For years, I have wanted to develop a real world social network to connect people like me who want to do healthy and fun activities such as going to the gym, biking, playing tennis or even playing a board game, but who struggle to find like-minded people in their community to share in these activities. While some activities can be done solo, it seemed to me that there were millions of people whose lives would be healthier and happier if only they could connect with each other and “hold each other accountable” to get off the couch and meet them at the gym, park or tennis court. If the staff at MindSmack (the web design company I founded in 1999) could design and develop a website that would make it easy for these people to find each other in their community, I thought it would be truly incredible.
For example, suppose you make a New Year’s resolution (like I do every year) to go to the gym regularly. You have limited time and no one to go with during the few hours a week that you can squeeze into your busy life. The chances are slim to none that you will actually achieve your goal. But what if you could find someone near where you live or work who is interested in going to the gym at the same time as you? Now suppose that person and you have a lot in common. For me, I would love to find someone to work out with who is a die-hard New York Yankee fan, loves to play Scrabble and is the father of young kids. Not only would you have someone to hold you accountable to get to the gym for a regular workout, but you would also have a good chance to make a new friend with common interests. At Smacktive, our goal is to help you to find meaningful, like-minded, activity partners for anything that you want to do. We are very proud to launch Smacktive and truly hope that it will have a positive impact on your life. Let’s get Smackin’!
Vanessa Branco is an expert in the branding and marketing of companies on the web. Her primary areas of focus include media and creative optimization, performance-based marketing, traffic growth, customer retention, business and sponsorship opportunities, and new customer acquisition.
Vanessa is CEO of VersaNine, Inc. founded in 2008. Versa9 drives campaigns with yearly online budgets ranging from $250k to over $18 million, and typically realizes online media ROI increases of over 150% for her clients.
Some of the activities Vanessa brings to fruition for her clients include: generating new business leads and sponsorships, customer acquisition through building affiliate programs, CPM and rev share campaign development, and creative optimization. She also acts as a consultant with companies on how to effectively and efficiently market their product or brand.
Vanessa’s long history helping to grow the MindSmack brands and her close ties with the companies owners made it an easy choice for her to come aboard when asked to join the Smacktive venture.
Marketing and healthy living are part of her daily routines, so combining the two is a win-win. Vanessa participates in several charity walks throughout the year and finds Smacktive a great way to find like-minded people to walk with her. She is also utilizing Smacktive to find partners to jog with, learn tennis with, and to finally get her to participate in classes at her local gym. Vanessa comes on board with a world of knowledge in the digital marketing landscape. In summary, she lives her life by the adage: “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”
Marcelo is in charge of all of the UX, design and flow of Smacktive. He brings 15+ years of developing award winning interactive web and mobile experience to Smacktive.
Working side by side with Sam on 100’s of interactive projects for clients like Citigroup and Dreamworks over the years, Marcelo is a lightning rod of passion and dedication to his craft. Most recently he has helped pioneer the MindSmack Games division with apps like Pixies – Fun With Photos, Toy Store Delivery Truck and our FastMall app which has been featured by Apple as the top Shopping Mall application and has been featured on the front page of the technology section of the New York Times.
Smacktive is a very inspiring project that we all hope touches people on a very significant level, Marcelo is proud to be part of it!
When not working 100 hours a day, Marcelo can be found playing with his incredible 2 boys (#3 is on the way) and of course reviewing and analyzing every single piece of technology on the planet Earth. He hopes to find a like-minded friend that has similar interests and can get him out of the chair and playing tennis or golf at least once a week.