All posts in “Foursquare”

Social Media Roundup for November 5, 2010

Yee haw! Calm yourselves, little doggies, it’s time for the weekly Social Media Roundup!

Over 50,000 people check-in to vote

This past Tuesday was the mid-term elections in the US and while races heated up, so did social media. There were a number of cool stories and studies like the New York Times showing how actively users were tweeting about different candidates or Mashable pulling in sentiment statistics for Republicans and Democrats. One of the things that caught our eye was Foursquare offering a special badge for people who checked-in in at a voting location and put #ivoted in their shout out. In the end, 50,416 users checked-in to Foursquare from 23,560 different voting locations. Of course this is a very small percentage of all the people that voted in the US on Tuesday, but could it be a sign of services and things to come? Did you get your iVOTED badge?

Foursquare iVOTED

Foursquare iVOTED via

The Big Tweet Off

Speaking of Foursquare, this Thursday saw debate come alive on Twitter via The Big Tweet Off. The site is the creation of Paul Sutton and Beth Carroll who thought of the idea after an afternoon going back and forth on whether or not Foursquare users were “the modern equivalent of stamp collectors”. The basic idea is that it will be a regular “tweet off” between two people with totally opposing views on a subject debating via Twitter using the hashtag #bigtweetoff. At the end of the debate, those watching the hashtag will be able to vote on who the winner is. What was the topic of the first Big Tweet Off? Foursquare and its ability to be social. After 550 tweets from 90 participants, Foursquare fell. If you’re interested, you can check out the whole debate transcript here. The next Big Tweet Off will be announced soon.

Facebook is your breakup Magic 8 Ball

Let’s face it, dating and relationships are hard work. Many end with a breakup that can sometimes feel like it comes at a completely random time. Or is it random? David McCandless data-mined almost 10,000 different statuses on Facebook and was able to map out the frequency of breakups to show when people are most likely to experience one. Unlucky for all of us, one of the biggest spikes happens about 2 weeks before Christmas. So according to the study, you might find yourself single in about 4 weeks. That said, during Christmas breakups drop down to almost nothing as David thinks it just might be “too cruel”.

Breakups on Facebook

Facebook breakup graph by David McCandless

(via InformationIsBeautiful)

It’s an ear trumpet, not a time traveler

Proving once again that they like to ruin people’s speculation with cold hard facts, scientists this week may have debunked the cell phone using, time traveler video originally posted by George Clarke. In case you missed the video, you can check it out below. Basically, in the video, George speculates that a woman walking in the background of a 1928 film showing the premiere of a Charlie Chaplin film was holding a cell phone. Seeing as it was 1928, his only conclusion was that the woman had to be a time traveler. The video went viral with over 49,000 comments and views approaching 5 million inside a few weeks. Scientists, however, said that the woman in the film was most likely using an ear trumpet which was the hearing aid in the 1920’s. As Gizmodo writer Kyle VanHemert put it, though, “maybe it was a time traveler from the future using an antique ear trumpet…”

(via Gizmodo and Life Science)

Sesame Street: There’s an App for That

Finally this week, Sesame Street proves that it is still cool and up with the times by releasing a song called “There’s an App for That”. The basic idea is that the characters all sing and dance around a really cool new tool called the iPogo that features useful apps for things like combing a cat and cutting butter. For certain, Apple was probably disappointed that it didn’t come out with the idea first. Of course, my first thought was “who really uses a pogo stick anymore?”

And that’s the Social Media Round up for this week. As a parting thought, there are only 50 days until Christmas, will you be checking-in on Foursquare at the mall soon?

Social Media Roundup: Best of Halloween 2010

This week’s social media roundup is special for Halloween, here are seven of our favorites from around the social web.

Enjoy and have a safe and awesome Halloween from all your friends at Social Media Group.

Quoth the Raven, Nevermore

I always have a soft spot for Edgar Allan Poe’s “Raven”.  I’m pretty fond of the Simpson’s version, but this version read by John De Lancie (who played Q on Star Trek) is excellent. (via BoingBoing)

Foursquare offers Two Halloween 2010 Badges

More treat than trick, Foursquare has released two badges for users this Halloween. Confession: I checked into the office today today just to unlock the badge. I’ve been a sucker for badges since Brownies.

Via Jaunted:

2010 Foursquare Halloween Badges

In order to score Halloween 2010 badge (above, at right), simply check in anytime this weekend, anywhere on Foursquare, but make sure to shout “Happy Halloween!” when you do. The more coveted badge, the Spooky Swarm (above, at left) is only for those hosting the rowdiest parties, as you’ll have to check in at a party spot with as-yet-undisclosed large number of fellow Foursquare checkins. We’re guessing somewhere between 50-100 others, but listen for the full how-to on Twitter over the weekend as people unlock this.

Much healthier than those tasty teeny chocolate bars

All this Halloween-related surfing has made me peckish. Perhaps I should grab one of these Halloween-themed Bento Box Lunches? (via: The Kitchn)
Halloween Bento Box Lunches

Trick-or-Treater Index: Data Crunched for List of Best US Cities

Over at The Daily Beast, Richard Florida writes:

“The idea for the Trick-or-Treater Index came to me several years ago, right after my wife and I spent our first Halloween in Toronto and I wrote about it in my Who’s Your City?. I’d lived in many urban neighborhoods in the United States in New York, Boston, D.C., Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Buffalo, and frankly never seen many trick-or-treaters…”

Chicago, San Diego and Trenton, NJ made the list. For all the details, check out the Best Cities for Trick-or-Treating media gallery at The Daily Beast.

John Savio’s iPhone 4 Costume Rules

(Via Gizmodo)

Adam Frucci at DVICE writes of John Savio’s costume: “This epic homemade costume consists of a jailbroken iPhone 4 hooked up to a 40-inch LED LCD panel, a back camera LED light and a whole lot of polish. The phone connects to the display via VGA out, allowing John to control the screen and display, making it look like a real-deal giant iPhone.”

Awesome halloween costume bonus link: Ben Heck’s Portal Costume (via OhGizmo!)

Best Social Media-Themed Costumes

Staying with costumes, Mashable ran a Social Media Media Halloween Costume Contest this week. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube make a good showing. I’m all about memes as Halloween costumes, so the guy dressed as Sad Keanu gets my vote.

New Yahoo! Game uses Zombies to Teach Economic Theory

Just in time for Halloween, Yahoo! labs developers have released a zombie game that goes beyond the norm (rising from the dead, eating brains, etc) and enters the realm of (gasp) education.

Via PCWorld:

Shambling Hordes is a simple game of territory control that challenges players to assume the mantle of “Zombie Warlord” and conquer a desolate island with a limited supply of undead legions.

Shambling Hordes from Yahoo! Labs

Best Carvings: Pumpkin Geek

Elevating the time-honoured tradition of carving faces into pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns, is Alex Wer, the Pumpkin Geek who has an incredible online gallery of carvings. Hmm, I wonder if it is too late to order a Social Media Group logo-carved pumpkin?

Pumpkin Geek Yoda

Social Media Roundup for October 22, 2010

NASA Astronaut Checks-in from Space

That’s right,  NASA astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station, Doug Wheelock, has checked into Foursquare from Space! Normally most users check-in to their favorite venues, restaurants, and work places. Since the International Space Station technically qualifies as Wheelock’s work place, we’re all for it. In honor of the check-in, Foursquare has created a special badge for the occasion with the following description:

“You are now 220 miles above Earth traveling at 17,500 mph and unlocked the NASA Explorer Badge! Show this badge and get a free scoop of astronaut ice cream.”

Of course, our default question becomes, “how close to the International Space Station do you technically have to be to check-in?”

(via TechCrunch)

Drag-n-Drop for Your Facebook Photos

This week Facebook continued to improve the photo services for users by now allowing for drag-n-drop organization of albums. This is a very welcome update as now users can simply drag photos in their albums to change their display order.

(via Mashable)

Startup Funded by Web Giants

Do you have the latest and greatest idea, service, or tool for social media? Getting help starting may have just gotten easier for you. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Zynga, and Comcast have joined forces to create the $250-million sFund to help entrepreneurs get started. The fund will help with costs and providing counseling for social media startups. Cafebots is the first startup that has taken advantage of the fund and received $5-million.

(via Montreal Gazette)

Happy Birthday from Google!

Have you ever noticed the special Google Doodles for various anniversaries and events on the Google homepage? Google now announced that if a user has a Google profile that contains their birthday they will now see a special Google Doodle on their special day. Of course, this is probably just a way for Google to get better demographic data on their users… but who doesn’t enjoy a good birthday wish?!?

(via Google Blog)

Viral Video Launches Atomic Tom to the Forefront

Last but not least this week, proof that with enough practice and creativity, you can achieve almost anything with technology and the Internet. By using the iPhone apps iShred, Drum Meister, Pocket Guitar, Virtuoso, and Microphone, 3 iPhones to shoot the video, and a surprised audience on a New York subway train, the band created a live performance video of their single “Take Me Out” that has had almost 2,456,000 views on YouTube to date. In addition to bringing the band almost instant stardom, the video has also persuaded enough people to head over to iTunes to purchase the single which made it to #86 on iTunes top 100 list this week.

Feel inspired by the creativity of the video? We’d love to hear what kind of creative things you like to do with your BlackBerry, iPhones, Androids.

Foursquare: Shiny Object or Mainstream?

Over the weekend, Foursquare scored a major coup via a new partnership with American Eagle: they got their name and logo plastered all over Times Square. The first story I saw on the subject was on Mashable, where blogger Samuel Axon noted,

“It seems like just a short time ago that these location services were only used by a few hardcore web tech geeks. Now they’re so mainstream that they’re taking up a chunk of the New York skyline.”

Um. No.

Foursquare has just over three million users and you need a smartphone to use it. It is far, far from “mainstream”. And the article in Mashable feels like something I’ve been seeing a lot of lately – mistaking a brand using a niche and emerging web service (the “shiny object” in the title of this post) as a way of positioning themselves as cool and hep, for some sort of validation of something as “mainstream”.

From where I sit, Foursquare and other location-based applications will be mainstream when they have 500 million users globally. Even Twitter, with 87% of American consumers aware of it but only 7% using it, is not mainstream (see: Facebook, Google).

Trying to fit Foursquare into a round hole

photo courtesy of

Catching up on some reading this weekend, I consumed this article from AdWeek with interest. It was essentially a litany of agency bitching that location-based service Foursquare didn’t have the tools, manpower or know-how to cater to their needs.

“They’re not responsive and extremely hard to work with,” said a digital agency exec who asked not to be named. “It’s hard to bring campaigns to life. Nobody knows how to create a badge or ask [Foursquare how] to enable behavior. It’s black magic.” In general, he said, “it’s pretty much unworkable.”

Guess what, folks? Foursquare is a startup, not CNN, and they are figuring out their ad model in this emerging space in realtime. That’s called “innovation”, and in a nutshell? It’s not them – it’s YOU.

Agencies are accustomed to working a certain way (especially when it comes to media buying), and when you deviate from that, it does not compute. Emerging platforms like Twitter and Foursquare are opening their doors to advertisers, but one of the biggest issues is that many client agencies simply are not flexible enough nor do they have the expertise to do it right. They revert to their comfort zone, which results in below-average performance and all kinds of friction around actually getting the work underway. Just ask Digg and Twitter; we’ve seen it there firsthand.

So what’s the answer? It’s all in the right approach and attitude. Imagine this – as a participant in closed betas and other first-of-their-kind opportunities in the paid social space, advertisers often have the chance to co-create by providing meaningful feedback. The rewards of participating well can be significant (we’ve seen results of between ten and 40x that of “traditional” display advertising with our clients, never mind the value of the business intelligence gathered). In other words, you don’t just write cheques, you get to help influence direction in order to generate maximum value. I’m not sure where else an advertiser would have the chance to partner, learn and get a significant competitive advantage in quite the same way.

However, the catch is that if your agency isn’t adaptable or able to help you keep pace with innovation (and likes to prove it by bitching in print) you might have a problem.

[photo courtesy of Kathleen Leavitt]

Social Media Roundup for May 7, 2010

Blackbird Pie – Twitter Media_1273244419937

Twitter Launches Embeddable Tweets

This week Twitter launched it’s new embeddable tweets feature called Blackbird Pie. The tool is really simple to use and produces a string of embed code that you can insert just like a YouTube video, making it easier than ever to showcase awesome tweets (this one courtesy of Big Bird).

Hope you weren’t having a private conversation…

Facebook experienced yet another major privacy breach earlier this week. A bug on the site temporarily allowed Facebookers to view other users’ live chat messages and pending friend requests simply by manipulating the “preview my profile” feature in the privacy settings. Facebook was quick to disable the chat feature when they were notified of the privacy hole, but I tried out the process shortly after TechCrunch broke the story and was able to access, and confirm or deny other users’ friend requests.

Facebook wants more personal information

Facebook is preparing to launch a new feature that will allow users to make location-based status updates. The service will compete with other location-based tools like Foursquare and Gowalla and will also be offered to marketers like McDonalds. With this week’s privacy breach and Facebook’s overall not-so-stellar privacy record, it will be interesting to see if Facebook users adapt a feature that will reveal even more of their personal information.

Mother’s Day greetings go social

If your mom’s on Facebook (and has friended you like 48% of parents), she’ll probably appreciate a custom testimonial to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Hallmark’s Facebook page, called Meet My Mom, lets you build a virtual collage, including text, photos and video to showcase to mom. Hallmark’s Facebook page has attracted more than 5,000 new fans since the tool launched a few weeks ago.