With the release of the latest version of the Cigar Places iPhone App, you can add a cigar friendly place in just three simple steps!
Users Hated How Hard It Was to Add a Location
We’ve heard your comments and complaints over the past year, and we know exactly where you were coming from. The previous method that we used to add a place to the site (manually typing in the name, address, phone, website) was clunky and difficult to use. This was especially true in some countries with address systems that our system had a hard time understanding, and in places inside other places (like a La Casa Del Habano inside a mall/hotel/residence building in Dubai).
It was hard to add locations, but our users continued to do it, and we’re incredibly grateful for that.
Adding A Place in 3 Steps
The new version of the app will let you add a location in seconds. Thanks to integration with Foursquare, the app will display a list of all of the places around you. Simply touch a place that you know to be cigar-friendly to add it to the map. It’s that easy!
CigarPlaces.com is still growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and we expect this improvement to the app to accelerate that pace even more.
Don’t Have the Cigar Places App?
Download it now and find a cigar-friendly place near you in seconds (anywhere in the world!). The new version will be available as soon as Apple approves it and releases it into the App Store (probably within a week or so).
Seeing photos of different cigar places nearby helps tremendously when trying to pick a spot to have a cigar. The updates that we’re rolling out will bring locations with photos to the forefront of the site. When a user looks at cigar places in a city, or a state, or even just looks for cigar friendly places nearby, places with lots of good photos will show up first in the list.
We feel that this provides a better experience when a user is trying to pick a place to have a cigar.
Add Photos to Your Location!
If you own or manage a cigar bar, cigar shop, or cigar friendly place, be sure to upload lots of photos of your location the site! Make sure you have photos of:
- The inside of the lounge.
- The bar area.
- The outside / sign / frontage of your place.
- The VIP/Member’s Only Section (if you have one).
- The humidor.
If you’re just a regular, help out your favorite spot and snap a few photos the next time you’re there (you can even use the Cigar Places iPhone App to make it really easy).
This week we made it possible to follow your favorite cigar bars and lounges on CigarPlaces.com, and be sure that you never miss another cigar event again! With hundreds of upcoming cigar events being listed on Cigar Places, it’s the best way to make sure that you don’t miss one!
Click the orange Follow button on any page and we’ll email you about each upcoming event that happens at that location. We’ll also list the events on your homepage, as well as new photos and tips that get added by users at the location.
Get Started by browsing the site and clicking Follow at your favorite places. Then pull up your homepage to see all of the upcoming events in one place!
Create Your Account
If you already have a CigarPlaces.com account, you can start clicking Follow to add places to your homepage right away.
If you don’t already have an account, create one! It’s free and it’s the best way to keep in touch with what is going on in the cigar world.
For Managers & Owners
If you’re a manager or owner at a cigar friendly place, this is just another reason to make sure that you’ve claimed your location and join the Manager Platform, and that you add all of your upcoming events to Cigar Places!
Earlier this week there was a discussion on SmokeStack Radio about what makes a great cigar event (and what should be listed as an Event on CigarPlaces.com).
The short answer is that you don’t have to be hosting Rocky Patel himself (or throwing a huge, epic event) in order for you to list it on Cigar Places and get the word out.
Throughout the discussion, Smoke and I talked about how whether we’re on the road for business, or we’re in our home town, if there’s anything going on at our local cigar lounge or cigar shop, we want to know about it! Smoke may have put it best when he said, “If you’re ordering some pizzas and putting them out in the shop and turning on the game on Sunday, I want to know about it!”
- Happy hour deals or drink discounts on certain nights.
- Football on Sundays (list each game!)
- College Football Saturday
- Ladies’ Night
- Hosting a Band or Singer
Right now the Add Cigar Event page has five fields that you need to fill out to add an event; it’s pretty easy. If you can think of a way to change it to make it easier, I’m all for hearing ideas.
Events will likely be hitting the iPhone App soon, so cigar smokers who pull out there iPhone and look for a place to smoke a cigar will be able to see events that are currently going on, and that are upcoming.
Earlier this week we released v2.0 of the Cigar Places iPhone App which empowers cigar smokers to add tips and photos to CigarPlaces.com right from their iPhone. In order to keep cigar store and cigar lounge managers and owners on top of all of this new activity, we’ve also added Alerts to the Manager Platform (if you haven’t claimed your location yet, now is a great time to do it; it’s easy and free).
When you enable alerts in the Manager Platform for each of the locations that you manage, we’ll send you a quick email whenever a cigar smoker adds a tip or a photo at your location.
Why Setup Alerts?
If you look at the content of many of the tips that are left on CigarPlaces.com, you see that many of them contain:
- Questions (hours of operation, where smoking is allowed, whether alcohol or food is served).
- Compliments or complaints about the service.
- Comments or questions about upcoming events.
Each of these comments are extremely well-suited for an official response from a manager, and the best response is a timely one!
Pick whether you want to receive alerts for tips, photos, or both in the Manager Platform, and you’ll receive an email like the one below whenever a tip or photo is added.
Setting Up Alerts
To setup alerts visit the Manager Platform and select Alerts from the right toolbar. Check the alerts that you want to receive. Your alerts will automatically be saved and you’ll start receiving alerts the next time someone adds a tip or a photo.
Add a Photo & Leave a Tip
Finally users of the Cigar Places iPhone App can do more than just look at photos and tips. With the release of v2.0 it’s now possible to be a more active participant in the Cigar Places Community, right from your phone.
Snapping a picture and adding it is now just a couple of touches away. Grab your iPhone and take pictures of your favorite cigar lounge, you holding the cigar that you’re currently smoking, or whatever comes to mind. All of these photos are helpful to other cigar smokers who are using the app to find a place to have a cigar, and want to see what a cigar place looks like before they head over.
The same goes for tips. Things are always changing when it comes to cigar lounges and bars. They hold events, the run special deals, they remodel, they offer great service (and sometimes terrible service).
Seeing tips from other users makes it easy to know what to expect when you’re walking into a cigar shop or cigar lounge, so the next time you sit down at a cigar friendly place to enjoy a smoke, leave a tip for the rest of us!
We Also Improved the Map
If you conduct a search or you’re looking at cigar friendly places nearby, and you need to zoom the map out slightly or drag it to a new location, clicking Redo Search in This Area will display cigar friendly locations in the new area.
We think this took a lot of the clunkiness out of the old way of searching (having to put in a new city every time).
Give it a try and let us know what you think.
And the Way You Search
We introduced a new way to handle ambiguous city names by displaying a selector that allows you to choose (are you searching for London England, or London, Ontario?).
Finally, You Can Manage Your Account Right in the App
If you’re an existing CigarPlaces.com user, you can log right into the app using your email address and password. If you don’t have an account, you can create one and manage it right from the app (it’s only 4 fields).
Stay Tuned for More
This version is barely a week old, but we’re already working on the next version of the app. Let us know what features you want to see, or if you find anything that needs to be fixed/tweaked.