Archive for the ‘Location’ Category

The mobile social tsunami continues to build. The latest indication being this week’s interview with Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of the super popular social media blog, Mashable. The interview was done by financial giant, Bloomberg, at this year’s South By Southwest interactive conference – the mother of all social media conferences held annually in Austin, Texas. If it’s launched (as the mobile social network Foursquare was last year), at SXSW (the conference’s Twitter hashtag), it’s going to be big – at least for a little while…with social media early adopters. Cashmore said the hot topic this year was the “faceoff” between Foursquare and competitor Gowalla (seems Gowalla won as it beat out Foursquare for the Best Mobile Site award). When asked how businesses could monitise “lo- so” apps (location social), Cashmore said Foursquare already has deals with companies allowing them to offer free stuff to people who check in near one of their locations (a bar offering a free drink to someone checking in somewhere near by bar for example). This got me thinking about the various deals I’ve heard Foursquare has signed with companies in its attempt to monetise its growing network. In the last couple of months I’ve heard about Foursquare deals with:

* Metro local daily papers to deliver local news to people relevant to places where they check in.

* Bravo! Television to provide special badges to people checking in at locations related to Bravo! TV shows.

*New York Times – In conjunction with the Winter Olympics, The Times offered tips to Foursquare users on restaurants, attractions, shopping and nightlife in Vancouver, Whistler and the nearby town of Squamish. The tips were pulled from The Times’s travel and entertainment coverage. Foursquare users who checked in at one of the suggested venues earned a New York Times Olympics badge.
Does mobile social media fit your objectives and strategy? If so, get going by checking out these great 9 Killer Tips for Location-Based Marketing in this Mashable article by Shane Snow and please leave a comment about what you’re up to.

Just got back from Podcamp Toronto 2010 which was a great event once again. Like last year I facilitated a discussion on mobile social media and wanted to get that up. I’ll do a longer #pcto2010 blog post later this week.


For weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to tag places in the new mobile social network FoursquareTags are labels that you give to content on the net, like tagging a picture of you and the family “cottage” or “summer09” or tagging a blog post about skateboarding tricks “skateboard: or “rad”. The tags may or not be visible on the page – but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that they’re visible to search engines like Google.

My interest in tagging places in Foursquare was the tags being visible to Foursquare’s search engine. 

Here’s a concrete example of why this matters….

I was at a local Bridgehead coffee shop that sells only fair trade, organic teas and coffees.  I searched for “Bridgehead” on the Foursquare website, found it and tagged it “fair trade” and “fairtrade” (never know how people will spell it). Now when someone near that Bridgehead searches for “fair trade” in Foursquare that Bridgehead shows up. Before I tagged it it wouldn’t.

This is the power of location-aware mobile – especially for impulse based products like food. When someone wants it, they search for it and find the nearest place to get it.

Here’s what the Foursquare page with the tagging feature looks like:

Tag – you’re it.

It seems like not a day goes by that I don’t hear a reference to how the mobile social network Foursquare is growing in popularity. Today it was a tweet by Jeremiah Owyang,  “See how mobile social network FourSquare struck deals with Media and Zagat Retail, Media, CPG should pay attention.” (Original Tweet:

I’ve been playing with Foursquare for a couple of weeks and I understand the excitement. So I thought I’d share five reasons why I think Foursquare will be the next Twitter, at least in terms of popularity.

But first a short explanation of Foursquare and how it works (at least how the iPhone version does).

Foursquare is a application designed for mobile devices that gives you a list of places near you as soon as you open it on your mobile device. You can add tips about the places or add new places or check-in at places by clicking “Check In”. This tells your Foursquare friends (people you have friended on Foursquare similar to friending on Facebook) where you are. Those basics, combined with a couple of other neat features, mean Foursquare is heading for killer app status fast. Here’s why:

1. It’s really easy to use.

This is crucial and one of the keys to Twitter’s success.

2. It’s location based.

Foursquare uses smartphones’ GPS feature to tell you useful things about places nearby.

3. It’s social.

You and your friends can tell each other where you are and share tips about places.

4. It uses and respects the wisdom of the crowd.

It let’s people be content creators by adding tips about places.

5. It’s just plain fun.

Foursquare is like a game. When you check in at new places or add new ones you collect points or “badges”. The ever expanding list of badges include Adventurer (10 checkins at different venues), Explorer (25 checkins), Superstar (50 checkins), Gym Rat (10 gym trips in a month), Photogenic (checking in at five places with a photobooth), and Player Please (checking in with 3 members of the opposite sex). You can suggest a badge if the one you’d like doesn’t exist.

If you’ve checked in at a place more than anyone else you become the Mayor of that place and get a mayor badge. But watch out – if someone else checks in more than you can get tossed from office.

Foursquare is in beta so it still has some issues, like not being able to assign tags to places, but with the number of users growing steadily Foursquare’s creators will be getting lots of feedback so issues like this should be fixed quickly. And once they work out all the kinks Foursquare will be coming to a mobile device near you.