Posts Tagged ‘FourSquare’

MTV asks students about their digital lifestyle.

Posted on: February 8th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

MTV Online presenter Tom Thurlow went on the streets to ask students about their digital lifestyle. What mobiles are they carrying and why? Are they adopting Foursquare or Facebook Places? Do any of them still read newspapers or do they get all their news online?

FourSquare in Space – it had to happen

Posted on: October 28th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

If there was any doubt left as to whether Social Media had the kind of reach of traditional media, then the answer arrived last week by way of Doug Wheelock who checked into the International Space Station on FourSquare, unlocking a ‘NASA Explorer Badge’

There’s a new first in the realm of outer space social media activity: a Foursquare checkin. Moments ago NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock checked in to the international space station, hence unlocking the “NASA Explorer Badge.”

On one front it could all sound a little gimmicky. Both FourSquare and NASA trying to get some attention? But if you read on in the article on Mashable, you’ll see that NASA Astronauts have been engaging with social media in space since 2009.

My own feeling is that outside of the really cool factor for FourSquare enthusiasts having a new unattainable badge to aim for, this story is more about social media continuing to find it’s way from ‘the edge’ into ‘main stream society’.

If you’re still wondering if your business should begin to engage in this space, this story should take you one giant leap closer to ‘yes’. (excuse the puns – couldn’t resist).

As Google Wave dies, here’s what Foursquare does NOT understand about social media

Posted on: August 9th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington 14 Comments

Google officially axed the underutilised (and overhyped) Google Wave project last week (read Fast Company’s obituary here). I have a fear that my favourite geo-tagging program, Foursquare, will go the same way.

Foursquare allows you to use your mobile phone’s GPS capability to “check in” at various venues (read an intro slideshow here if you need to know more). But they are missing a few tricks by not understanding some basics of what makes social networks work, and also by misunderstanding some basic human psychology. I hope they sort this out soon, because I’d love to see geotagging really take off.

Here is my list of reasons why Foursquare is unlikely to grow further, and will ultimately die:

  • They have failed completely to discuss and engage with users on the issue of security. I personally don’t have a problem checking in and letting my friends know where I am, but many people do fear the openness of letting others know their physical movements. Foursquare needs to actively engage in debate and social values shaping conversations.
  • Their iPhone app provides no information from Foursquare. On a few occasions, Foursquare has shut down in order to do upgrades. But all that happens on their App and website is that nothing works. No messages, no interactions, no connection…
  • When you move from one city to another, you start all over again. It treats each city entirely independently. For what reason?
  • It provides no connections with my friends. Why is there no “friends nearby” feature? And why are there no features to challenge friends, connect with friends, chat to friends? This surely is the key to social media success: that you create connections between people, and enable them to connect with each other. Foursquare doesn’t do this.
  • It does not provide “near things”. The only “near here” type functions are paid for adverts called “specials nearby”. But what about “places your friends frequent” or “places your friends have written tips about” or “most visited place near here”?
  • It doesn’t do competition well. I have an ongoing battle with “Kay A.” for the mayorship of Raynes Park train station. But, there is very little way for me to interact with Kay. More importantly, neither of us know where we are in the competition stakes. The system doesn’t let me know how many check ins I need in order to become mayor, or how close other people are behind me in the race. Each venue needs a “leader board” type function to raise the stakes of competition. Otherwise, it loses its lustre very quickly.
  • What’s the point? Badges are too hard to earn. I can leave tips at venues, but there is no incentive to do so. Companies are given no incentive to interact with regular attenders. And so on… Incentives are required.
  • Finally, providing feedback to the system (especially, for example, indicating duplicate venues) is a really long and complicated procedure (and is not a feature of the iPhone app – why not?). This functionality also needs to be delegated down to “editors” in local areas (think of how Wikipedia manages content).

If you’re a Foursquare user, what do you think? Have I missed anything?

In summary, then, Foursquare has the potential to be brilliant. But only if it learns the lessons of other social media success stories. Connect us, and enable us to connect! Speak to us, and enable us to speak to you. Enable us to contribute to the development of the system.

Foursquare, I hope you’re listening, because I don’t want you to go the way of Google Wave. But if even the mighty Google can get it so wrong, then no-one is safe.

They know where you’re going, and will reward you for where you’ve been

Posted on: June 4th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Those of you old enough may recognise my borrowing of a Talking Heads song for the subject line of this post : )

Of course I’m talking about location-based social networking platforms. The likes of FourSquare, GowalaLoopt, etc. It’s not the first, or the last, time I’ll write about this, because it’s a big and interesting happening. It will change how marketers market, and how we will consume. When you incentives people to ‘log into’ new places, or to ‘check in’ to the same place as many times as you can, that begins to change behaviour. It’s a wonderful trend to watch.

The New York Times recently posted an article, Turning Consumer Loyalty into a Cell Phone Game, focussing on how to use these platforms as an alternative to loyalty cards. At long last! Do we really need the number of loyalty cards that are offered to us? Do retailers really think we want them? I guess some of us do, otherwise they wouldn’t keep churning them out, but it’s a pain to have to carry an extra bag just to move your loyalty cards around with you.

For retailers, these games and apps offer a new form of mobile marketing that goes well beyond a minibanner ad by rewarding consumers, individually, for their loyalty. And unlike paper cards, stores can use the data they collect from people’s cellphones to learn more about who their customers are and how they behave.

In the UK Domino’s Pizza is using FourSquare in a creative way. On Wednesday nights, the mayor of each of their restaurants is offered a free small pizza. Mashable covers the concept if you’re looking for some more detail in ‘Domino’s UK Rewards FourSquare Mayors with a Free Pizza‘.

The promotion could easily help the corporation drum up more sales. On Foursquare, users receive notifications when their friends check in at venues. Pizza checkin notifications from friends could certainly work to convince hungry Foursquare users to order or pick up Domino’s pizza.

In South Africa Global Wraps is a great FourSquare example. You can see how they’re using FourSquare here.

This is only going to get more interesting as more and more companies begin to apply their minds as to how they can tap into our interesting openness with where we’re going and where we’ve been.


They know where you're going, and will reward you for where you've been

Posted on: June 4th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Those of you old enough may recognise my borrowing of a Talking Heads song for the subject line of this post : )

Of course I’m talking about location-based social networking platforms. The likes of FourSquare, GowalaLoopt, etc. It’s not the first, or the last, time I’ll write about this, because it’s a big and interesting happening. It will change how marketers market, and how we will consume. When you incentives people to ‘log into’ new places, or to ‘check in’ to the same place as many times as you can, that begins to change behaviour. It’s a wonderful trend to watch.

The New York Times recently posted an article, Turning Consumer Loyalty into a Cell Phone Game, focussing on how to use these platforms as an alternative to loyalty cards. At long last! Do we really need the number of loyalty cards that are offered to us? Do retailers really think we want them? I guess some of us do, otherwise they wouldn’t keep churning them out, but it’s a pain to have to carry an extra bag just to move your loyalty cards around with you.

For retailers, these games and apps offer a new form of mobile marketing that goes well beyond a minibanner ad by rewarding consumers, individually, for their loyalty. And unlike paper cards, stores can use the data they collect from people’s cellphones to learn more about who their customers are and how they behave.

In the UK Domino’s Pizza is using FourSquare in a creative way. On Wednesday nights, the mayor of each of their restaurants is offered a free small pizza. Mashable covers the concept if you’re looking for some more detail in ‘Domino’s UK Rewards FourSquare Mayors with a Free Pizza‘.

The promotion could easily help the corporation drum up more sales. On Foursquare, users receive notifications when their friends check in at venues. Pizza checkin notifications from friends could certainly work to convince hungry Foursquare users to order or pick up Domino’s pizza.

In South Africa Global Wraps is a great FourSquare example. You can see how they’re using FourSquare here.

This is only going to get more interesting as more and more companies begin to apply their minds as to how they can tap into our interesting openness with where we’re going and where we’ve been.


PodCast Update – The change driver of Technology from After Shock

Posted on: May 5th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

We’ve just added a new PodCast to the TomorrowToday feed.

We took an exert of Barrie Bramley, speaking at a Business Breakfast, talking about Technology, from TomorrowToday’s latest presentation called After Shock.

If you’d like to listen to this audio track please click on the following:

The Global Wraps FourSquare last mile flop

Posted on: April 7th, 2010 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

When FourSquare opened it’s ‘borders’ to include South Africa, I think I might have been in the 20 first users. I worked hard to learn the culture and energy around this social media positioning platform that I was reading so much about. I religiously checked into every spot I found myself at. I think I even ended one of the early weeks on the top of the South African FourSquare charts (haven’t been able to get close since). Like, with all new social media platforms I’ve had to work hard to integrate how it ‘was done’ into my world. But because the work I do requires I continue learning about this new world we’re moving into, I persevered.

The power of FourSquare only hit home when I checked into Kauai at Sandton City a month or two ago. As I checked in I saw a small orange square with the words ‘Special Offer’ in the top right of my screen. I clicked onto the square and there it was. The magic of FourSquare! It was an offer from Global Wrapps (a few stores down from Kauai) saying that if I checked into Global Wrapps I would unlock a special offer that would entitle me to a R5 smoothie from them.

Amazing. It’s the equivalent of putting up a Global Wrapps banner in the best possible position inside their opposition, in this case Kauai, to speak to Kauai’s customers. That’s powerful! Amazing!

I didn’t take up their offer on that particular visit because I’d already ordered from Kauai. Today, because I knew about the promotion I did things differently. Event though my wife and 2 daughters wanted smoothies from Kauai, I decided to test Global Wrapps out. So I checked in, unlocked the special, and handed my iPhone across to the person behind the counter at Global Wrapps. He looked at my phone with much puzzlement, and then handed it to his senior colleague. He told me it was only valid on Tuesdays. But I could see in his eyes that he hadn’t seen a ‘special offer’ like the one I was showing him before. So I stayed for some conversation. He admitted that he didn’t know what this was all about, and he handed it off to another person, who looked, and then said it was his auntie’s shop and I should ask her. She was nowhere to be found, and so I left, a lot annoyed but not surprised and ordered from Kauai.

So there you have it. A fantastic idea. A great innovation. The first South African store I’ve seen use FourSquare in this manner, and it failed in the ‘last mile’. I imagine the story from Global Wrapps goes something like, ‘we thought up this brlilliant idea at head office, and unfortunately we haven’t been able to get all the stores, their owners, and staff that work there, on board’.

It’s the same story in most innovative and creative executions. It starts with great gusto and enthusiasm somewhere, but the execution fails dismally because someone forgot to tell someone at the edge that this is what we are doing.

In the last two or three months I’ve talked up Global Wrapps and their clever marketing through FourSquare. Oh how my story is about to change : )

Below are the images off of my phone to show you how it all works. I’ve also sent this story to Global Wrapps, Kauai and FourSquare. Will be interesting to see if I get a response, and what it is?