What's On Your Phone, Christopher Williams?

Christopher Williams is the Vice President of Capacity Interactive, a digital arts marketing consulting firm that works with over 150 of the country's leading arts and cultural organizations. Christopher has been marketing the non-profit arts for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Capacity Interactive, he served for eight years as Director of Marketing at New York City Center, where he oversaw brand and revenue management, creative direction, and sales and marketing strategy. Christopher helped to grow some of New York’s most popular arts programs, including the Fall for Dance Festival and almost 30 New York City Center Encores! productions. AMT Lab Chief Editor of Interactive Content Jess Bergson sat down with Christopher to find out his favorite phone apps for both work and play.

JB: What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?

CW: In no particular order, I use Notes on my iPhone for everything. It holds my to do’s and every random thought I have. I don’t remember anything, so I have to write down everything and I found that a simplistic application like Notes is actually the best way for me to do it because it’s easy to search. It never has a problem, and I can find everything I ever type no matter how disorganized it is within there. So I think that’s probably the #1 thing I use on my phone.

I use Weather.com every single day before I get out of bed because I’m a runner and I need to know what the weather is going to be like. I also want to know if I can wear shorts to work!

I obviously look at Facebook and Snapchat and Instagram all the time because I enjoy social media and I also have to use them for work.

I use the Bank of America app every day, mostly to check my account balances and to see what transactions are going through.

I also use an app called Betterment which is an investment app that allows you to bypass any sort of trading software and do it yourself. It allows you to set a goal or a safety net. For example, I can say I’d like to have a country house and it lets you save for the country house. It’s sort of like investing for dummies.

Slack. I like slack’s informality and all of our communication being primarily public. You’re not sitting in email all the time. You can write very casually and it’s still taken seriously. I also like that Slack makes your email very external.

I made a home screen app off of the mobile optimize page from the MTA that I use constantly to decide whether or not I should get on a certain train.

I use Mind Body to register for my workout class.

I use Messages because I text like a crazy person.

And, I use an app called Training Peaks which holds my marathon training plan. I look at it every day to see how much I’m supposed to run and I log it. It shows my progress, how well I’m doing, and whether or not I’m not doing as well as I should be.

I basically have all the apps I use every day on the front home screen on my phone. On the next 2 screens of my phone every single main icon is actually a folder and probably holds up to 10-15 apps in each, so I really have hundreds and hundreds of apps.


JB: Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?

CW: Exit Strategy. Exit Strategy tells you where to be on a [subway] platform so when you get to the station that you’re exiting, you’re right at the exit you want to be at. It saves oodles of time. With all that time you spend waiting for the train, you can go exactly where you’re supposed to be on the platform so you are right where you need to be when you exit. I’m not necessarily surprised by that app’s usefulness, but I am fairly dependent on it unexpectedly.


JB: If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be?

CW: Reddit. I think Reddit is a treasure trove for content that is infinitely shareable. Typically, if you’re really paying attention to Reddit, you can get to content well in advance before a lot of other people have shared it. So if you’re particularly in the habit of trying to be someone who looks like a thought leader or just want to actually share content on your own social networks that may be meaningful to your constituency but hasn’t actually been shared by the world, I actually think Reddit is a great place to discover it. There’s tons and tons of sub-Reddits that are focused on the arts, including a lot of interesting video sub-Reddits. Every day I think, ‘I wish I was a content creator because I would have shared 10 of these things!’