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Tag Archives: Marketing

What’s It Worth? Foursquare and Business Opportunity

 marsh_cafe_flyerFoursquare has been gaining more steam this past week, with articles about the service (or location-based services in general – Brightkite, Google Latitude, Stalqer, Gowalla) in CNN, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and NPR. These services are definitely being hyped as the “next big thing,” especially because of their marketing potential – what I want to focus on in this travelogue. 

So far, there are 35 NYC based businesses (mostly bars and restaurants) actively using Foursquare to promote return visits and promotions. Here are a few examples of what they’re doing:

@Angels and Kings: Hey Hey! Every 5th check in on Foursquare get a well drink or beer for free! Show your bartender to redeem! 

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Foursquare’d: Week 1

I wanted to write a quick post about how my first week as a Foursquare user is going. I’ve been curious about it for a while, and this travelogue was a good reason to try it out. As far as new technology goes, I don’t consider myself an early adapter, so I don’t think I would have signed up for Foursquare otherwise right now. I sent out invites to about 7 friends, but only 2 of them signed up. 3 of them ignored the request, and 2 people asked me what it was all about, but when I told them, weren’t really into the idea of telling people where they were (fear of “oversharing”). So, unfortunately, I only have 5 friends on the site right now. :(  So this is where Foursquare is lacking for me.

I think this says a lot about the people I socialize with though – one of my friends on it is a graphic designer, and is really into digital culture – he has 35 friends. Another is a computer programmer/digital artist, and he has 15 friends. They both run in circles of “techy” people (who I’m sure mostly have iPhones), ie, people who are probably more aware of new social media/internet developments than others, and are more enthusiastic to try them out. Apparently Foursquare is also really popular with NYC media professionals, according to this New York Magazine article notably titled, “Times Piece Ignores the Fact That Foursquare Is for Boozehounds.”

So it’s important to note that even though Foursquare may be lacking in users, those that are on it are key influencers (and boozehounds?). 

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Foursquare: Another hyped start-up, or a valuable social media tool?

I’ve been following Foursquare’s developments closely this week, mainly through their very active Twitter feed, and google alerts. Because Foursquare is so new, and is just now starting to pick-up steam, it’s actually been really interesting.

My main question is whether Foursquare is going to have a lasting effect in the Web 2.0 world, or if it’s just another short-lived social media fad…”the next big thing.” I do think the service has a lot of business potential (and with this travelogue, I’m believing that more and more), but I’m not convinced that users will flock to Foursquare, especially not like they did to Facebook or Myspace. And I think that a large user-base is the key to Foursquare’s success. What’s the fun of using a tool that socially connects users in real-time and real life, if there’s no one to connect to? As I mentioned in class, Foursquare can only really attract a very specific audience: people with iPhones or Androids (texting through a regular cellphone is possible, but not as fun/active), who like to socialize, and who want people to know of their whereabouts. For some, Foursquare’s service offers too much information.

However, Foursquare does seem to be growing.


The biggest news this week was the announcement of a partnership between foursquare and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), the public train service in San Francisco, to encourage public transit use. BART is the first transit agency to implement Foursquare – it will be offering its own badge to regular riders, and riders can become mayors of all of the train stations. Starting in November (and lasting 3 months), riders who have checked-in from BART stations will randomly be awarded $25 BART vouchers, and in the near future, BART will be coordinating promotions with venue partners through mybart.org. The partnership was announced at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Thursday. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, explained, “We’re excited about the potential for Foursquare to influence people’s actions and decisions beyond things like entertainment, into broader areas, like taking public transit or getting involved in their communities.”

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“Checking In” To Foursquare


I’ve been curious about foursquare for a while now, and yesterday’s New York Times article (as well as me needing an idea for a travelogue) was the tipping point for making me finally attempt to see what it’s all about. 

According to the NY Times article, foursquare is “a fast-growing social networking service…becoming the tool of choice. A combination of friend-finder, city guide and competitive bar game, Foursquare lets users “check in” with a cellphone at a bar, restaurant or art gallery. That alerts their friends to their current location so they can drop by and say hello.” 

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The Commodification of Memes: Marketing Campaigns and Chuck on Conan

Last night while I was putting off several pieces of reading, I was scouring the online realm for the most recent episode of “The Office” in which Fan favorites Jim and Pam get married.  When I finally found it–prepared with a box of tissues by my side–I was surprised to see a viral video integrated into the programming: here.

In my last post I discussed how ‘organic’ memes are created online by communities of meme culture, and only a select few of the wildly popular memes are noticed by the mainstream media (MSM).  These popular memes tend to be integrated into the programming of television and films. Read More »

Come Together- Alternate Reality Games As Communities of Practice

After focusing last week, I decided to concentrate more on the aspects of community forming and how groups for alternate reality games come to exist out of a random starting point somewhere on the Internet. Thinking about these issues, I was reminded of the idea of communities of practice.  Etienne Wegner, in his article “Communities of Practice: Learning as a Social System”, defines communities of practice along the following lines

Members of a community are informally bound by what they do together—from engaging in lunchtime discussions to solving difficult problems—and by what they have learned through their mutual engagement in these activities. A community of practice is thus different from a community of interest or a geographical community, neither of which implies a shared practice.

In so many ways, members of alternate reality games form communities of practice in that they are centered on beating and solving a particular game at hand.  While it makes sense as to why people would come together to work on these massive games together, I was interested in just how they would form differently from other communities of practice.

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