by Flamingo Team | August 2, 2016

Fascinating Floridian: Winder Hughes, founder of HI-FI, The Mobile Lifestyle Network

Tech talk with a Sunshine State entrepreneur

Flamingo talks with Winder Hughes, a North Florida native, to learn how his mobile application, HI-FI, will revolutionize, enrich and streamline the way  media is consumed on mobile devices. In our interview, Hughes talks “app fatigue”, Tagcasting (targeted live streaming) and the future of the hashtag.

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Winder Hughes, HI-FI Founder and CEO, climbing Machu Picchu, Peru.

Why launch HI-FI in the already crowded app space?

Hughes: Our tagline, “Rise above the noise,” is an aspirational charge for our users to be better entertained, more informed and totally inspired. HI-FI represents a powerful converging force bringing the mobile web and app world together, connecting people through content and community in ways never done before.

What’s changed in terms of how folks access web content on-the-go?

Hughes: We know that people are not using their mobile browser to access web content. Instead, 90 percent of their time is spent accessing leading social networking apps. Consumers are now experiencing “app fatigue,” tired of wasting time going back and forth between Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to find the content and communities they want. HI-FI brings all those platforms—and much more—into one mobile access point.

Based upon the recent Facebook algorithm change (once again), publishers, creators and website owners are losing more control over how their content is accessed, consumed, and monetized on mobile devices.

How is HI-FI architecting the solution?

Hughes: HI-FI allows website owners to purchase and reserve a unique hashtag on our platform, thus harnessing the power of the hashtag to provide an advanced way for content creators to monetize and end-users to experience mobile media.

Newspapers and magazines are organized by sections and articles.  Radio and TV are set up by channels and programs. And web browsers are organized by folders and bookmarks. HI-FI applies these familiar organizational principles to mobile media—with categories like Newsstand, Outdoors, Politics and Travel just to name a few—to streamline the process of reading, watching and sharing information.

In short, businesses and individuals can create and buy their own hashtag site that’s hosted on our network much how websites are hosted on the internet. What’s truly disruptive is that we empower people to create virtual mobile media brands, newsrooms and businesses on-the-fly by using the hashtag.

What are these hashtag sites called?

Hughes: We call them Tagtopics—community destinations featuring curated live streams, news and lifestyle content, organized by category, which flows into the user’s newsfeed and is filtered by their interests.

How is the hashtag the new URL?

Hughes: We are revolutionizing the hashtag by giving it organization, contextualization and personalization into a category. For example, if you go to Twitter and type “#Jaguars”—cars, football and animals come up in the search results. Whereas on HI-FI, we would produce three contextualized search results under #Jaguars in categories such as Wheels, Football and Nature.

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The team at HI-FI, left to right (bottom row): Josh Hoye, Winder Hughes, Trina Dockery, Chris Yates; (top row): Todd Ames, Jacob Fuller, Colin Brooks, Kirk Tovey, Mac Haskell

What can Tagtopic owners and members post?

Hughes: They can post a variety of content such as photos, videos, gifs, links, text and live-streaming broadcasts or what we call Tagcasting – targeted live streaming. They can also share content from other sites and apps. For example, you can share an article from a regional Florida newspaper that’s relevant to a recent story in Flamingo back into the #Flamingo community for readers to enjoy.

When you strip all the tech-talk away, HI-FI is the destination where media and consumers come to connect, consolidated content and simplify their mobile app experience. Once that happens, people can start really living a life in HI-FI.

 

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