms?

National firms can certainly use case studies, and Bredemarket has written its share of case studies for large firms. But any company of any size can benefit from a case study. As long as you have a website or social media site to distribute electronic versions of your case study, or a way to hand out physical copies, a case study can start working for you.

Create the study, and at the end of the study encourage the reader to contact you for more information. (Or request the person’s contact information before letting the person download the case study, then subsequently follow up and see if you can help.)

There are case study writing services in the Inland Empire, and in fact there is one that I highly recommend. My own.

Should you use case studies, or should you use testimonials instead?

Yes and yes.

  • You can distribute a two-page case study that describes your company’s benefits to potential customers.
  • Or you can distribute a one paragraph customer-authored testimonial that does the same thing.

Or you can do both. On a high level, there’s really no difference between the two, which is why I often speak of casetimonials as a catch-all for content written from the end customer point of view.

How can your company take advantage of the power of case studies?

Bredemarket can help Inland Empire firms create case studies, in the same way that I have worked with national firms.

Let’s talk.

On gating casetimonials

In my Bredemarket consultancy, I’m involved in the creation of content for Inland Empire West and other businesses, including case studies / testimonials, white papers, and the like. But I generally don’t get involved in the distribution of the content. That’s for my clients to decide and manage.

At my new day job, I’m putting my fingers into both content creation and distribution, so I’m having to think about things that I haven’t thought about much before. For example, when you should gate content, and when you shouldn’t.

Bredemarket and gated content

Over the years I’ve created white papers, case studies, blog posts, and other content for Bredemarket clients. Some of this content has been “gated,” while other content has not.

By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2808363

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of gated content, “gating” is simply a way to obtain some information about a prospect before providing content to them.

  • This blog post, for example, is not gated content, because anybody can read it and I don’t necessarily know who is reading it.
  • In other cases, companies (including some of my Bredemarket clients) require you to provide a name, company, email address, and possibly other information before you can download the content.

Why gate content?

The “Case Study Buddy,” (Joel Klettke), in a post that asks whether case studies should be gated, outlines why gating is sometimes desirable.

These days, you have to look hard to find a website that doesn’t have some sort of pop-up or downloadable resource begging you to surrender your email.

For this post, we’re going to call that “Gating” – putting a gate in front of your content that someone has to deliberately go through….

If the information on the other end is enticing and relevant enough and the source is trustworthy enough, then giving up your email might be a small enough price to pay.

From https://casestudybuddy.com/blog/should-you-gate-your-case-studies/

The “sometimes” comes into play when you consider where the prospect is in the sales process. If the prospect is in an early awareness-building stage, they might not be willing to surrender their spammable email to just anyone. If the prospect is further along, they may want to provide that email to a few top-of-the-line companies to whom they’re willing to talk.

Should you gate case studies?

There are different views regarding whether case studies should be gated, but Joel Klettke the Case Study Buddy definitely has his thoughts.

Case studies are HUGE credibility builders. When done right, they prove you can get results for people just like your leads. Not only that, but they reveal by way of example what a lead should expect when working with you.

I can think of no better asset to show a lead in the awareness and evaluation stages than a well-written, beautifully designed customer success story.

So why on earth would you hide all of that credibility-building power behind a gate that a lead will need to trust you to open?

From https://casestudybuddy.com/blog/should-you-gate-your-case-studies/

Case studies vs. testimonials

If you’ve been reading the Bredemarket blog long enough, you’ll note that I often combine discussions of case studies and testimonials into a single “casetimonial” discussion. After all, case studies and testimonials accomplish the same thing, albeit in different lengths, formats, and authorships.

Testimonials are often written directly by customers themselves, although a company (or an independent consultant!) could ghostwrite the testimonial. Because they’re usually much shorter, they don’t necessarily include all of the components that you could find in a longer case study. Although there’s no reason why they couldn’t. Take a look at this particular testimonial, which some of you may have seen before:

“I just wanted to truly say thank you for putting these templates together. I worked on this…last week and it was extremely simple to use and I thought really provided a professional advantage and tool to give the customer….TRULY THANK YOU!”

From https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-and-proposal-services/ (and other places)

Although there’s no explicit problem description in this testimonial, there’s an implied one. Since the testimonial author praises the template writer because the templates were simple to use, this implies that the pre-template proposal creation process was difficult.

Other than lacking an explicit problem description, the testimonial has the other aspects of a case study: identification of the solution that solved the problem, what happened when the solution was used, and the benefits of the solution.

Now a case study might go into much more detail, with extensive statistics and proof points. Testimonials usually don’t.

Should you gate testimonials?

No.

I can only think of one conceivable reason to gate a testimonial, and that would be when the testimonial contains sensitive information. For example, I doubt that most testimonials written by secret agents are publicly accessible.

“I just wanted to thank you for the Acme Long-Range Recording Device. Before using this device, it was impossible to record conversations in the Mordor Embassy. But after adopting this device, I was able to uncover a Nazgul plot and use Rohan agents to foil it. THANK YOU!”

From…nowhere, actually.

Now that’s a testimonial.

Are you opening the gate?

What content are you gating, and what content are you allowing to run free? And why? Feel free to comment.

Five of my identity information sources that I have created over the years (and no, most of you can’t see the fifth one)

Back in January 2021, I wrote a post on the Bredemarket blog entitled “Four of my identity information sources that I have created over the years, including one that you can access in the next ten seconds.”

This post is an update to my January 2021 post about the four identity information services. Yes, I just created a fifth one. (But most of you can’t see it.)

The first three services

The first three were created for the benefit of employees at (then) Motorola, (then) MorphoTrak, and IDEMIA. Briefly, those three were:

  • A Motorola “COMPASS” intranet page entitled “Biometric Industry Information.”
  • A MorphoTrak SharePoint intranet page entitled “Identity Industry Information.” (Note the change in wording.)
  • An IDEMIA (and previously MorphoTrust and L-1) daily email newsletter.

The fourth service

Of course, since I wrote the January 2021 post in the Bredemarket blog, the main purpose of the post was to tout the fourth identity information source, the (then) newly-created “Bredemarket Identity Firm Services” LinkedIn showcase page.

January 2021 screen shot of a post in the Bredemarket Identity Firm Services LinkedIn showcase page.

I subsequently created a companion Bredemarket Identity Firm Services Facebook group, which like the LinkedIn showcase page (and unlike my previous efforts for Motorola, MorphoTrak, and IDEMIA) were publicly accessible.

Why did I do this?

I marvel at the thought that I kept on doing this over and over again for four different companies, including Bredemarket. Why did I have this pressing need to reinvent the wheel as I traveled from company to company?

Habitually I’ve been a reader, and have found myself reading a lot of information about the biometric industry or the wider identity industry. Of course it’s not enough just to read something, you have to do something with it. COMPASS, SharePoint, email, LinkedIn, and Facebook allowed me to do two things with all of the articles that I read:

  • Save them somewhere so that I could find them in the future.
  • Share them with other people who may be interested in them.

I didn’t collect information on my impact to others in versions 1.0 and 2.0, but by the time I started managing the IDEMIA email list, I not only received comments from people who appreciated the articles, but I was also able to grow the subscriptions to the email list. (People had to opt in to receive the emails; we didn’t cram them into the inboxes of every IDEMIA employee.)

Similarly, I’ve received comments from people on LinkedIn who follow the showcase page, stating that they appreciated what I was sharing there.

And while COMPASS and the MorphoTrak SharePoint are long gone, and IDEMIA’s Daily News may or may not still be in publication, I can assure you that the Bredemarket Identity Firms services LinkedIn page and Facebook group still continue to operate for your reading pleasure.

And that’s the end of the story.

No it’s not.

The fifth service

As some of you know, Bredemarket has become a side gig because of my new day job, which is with a company in the identity industry. During my first days on the new job, I set up subscriptions to my new company email account so that I could receive information from Crunchbase and Owler, as well as relevant Google Alerts on the identity industry.

And as I began receiving these subscriptions, as well as performing my usual scans of other news sources…

…well, you can guess what happened.

“I need to store these stories and share them with my coworkers,” I thought to myself.

Finally, I created a new identity information service using the well-worn title “Identity Industry Information.” (Hey, it’s easy for me to remember.)

Now I can’t actually SHARE this service with you, because it’s just for the employees at my new company.

And THIS iteration takes advantage of a technology that’s slightly newer than COMPASS.

It’s a Slack channel.

P.S. to employees at my current company – if you’d like to access this Slack channel, DM me on Slack and I’ll send you an invite.

Finding online writing references

Way, way back in the last millennium, professional writers would possess specialized types of books that helped them write. Of course in those days, “books” were thick objects made of wood products that did not need power or an operating system to function.

Gutenberg Bible. Source.

For example, at my first job out of college, my boss gave me a dictionary so that I could look up words and ensure that I was spelling them correctly. Over the years I have also owned thesauruses, general style guides, and more specific guides for proposal writing.

These books still exist today, although they may be in electronic form. But this information may also be available in other forms, where you don’t have to obtain an entire book to answer a single question.

For example, take questions about spelling. I am composing this paragraph in the WordPress iOS mobile app, and if I type a word that appears to be misspelled, I will receive a suggestion of the proper spelling. I don’t need to open up Merriam-Webster for anything!

Synonyms are also easier to discover. If I’m in Microsoft Word, I can just select the word and see a list of synonyms. Alternatively, I can just ask my smart speaker to fetch me a lot of synonyms.

And the smart speaker was smart enough to guess that “a lot” meant “large amount” and not “a guy who became widowed after leaving Sodom.”

And there are other one-off questions. I recently shared an example of a source that answered a specific question that I had. I wanted to pose the classic identity question “who he says he is” but wanted to use the singular they to do so.

Answer to my question, courtesy https://apastyle.apa.org/blog/singular-they

These are just a few examples. Many of the writing questions that required a book to answer in the last millennium are just a few keystrokes or voice commands away.

So you can get free answers to all of your writing questions in seconds!

Well, not really free.

If you look at the Word Hippo example above, four words appear at the very top that have nothing to do with “large amount.”

got milk? Learn More

My 1980s Merriam-Webster dictionary didn’t have advertisements.

But you know what they said, even in the 1980s:

The grabbing hands grab all they can

Everything counts in large amounts

“Everything Counts.” https://genius.com/Depeche-mode-everything-counts-lyrics
Rest In Peace, Fletch. From https://youtu.be/CzqqVFb9p4U

Maybe the stork should deliver packages also

On Saturday morning, my wife and I returned from errands to find a huge package on our front porch. The package contained a crib.

Not this crib. This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Cveleglg at the Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Krevetac22.JPG

No, my wife is not pregnant.

We examined the package and found the following:

  • A tag from the delivery company. I won’t name the company, but I will say that this package delivery was “off track.”
  • The true destination address for the package, which had the same street number but a different street name.
  • A message indicating that the crib was a gift.

Wrong deliveries have been a topic of conversation in my Ontario neighborhood on the NextDoor app, especially after “R” posted this:

From NextDoor. Author anonymized.

Many people did not agree with “R,” including myself.

So I tried to load the huge crib into the back seat of my car, but it was wider than the car. Since I didn’t want to drive around with an open car door, we went over to the real parents, who thankfully had a truck and picked up the crib.

But the package was delivered several days ago!

The most upsetting part of the story to me isn’t that the delivery company misdelivered the package in the first place.

The most upsetting part is that the delivery company told the parents-to-be several days ago that the package was delivered.

When it obviously wasn’t.

They had been wondering for several days where their supposedly-delivered package was, which wasn’t delivered until today…to the wrong address.

That’s really “off track.”

There’s a technology lesson here

All of the delivery companies, both the good ones and the bad ones, are incorporating package tracking technology into their operations. In theory, the technology lets you know exactly where the package is at any given time. In theory, this benefits the recipient by making sure the package is delivered to the right place at the right time.

But theory is not reality. This crib was lost in the system for several days. And I’ve previously shared the story about my business cards, which traveled from Nevada to California to Texas before returning to California.

It took longer than expected, but I finally got them.

Why do these errors happen? One reason is because the automation isn’t completely automated. Everything still depends on humans in the loop. For example, this morning’s delivery depended on a human to verify that they were delivering the package to the street name on the address label, and not some other street.

Another example that doesn’t amuse me is delivery time guarantees. Let’s say a package is promised to arrive at 10:30 am. In the real world, the package may not arrive until noon or later, but if you check the system, the system says the package was delivered at 10:29…and that many of the delivery driver’s packages coincidentally were delivered at 10:29!

But this is not a technology problem. It’s a business problem.

But it’s really a business lesson

While the delivery company strives for on-time and accurate deliveries, their actual processes to achieve this end up hurting the company. Rather than making sure that the package truly arrives correctly in the real world, the employees are incentivized to make sure the system records correct delivery of packages.

And the employees are punished (maybe fired) if the system says the package wasn’t delivered to the right place and/or at the right time.

The result? Some employee, afraid of losing their job, recorded a crib delivery several days ago to address X when the crib was really delivered today to address Y.

This is something that technology cannot solve. This can only be solved when a company focuses on delighting its customers, rather than reprimanding its employees.

What are you doing to delight your customers?

Unrestricted use from the Truman Library, part of the NARA. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Truman_pass-the-buck.jpg

ArcGIS StoryMaps: Every story has a place, and every place has a story

B2B content creators often find themselves telling stories to drive their readers to take action. Usually the desired action is to do business with the company telling the story. But as Redlands-headquartered company ESRI demonstrates with ArcGIS StoryMaps, there are many ways to tell a story.

Why tell stories?

Now you could easily adopt a “just the facts” approach to sharing the necessary information, but your potential customers’ eyes may glaze over.

Joe “The Facts” Friday was not a content marketer. By NBC Television – eBayfrontback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33340402

About a year ago, when I was selling Bredemarket’s services to a potential biometric client (obviously before I announced Bredemarket’s change in business scope and stopped providing services to finger/face clients), I started off by presenting a SWOT analysis. For those not familiar with the term, “SWOT” stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

By Syassine – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31368987

For the topic of discussion with my potential client, I went through my independent analysis of all four of these items, engaging the people in the meeting who suggested some improvements. This SWOT analysis led into a presentation of the services that I could provide to the firm—services that addressed the weaknesses and threats that we had mutually identified.

What happened? I signed a contract with the company and worked on multiple projects to successfully address those weaknesses/threats.

Do you see what I did there?

As you probably noticed, I just told a story that had a conflict, actions, and a final resolution. “And they all sold biometric products happily ever after.”

Now SWOT analyses may not be your preferred type of storytelling, and frankly I usually don’t use SWOT analyses to tell stories. Stories can be of the “what happened to a company” or “what happened to me” form. For example, I recently told a “what happened to a company” story when talking about Conductor’s use of Calendly.

And some stories emphasize the “where.” No, not as one of the six factors of authentication, but as a setting for the story.

Enter ESRI and its ArcGIS StoryMaps product.

What does ArcGIS StoryMaps do?

On April 20, 2022, ESRI announced its introduction of ArcGIS StoryMaps, saying that “StoryMaps Allows Content Creators to Unify Digital Experiences in One Place Furthering Esri’s Mission to Bring the Geographic Approach to All.” In its announcement, ESRI started by presenting the problem:

Capturing and sharing life’s experiences today often requires multiple platforms and tools, which can result in disjointed storytelling.

From https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/announcements/esri-brings-powerful-mapping-technology-to-everyone-with-new-storytelling-tool/

ArcGIS StoryMaps seeks to allow marketers and other content creators to use a single easy-to-use tool to tell their stories. As ESRI’s video on ArcGIS StoryMaps states, “Every story has a place, and every place has a story.” StoryMaps helps people tell place stories.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl-J9GjieYM

For an example of a StoryMap, go to https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/42b1a6fe6a524b578becd12c0bee4b4c to view “Sounds of the Wild West: An audio tour of Montana’s four major ecosystems.” Be sure to unmute the sound! (It’s an audio tour.)

What about YOUR story?

Now ESRI hasn’t asked me to tell stories for them (yet), but perhaps your Redlands-based company might want a storyteller. Consider the Redlands, California content marketing expert, Bredemarket. I provide marketing and writing services in the Inland Empire and throughout the United States.

Here are just a few examples of what Bredemarket can do for your firm:

I can provide many more B2B services; a complete list can be found here.

Before I create a single word, I start by asking you some questions about your content:

  • Why, how, and what do you do?
  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

After you’ve provided the relevant information to me, I’ll create the first iteration of the content, and we’ll work together to create your final content. The specifics of how we will work together depend upon whether you have elected the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service, the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service, or something else.

When we’re done, that final content is yours (a “work for hire” arrangement).

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.