Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

Facebook didn’t invade our privacy; We already let Facebook in

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I was taught long ago that opening a paper with a definition is the easy way out when it comes to shaping your argument, so I apologize in advance to all of those former professors who may be offended. But alas this is a definition that has been twisted so much recently, that I had to look it up for myself.


  1. the state of being private; retirement or seclusion.
  2. the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs: the right to privacy.
  3. secrecy

Yes with the recent major changes quickly coming to the Facebook universe, its no surprise that privacy has again become a hot topic amongst bloggers, more bloggers and even the U.S. Senate.  And while this backlash isn’t unexpected, it certainly isn’t informed, needed, or even (in my opinion) right.  See I think it can boil down fairly easily:

  • We confuse the need for control with the right to  privacy. As it says in the definition we have the right to stay private. However this flies in the face of everything that we love about social networks.  How can we demand privacy when most people will constantly tell the world what they had for dinner? A social network is built by openness.  No, what we want is to feel secure about those updates. In this month’s Fast Company, Farhad Majoo does a much better discussing this problem going so far to say “We don’t give a flying tweet about privacy…we want some semblance of control over our personal data even if we likely can’t be bothered to manage it.”
  • We fear what we don’t understand. I will be the first one to admit that I’m not sure how my data is being handled by Facebook within the new system.  Of course I also don’t know how (don’t be evil) Google stores my recent searches, how much of my email is being scanned for advertising keywords or even how many times my FourSquare check-ins are being studied for accuracy.  At this point we have to admit that everything we do on the web, is being read by some system and can be accessed at any time. While it’s not a pleasant thought, why else do we protest angrily anytime a new change is made? We just got used to the last one!
  • We forget that at its core, Facebook is a business. Facebook has quickly become a communication portal that over 400 million people use across the world. While it’d be nice for Facebook to operate as an non-profit (I think having it be publicly funded would cause more issues), it’s just not going to happen. It’s costs millions of dollars to be the one of the most visited places on the web and it has to make money somewhere. We’ve all given our information to large companies in the past for lesser things than what Facebook offers, yet we always forget those instances.

It’s possible that Open Graph may make the web more powerful than it ever was before, but until we get through this privacy backlash, we won’t know. Instead of worrying about privacy, maybe we should think about why we are getting upset. If privacy is making you that concerned, Facebook will always let you delete your account!

What do you think about privacy issues within Facebook?  Are you concerned?

Check in to a New Pair of Jimmy Choos

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Although social media savvy brands are beginning to warm up to the idea of location based services, some brands remain skeptical of the benefits. This week London-based fashionistas who belong to Foursquare will have a chance to experience the marketing possibilities behind location based services.

Shoe giant Jimmy Choo is using Foursquare to organize a treasure hunt in real-time around London. With this contest, Foursquare followers can see where one pair of Jimmy Choo trainers check in. Once they’ve checked-in, campaign followers can show up at the trendy venue in hopes of catching the pair of shoes before they flee to their next, equally chic location. Once caught, winners are able to choose their size and style.

It’s interesting that this campaign is effectively using additional social media platforms such as a contest-specific Twitter handle (@CatchaChoo)  and Facebook fan page dedicated to the contest. Both accounts are updated in real-time along with Foursquare check-ins.

If this were a national or international contest, the accounts would be overwhelmed with interested parties. However, because of the London specific location, all accounts – including Foursquare – have less than 1,000 fans, followers and friends creating an intimate feel to this contest.

This contest is interesting to the social media industry for reasons other than shoes. Location based services and geo-tagging are already starting to be used by brands such as Time Out New York and the Financial Times but this is the first contest of its kind and while some may look at it as a cheeky marketing ploy, it also seems to be an effective brand building tool and a glimpse into the future of social media.

Links of the Week: April 23rd Edition

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Online Retailer’s Customer’s Credit Card Information Available on Google

Identity theft is a huge concern with the increased usage of computers for online banking and buying. It’s been found out that shoppers at the popular online retailer Blippy are at risk of having their credit card information shown live in Google searches.

Facebook Announces New Plan at f8

Facebook has launched a whole plan that integrates the web with the social networking site. Dialogue Media’s Alex Payne explains.

Foursquare Creates Business Page

Foursquare has created a space for businesses to engage their customers with specials. This also allows businesses to track the performance of the venue.

Time Out New York Checks In With Foursquare

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

As Foursquare continues its takeover of social media, they’ve begun to partner with media sources such as the Financial Times to bring some semblance of synergy between social and traditional media.

With this new partnership, Time Out New York has checked-in with 30 New York City based locations and if you check in to four of those locations you get the Time Out New York Happy Hour badge! If getting a special badge isn’t incentive enough, these 30 locations will also offer happy hour deals. And of course, you can join Time Out New York’s Foursquare page for recommendations and news.

The increase in partnerships like this is indicative of a trend toward businesses and traditional media beginning to embrace geo-tagging services of Foursquare. This support is strengthening the belief that location-based services are the next wave of popular social media platforms.  If you aren’t already, keep your eye on Foursquare.

Links of the Week: March 5th Edition

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Just because it’s Friday doesn’t mean we are taking the day off! Here are some of the social media stories that got bookmarked by Dialogue Media this week.

One is the Loneliest Number, but One Billion is a lot Happier

In case anyone is still trying to convince you that social media is a fad, new numbers suggest that two of the largest sites in the world could both pull in 1 Billion Dollars in revenue in the coming years. It seems that Facebook is geared to hit the 1.1 billion mark in 2010 while YouTube could hit the magic mark in 2011 ( and have Google keep 700 million in the process).  Not bad for a fad.

American Idol’s Social Profiles Get a Facelift

After establishing profiles for each of the 24 contestants earlier in the season, American Idol has apparently consolidated their entire operation into one account on each major network.  Fans of contestants were greeted by “Thanks so much for following me! All my updates from now on will be on our Official Ai9 Twitter Page”. Some are wondering if follower counts were taking away some of the mystery that AI usually enjoys.  We’re wondering if this will affect how fans interact with the brand down the road.  What do you think?

Foursquare and Owalla to Battle for World Domination at SXSW

Well… not really.  But after unveiling last year at the conference, both have rolled out new features in anticipation of this year’s party in Austin.  Techcrunch is reporting that Owalla has done a major redesign while Foursquare has added a category functionality.  And the word on the street is that both are rolling out new mobile apps next week.  We’re happy using both, but it will be interesting to see who wins this battle of the buzz.

What were some of your favorite PR or social media stories of the last week?