Geolocation: What Art Thou to Me? Part V

Each day, foursquare has a unique impact on my life as I watch the way in which it influences my city, myself, and increasingly, my world. I decided therefore, a few months after joining the network – May 20th, 2010 – , to keep a little diary of my new life with foursquare

You have now entered Part V this ongoing journal – tracking the personal, sociological and historic milestones associated with the rapidly growing service/game/application. Check my archives for Parts III,  III and IV.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It’s a 40-something sunny day in Manhattan.  I know that because of my desktop widget, but I also know that because Central Park is trending on foursquare, with 38 people currently checked in there.  This made it a lot easier and quicker for me to check in as I headed out for my fourth run this year.  The other times it was snowing and/or in the 20s.  I welcome the opportunity to check into something trending as it takes longer and longer and longer for Foursquare to catch up to where I actually am when I try to log in.  I have been working at Time Warner Cable since January 3rd, but Foursquare thinks I have been there half that time because I am able to successfully check in about half the time.  I suspect this is due in GREAT part to the AT&T network/performance of the iPhone on the AT&T network, and I know that this is one of the most frustrating elements of Dennis Crowley’s business plan, but I can’t help being a bit annoyed with Foursquare as well as AT&T as I stand on the subway platform waiting for my check in to pleeeease go through.

All that said, the fact that I was in fact able to check in efficiently means that I have a relatively accurate reading on how long it took me to run to and from the Park and make it around the (mostly uphill, it seems…) lower loop.  39 minutes is the time.  Please stop laughing.  My current goal is to outpace the horses, the bicycle cabs and the people who walk.  There will be a large celebration on the day I actually outrun another runner.  Thank you to my good friend Fred for running with me.  I shudder to think how slowly I would run without him!

A few months ago, I noticed that “Fall for Dance” at City Center showed up as a venue on Foursquare.  Great marketing.  And a few nights ago I saw another theater venue – Radio City?  or Carnegie Hall? trending.  Now that’s foursquare going mainstream.

This week is social media week.  How many new participants do you think there will be by this time next week?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Last week, I used my first foursquare Nearby Specials.  And, I must say (a) it was quite easy (b) it influenced me to spend $40 more than I had planned.  I was at the Modell’s near my apartment to pick up one or two cans of tennis balls.  As I waited in line – thinking about a past “tip” I had left suggested that one might not want to come to this store if in a hurry… I decided to read the nearby specials.  I saw that if I spent $50 at this store, I would get $10 back.  Gee, I thought, I could use another sports bra, and I’m sure to use up any tennis balls I buy.  So, I did.  I added the sports bra and several cans of balls to my purchase.  I showed the special as it appeared on my iPhone to the girl at the register, and simple, I got $10 back.  Gee, I thought, I just got a bunch of free tennis balls.

This is in contrast to an experience I had the week before at Bed, Bath and Beyond. BBB has trained me to think that there is always a coupon available.  Hence, I am reluctant when in the store to buy anything if I don’t have a coupon with me.  Surely, I thought, however, there must be a mobile coupon available and so I dutifully googled BBB and promotion code.  My phone asked me for my phone number, and, as I navigated the escalator, I attempted to enter it.  Two rejected attempts – rejected rather rudely, by the way, in red font.  As I came to the top of the escalator and saw the huge line at checkout, I decided to buy my Vornado fan another time, which I have yet to do.


Wednesday, September 
21, 2011

My doorman just ousted me as mayor of my apartment building.  I never thought I would see the day.  Game On!

American Express is doing some very interesting things with “synced” foursquare and card accounts.  When you check in or check out a venue, you, as a linked AMEX member, are served with an additional list of special offers.  I first found out about this at the US Open.  AMEX had a huge presence there.

Saw my doorman on the way in just now, and he asked me about foursquare and the whole mayorship race… I feel kind of bad now.  He’s sweet and new to foursquare.  I shouldn’t make him think it’s a competition… but, am I willing to give up being mayor of the venue I created – still hoping for a swarm someday.  I told  him we could trade off.


Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Made my third trip to 16 Handles today, now that I’ve realized they have hot fudge sauce – one of my top 10 food delicacies.  Quite scary to know that HOT fudge sauce is less than two blocks from my apartment at any time.  I’ve settled into a small amount of  frozen yogurt with lots of fruit and a significant dollop of fudge sauce + some coconut shavings and a few chocolate covered pretzels.  (This could get dangerous.)  In any case, 16 handles uses a loyalty card app – check in 4 times and get $2 off the fifth purchase.  I’ve had 1 out of three successful check ins so far.  I’ll let you know the name of the app tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I continue to check into my apartment building diligently.  3 days away from reclaiming my mayorship!  (Though it’s probably more important to have a good relationship with my doorman…)

Friday, September 30, 2011

The AMEX sync program came up during one of the presentations at the OMMA Global conference this week.  I believe it was the one by Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures.  I asked about the popularity of the program given how complex it was to sign up.  He admitted/agreed that the sign up process could be more integrated – not even taking into account that I learn

ed about it offline and had to go online to even start the application.  I believe he said they have 300,000 participants, a number that would be higher if it were more turnkey but that it was clearly a successful program that is being renewed and extended.  (I’ll get the details for you when I have a moment to review recording.)

Here, by the way, is the message I received as part of the signup process (scary stuff): ‎”Connected accounts can build cool things on top of what you’ve done on foursquare. Approving this connection allows them access to do things like update your status, view your check-in history and look at things like your friends list, Tips, and To-Dos.”

On another note, I am now (finally!) mayor of the Central Park Tennis Center and have also reclaimed mayorship (an unelected government position?) of my apartment building.  The game continues, Diego the doorman…

Wednesday, Ocober 5th, 2011

A lot of wait time/delays trying to check into the New York Times Center during Advertising Week.  Quite frustrating.  Typically need to enter the venue manually.  I wish the Times Center would consider getting an AT&T booster.  I read on Twitter that someone had even worse luck with Verizon, downstairs.  Amazing, in a disturbing way.

OMMA and Advertising Week are both obsessed with Facebook, and perhaps rightly so.  What impact will this have on Foursquare.  More so, what will the open graph due to get glue, which, by the way, has gotten some significant traction through corporate promotions.  If I were still in my role at a major cable operator and still working on supporting their five ad-supported VOD channels, I would reach out to Get Glue – assuming I could get approval to use social media, which is currently frowned upon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My doorman tells me with a big smile that he is going to be mayor next week (of our building), that he is 3 days away.  I can’t imagine that will be the case if I continue to check in multiple times or even once a day.  I think I am going to let him have it – the mayorship, that is.  Though I don’t plan to show that kind of generosity to whoever is looking to be mayor of Central Park Tennis Center.


So, everything new is new again.  New iCloud, new Facebook, new Foursquare.  I can’t begin to tell you how many new passwords!  One for iTunes, one for mobile me, one for my apple ID, one for wordpress on my laptop – that doesn’t work on my computer, one to unlock my iPhone, one to access my voicemail, one for each email account, one for facebook, one for foursquare – different IDs/emails, and different passwords.  I can’t keep up.  But I digress.  What I mean by what’s new is new again is that they all have new interfaces and capabilities again.  So… what happened to my targeted, local specials on foursquare.  I don’t see them.  Maybe I’ll find them eventually.  Am I really less technologically intuitive than the general social media and/or geolocation population?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Foursquare tells me that I have checked into the Central Park Tennis Center 72 times.  So how come that is not reflected in the quality of my forehand?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I don’t take a lot of taxis, but I thought I would indulge tonight after an evening of wine and pizza, chips, pretzels,  Ritz crackers and good conversation at the Harvard Club.  With time to spare, I decided to check in.  To save time, I started by entering the four digit cab ID number.  A year ago, it would have blown my mind to find that someone else had checked in in this taxi – see post front that era with the big photo of taxis.  Tonight, there were two entries.  The question arises, therefore, how many of our many NYC taxis have been catalogued in foursquare???  (p.s. it was a very nice taxi – I think it may be a hybrid.)

Sunday, October 29, 2011

Last night I earned the Greasy Spoon badge for checking into Cafe Luxembourg. a charming and pricey French restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Whoops.  Here is what my award said: “Sticky vinyl booths, bottomless mugs of joe, apple pie fresh out of the display case… Does that waitress have syrup on her hairnet? Sounds like diner heaven to us. Now that you’ve hit 5, treat yourself to onion rings. Or a milkshake. We suggest both.”  I also received the Halloween swarm badge for checking into Snowcopalypse 2011 – on the Saturday before Halloween.  Nice idea.

I know it’s not geolocation, but it’s related: GetGlue, the application in which  you check into cultural activities such as watching a TV show or movie or reading a book, is getting more and more buzz and, as I believe I predicted, has and is starting to leverage huge commercial potential as a vehicle to drive tune-in and engagement.  I wish I had had more time and latitude to get Time Warner Cable’s  “Automotive On Demand” listed there.


For more of my geolocation musings, check out the Geolocation tab above and/or Part VI of this series.

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