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.

‘Tis the Season of the Webinar (and Conference)

Autumn is here, and  with it, a plethora of webinars, seminars and conference.  My dance card is filling up.  Here are some recent and upcoming events:


A Millennial Perspective  on Diversity & Multiculturalism” – American Advertising Federation – November 9th, 2011 – various locations throughout the country


The State of Mobile Commerce – Are You Meeting Your Customers’ Mobile Experience Expecations? – webinar – November 2nd, 2011 – NYC

Featured speakers, Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President, Principal Analyst from independent research firm Forrester Research, Inc., and Compuware APM CTO, Steve Tack discussing:

  • The current state of mobile commerce and key mobile trends
  • Why tablet owners are a key component of mobile success
  • Common mistakes that prohibit companies from capitalizing on the mobile opportunity
  • Best practices to deliver quality mobile web and application experiences to smartphone and tablet users
To view the webcast slides, click here


Advertising Week NYC – October 3-7th, 2011

Advertising Week Videos available HERE.

Future of Media Forum – October 5, 2011

MediaPost’s Future of Media Forum brings to life MEDIA magazine’s annual “Future of Media” issue by gathering together prominent executives and intellectuals from all facets of media to discuss, debate and opine about the Media Industry’s future. This intriguing roundtable discussion — moderated each year by a noted industry journalist — will take place October 5th during Advertising Week at New York University’s Kimmel Center, hosted by the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

How to Effectively Leverage Customer Insight to Deliver a Superior Multichannel Customer Experience, October 13, 2011

By the American Marketing Association (AMA): “Voice of the Customer is not just about surveys anymore.  Customers are interacting with your brand through multiple channels including the website, retail store, contact center and even social media. You have to understand all of these multichannel interactions collectively to develop a complete Voice of the Customer.  Join us on this webcast and learn how you can easily gather and leverage data from all customer touch points to deliver a superior multichannel customer experience.

Learn how you can:

  • Collect real-time customer insight across channels
  • Discover and act upon emerging customer trends
  • Deliver a more personal and targeted customer experience
  • Increase customer loyalty and reduce churn”

The World Technology Summit and Awards, October 25-26th

“On October 25th and 26th, 2011, at the TIME Conference Center in New York City, many of the most innovative people and organizations in the science and technology world will come together for an historic gathering – the 2011 World Technology Summit & Awards (the tenth incarnation) – to celebrate each other’s accomplishments; to explore what is imminent, possible, and important in and around emerging technologies; and to create the kinds of serendipitous relationships that create the future.

The majority of Summit participants are either current WTN members (primarily winners/finalists from previous World Technology Awards cycles, as selected by their peers as those doing the innovative work of “the greatest likely long-term significance”) or 2011 World Technology Award nominees. A combination of keynote talks, panel discussions, and breakout sessions… and potentially-career-altering-networking opportunities over two days concluding with a gala black-tie Awards ceremony on the second night held at the United Nations.”

How IP Geolocation Can Turn Your Local Marketing On – webinar – September 28th, 2011

“It’s a proven fact that located messages perform better overall but there is a discrepancy when it comes to online ads.  Currently, online CPSs are far below their offline counterparts (TV, radio, direct mail), and this correlates to the fact that half of all advertising is bought at the local level but there is no scalable way to reach consumers locally online.  For brands, targeting consumers locally is an essential and effective part of marketing as 80% of consumers’ disposable income is spent on businesses within 10 miles of their homes.

Advertising networks and online properties are boosting efforts to engage in increasingly local campaigns as clients are requesting geographically targeted ads.  IP intelligence provides the ability for super-niche targeting, allowing brands to create/provide the most relevant and engaging adds as it provides unique information about web browsers.  This increases marketers’ ability to reach their customers by targeting both business type, and consumer location, IP intelligence provides geographic, demographic and business information so that brands can effectively reach customers online the way direct mail and billboard ads are used to work offline.  Marketers will be able to zero in on trends, demographic information and cultural aspects to best target consumers.

Key learning points that audience members will take away from this webcast are: What is the need for geolocation targeting?  What are the statistics of geolcation effectiveness on advertising?  ROI?  What are some marketing strategies that I can implement around IP intelligence?

Speakers: Miten Sampat, VP of Product Strategy, Quova.  Steven Cook, CMO, Co-CEO, i.e., healthcare.  Alli Libb, Moderator, AMA.”

OMMA Global – September 26-27th, 2011

Karen’s Coins – iTunes Optimization, The Sixth Force and Other Phrases for Thought

Here Are Some Phrases, Terms and Concepts I’ve Created and Coined. I hope they give you food for thought (Previously published June 15, 2010)

MSEO – Mobile Search Engine Optimization (October 7, 2011)

iTunes Optimization (aka iTO) – The art and science of marketing an iPhone application via the iPhone application store – and within the mobile ecosystem in general. The ultimate goal is to get the application as high as possible on the list of relevant and/or recommended applications. This involves paid mobile advertising, cross-promotion and other tools, as yet unmastered.

Alternatively Application Store Marketing and Application Store Optimization (ASM and ASO)

The Sixth Force – Refers to the importance of “complements” in evaluating the strategic position and approach of a company or organization. The sixth force supplements Porter’s existing five forces: Suppliers, Customers, Competitors, Potential New Entrants, Substitutes. When I was a brand manager for RAGU Pizza Sauce, the introduction and declining popularity of Boboli pizza crust turned out to be the most important element in explaining the rise and fall of pizza sauce consumption over a three-year period.

Segmented Media PricingPrint publishers need to start looking at their business in a new way. Rather than maintaining the print versions of their magazine and newspaper publications as they are, and then deciding what form of walled garden, paid, metered, micropayment and/or freemium model to implement online, they need to unbundle and redesign what they offer – which is news and information, not a printed magazine or electronic replication with enhancements.

(Formerly called Disaggregation Correlations Optimization)

Social Mediaphobe – A marketer, manager or executive who is afraid to expose his brand to the masses – to what the massess might say – in a social forum. He is afraid that consumers might disparage the brand or say something inappropriate – and that, and this is the most common fear – he will be responsible because he sponsored, created, condoned, enabled, facilitated, hosted or participated in the forum. He is afraid of having his feelings hurt or his wrists slapped.

Hold the hands of these Social Media-phobes as they look down upon the icy ski slope. Tell them they can do it. They can conquer the mountain. Tell them not to lean back. Not to look back. That will only cause them to fall. Let them know that they can enjoy the ride. The journey. And that it can be exhilarating and even, well, social.

Beer Diplomacy – The use of beer by the president of the United States to patch up an awkward race-relations situation.

Eccentrepreneur – Simply put, an eccentric entrepreneur. You’ll know one when you see one.

Mistweeting – I did not personally coin this and give credit to Michael Herz at NYSSA. This refers to the act of stating or implying that you are doing something or located somewhere and then contradicting that with Twitter updates.
Spoken Word — “I will be out of town all summer.”
Tweet — “Just had dinner at a great restaurant in the West Village!”

Coffaholic – Someone who loves, loves, loves coffee [you know who you are] and everything that comes with it. Someone who will sit in a Starbucks just to soak in the aroma. Someone who buys every variety of those traveling coffee mugs she can find – even though she really needs no more than one.

By the way, does anyone remember thermoses – with the screw on lids and a cup on top of that? Do those still exist? The ones where you could add a little something to your warm beverage to make the football game a little more entertaining.

Reconnaissance Shopping – A quick walk through a retail establishment such as Loehmann’s to keep tabs on the types of merchandise they carry should a specific need arise. For example, recent reconnaissance made me aware of an abundance of very cute low-heeled boots, but I was not in the market for these. However, upon hearing from my doctor that I should stop wearing high heels, I was able to complete a quick, efficient shopping expedition on my way home from her office. Reconnaissance shopping is not the same as window shopping, which is more recreational and leisurely.

Neiphews – Kind of a cop out. Looking for a word that encompasses both nieces and nephews as in, “I have four niephews – three nephews and one niece.”

Frolleague – A colleague you would friend (or have friended) on Facebook.

Ovation Inflation – The somewhat recent practice here in NYC of giving a standing ovation to any performance that costs enough that the audience feels they must justify their expenditure by categorizing the performance as one that calls for a standing ovation. Personally, I save my ovations for occasions in which I am so moved, impressed or rendered speechless that I rise to my feet without even knowing it.

The Fourth Dimension – Of course, this term is not new; however, I would assert that via time shifting technology, we have indeed reached the fourth dimension. Deep.

(As it turns out I learned during a dinner with one of the Hadron Collider experimental physicists that digital video recorders and podcasts have not given us access to the fourth dimension. Evidentally, the fourth dimension derives from the Space x Time = Distance equation. Ah, well.)

Foursquenvy – Feeling bad because someone has checked-in somewhere you wish you could be

Fool Me Once… Weather.com, Tennis and the Notorious Irene

5-Day ForecastA few short years ago, I played tennis once a year, in Montauk, with my mother. That has changed. A quick count of the dots on back of my Central Park Tennis permit shows 24+ visits to the courts beginning in June when my physical therapist gave me permission to return to the clay following my trapeze injury in December…

In any case, the point is that I have become, one might say, obsessed with tennis. And, as such, I have become similarly preoccupied with the weather.com iPhone app (despite the fact that prior versions have been known to do all kinds of weird things to the phone, including crashing programs and the overall device). Often the first thing I do – before getting out of bed in the morning – is check the weather: current, hour by hour, day by day, and, as of this weekend, severe alerts and videos. And I have been known to repeat this process many times throughout the day

I have come to learn a number of things. First, as I should have recalled from my education in statistics, % likelihood of rain is a misleading statistic. 80% chance of rain – or even 100% chance of rain, as is predicted for Sunday – does not mean that it will rain all day. In fact, a 5-minute passing shower fulfills the prediction of rain but does little to impede my tennis other than causing me to regrip my racket more often, and to consider leaving my iPhone in my locker.  (In fact, the photo to the right was taken first thing in the morning on a day that included hours of tennis that very afternoon.)

I’ve also learned – much against my nature – to be optimistic. 30% chance of rain, as my friend Gary pointed out, means 70% chance that it won’t rain.

So where does this leave me on the eve of Hurricane Irene’s visit to the Northeast corridor? Unfortunately or fortunately, I feel skeptical. 100% chance of rain on Sunday has, in fact, compelled me to cancel my plans to go to the US Open to watch the players practice, and has motivated me to select an indoor venue for my birthday dinner – despite my publicly stated summer birthday policy. However, 4-11% chance of a hurricane and 72% chance of tropical storm conditions has not “at this point in time” deterred me from going forward with said birthday plans, or inspired me to give up my prime parking spot to return my car to the garage.

I hear warnings and forecasts on New York One and from friends and family on Facebook – including one in Hong Kong, who implores me not to underestimate the storm. But I look at the maps and zones and am not convinced. Nor are my porter and doorman. So, I’ve decided to be a weather optimist – at least for the moment. This is not meant to be a recommendation for others in more precarious situations, and, well is subject to change, but I’m curious to see how this weekend unfolds… so much so that I’ll surely be closely connected to my weather.com app – at least until the cell towers get knocked out and I run out of power….

Geolocation: What Are Thou to Me? Part IV

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 IV this ongoing journal – tracking the personal, sociological and historic milestones associated with the rapidly growing service/game/application. Check my archives for Chapters I, II and III.

Monday, July 5th

On Saturday, I checked into NYC Taxi 6H89 and found that it was already in the foursquare database – entered manually by a regular (not super) user. This surprised me as I’m used to frantically entering the number of the taxi and classifying the location as transportation and then taxi… before reaching my destination and figuring out my payment method and tip. Are we reaching some kind of critical foursquare taxi mass? Or was this simply a very neat coincidence – particularly since I don’t take many taxis and there are more than 13,000 yellow taxis in New York City. In either case, an interesting milestone.

This week, foursquare obtained $20 million in funding, and Dennis Crowley “checked in” at the World Cup in South Africa. Nice.

To write the taxi paragraph above, I had to go to my online profile to get the taxi number. I noticed that there is a history of all my check-ins that dates back to April 26th, 2010. Going back to when I first joined in January or February, I have a total of 1099 check-ins! I think I may be an oversharer (yes, I have the badge), but, hey, that’s how I roll.

That said, I find this history to be a valuable tool to keep track of time spent on different client engagements, e.g., time on-site and to get a sense of average transportation time for specific trips, e.g., Upper West Side to Tribeca and West 74th to Central Park Tennis Courts. Remember when all those management consultants tried to get people to keep journals to measure productivity. Now we do it for fun.

July 15th, 2010

Foursquare reached the 2 million user mark this week.

I noted that a lot of people had checked into the Great Lawn on Tuesday night. Was there a free concert, I wondered.

This week, the NYC foursquare community created Heatpacolypse (all of last week!) and Rainpacolypse (Tuesday the 13th). I experienced and checked into both. A fun way to share the extremities of the local weather.

July 26th, 2010

I’ve just checked into the Apple store on the upper west side. As the 13th person here, I seem to have pushed it over the fence to a trending location. It seems to trend a lot lately, though I remember not too too long ago that I was the only or one of just two or three people who had checked in here.

Another location that seems to trend a lot lately is the AMC Movie Theater. There is a strong correlation between the numerical reading on the weather channel site and the number of people checked in at the highly air conditioned movie theater… Quite a popular venue over the course of the last few scorching weeks here in NYC.

After weeks of checking in at the Central Park Tennis Center, it dawned on me that that is a perfect venue for foursquare. Lately, I find myself hanging out on warm weekend days looking for open courts and potential tennis partners. Foursquare could not be more appropriate. The only problem is that I am almost always the only one checked in there. This weekend, I did spy a second player. I immediately invited him to be my foursquare friend. Stay tuned to see whether we ever cross rackets on the court.

July 30th

Duane Reade, the NYC chain of drug stores, has asked to follow me on foursquare (and be my friend on Facebook). Personally, I found this request a little creepy… but I am tempted to accept the invite to get a sense of what they plan to do as my foursquare friend. I suspect they want to know when I’m in their store.

August 4th

Forrester released a report last week stating that 4% of U.S. online adults have used a Location Based Social Network (LBSN), with “only” 1% using them more than once a week. However… of the several million folks who are using LBSNs: 70% have four-year college or graduate degrees, the average age is 32, the average annual household income just over $100,000, and 78% are male. So… does that mean I’m behaving like a 32 year old well-educated early-adopter… guy? That may explain my social life.

September 11th

I just found out via foursquare that there’s a TJ Maxx on West 96th Street.  It showed up as near the Whole Foods up there, which is where I had dinner.  That was my first time, by the way, after seeing the organic food store trending many Sunday nights.  And, by the way, the Whole Foods offers a free coffee tumbler to those who go to customer service and show that they’ve checked in for the first time.  I did not act upon this offer, but I did take a photo of the sign, which was tucked away near the restrooms…

Well re: TJ, that’s one express stop or a 25 minute walk – not to mention being awfully close to the Central Park tennis courts. This opens up all kinds of possibilities, as Loehmann’s does not carry any linen, towels, etc. Very exciting. My mother will be proud.

September 20th

It looks like the Trader Joe’s on the Upper West Side is now open.  I noticed 12 people checked in while I was getting a slice of mushroom pizza at Freddie & Pepper’s.

October 26th

On October 17th, my iPhone was wiped and reset in an attempt to address performance issues.  That means that I need to reconnect to all of my social apps including foursquare.  I went a few hours without access and then reconnected.  Or so I thought until I realized I had logged into my first account in which I misspelled my name (typo as I do actually know the spelling of my name…).  When I realized this, I attempted to log into my more recent account.  However,  I have not yet had luck doing so.  When my email and password did not, I tried to connect via Facebook Mobile, but that did not work either.  I’m sure it can be done but have not yet sat down to take the time to make it happen.  So, the point of this embarrassing discussion of my technical travails… I feel strangely free.  I still think foursquare has lots of value and expect to reconnect.  But, in the meantime, I’m enjoying my time off.  What does that say about the adoption cycle of those who are less “passionate” than I…

In the meantime – once I reconnect to it on my iphone as well, that is  – I’ve developing a strong affinity for GetGlue, a non location based version of foursquare – for people who stay home.  Users check into entertainment activities such as a tv show, a movie or a book.  It’s a really neat way to make personal experiences social while maintaining a level of intimacy.

October 28th

I am back in the square.  Turns out I couldn’t live without it.  I need foursquare to look back on my day and remember where I went and what I did.

November 24th

I know that the upper west side is pretty crazy the night before Thanksgiving.  Cars backed up outside my window with mellifluous honking of horns.  Children being taken aside and reprimanded on every street corner.  Lines of people waiting for cupcakes at the Crumb’s bake shop next to the Equinox.  And so on.  I know that the balloons that are blown up next to the Museum of Natural History are quite a draw.  Personally, I’ve never had the patience or fortitude to wait in line to see them… nonetheless, I guess I knew there must be decent numbers of people who were, but when I turned on foursquare tonight, I saw that 342 people were checked in at the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation venue.  That’s crazy!

December 12th, 2010

@sterlingoptical retweeted the fact that I became mayor of their store on the upper west side

Now that I am recording the license # of each taxi I take, I feel a new kind of peace of mind, knowing that if I leave a pair of gloves in the cab, I would know which cab it was – even without a receipt.  I think this new sense of calm has contributed to the fact that I have not inadvertently left anything in a taxi in the last year.

Last weekend, I was working on a small project – around 5 hours.  On Sunday afternoon, I took a break to play tennis – it had been scheduled in advance.  I had been exchanging emails and work product with my client over the weekend and told him that the next iteration would come in the late afternoon or early evening.  As I prepared to leave the courts, I realized that my client, who follows me on foursquare, would have access to how I was spending my day – would he mind that I took three hours off to play tennis?  Oh well.

On that note, I discovered a great new place to play tennis.  When I checked in for the first time, I tweeted and facebooked and everything.  Then I wondered whether I should keep this new find closer to the vest…

I should say that foursquare is soooooo slow, it can be extraordinarily frustrating.  What is the balance between foursquare and AT&T as the cause of this frustration?  Dunno.

I continue to think that GetGlue has a lot of potential, particularly as those in the television space (content providers, etc.) become more aware of it.  Great opportunity for advertisers to encourage people to check into and/or comment on their ads.  Great opportunity for book publishers as well.  Potential tie in/partnership with shelfari.  Keep your eyes on this one.

Back to foursquare: I have become increasingly reliant on foursquare for tracking my hours on freelance projects.  Great tool!

Location Based Services as a Means to Measure Mass Transit?

Normally, my commute from West 74th Street to 200 Hudson Street takes 20-30 minutes.  It requires taking two trains, the 2 or 3 train to 14th Street and the 1 train to Canal.  I could take the 1 train all the way, but since it is local, it would take more time, so I choose to optimize in this way.

Well, my commute this morning took 60 minutes.  Fortunately, I had my iPhone with which to write a number of substantive (in fact, VERY substantive) emails, as well as water and an apple.

My first train, the Express, got stuck between 34th Street and 14th Street.  For 30 minutes, I watched Locals fly by as we, on a track that was not adjacent to the platform, sat stranded.  When I arrived at 14th Street, a 1 train arrived relatively soon.  However, once the doors were closed, and we were (seemingly) on our way, the conductor announced that we would be making express stops – the next one being Chambers Street.  Moreover, we once again, were stopped between stations.

At Chambers Street, I crossed over the bridge to the uptown platform and, finishing up my email, hopped onto an uptown train.  Alas, it was an Express, which relatively quickly took me to… 14th Street.  At 14th Street, I crossed over to a 1 train that, obediently, took me to my original destination, Canal Street.

So, what in the world does this have to do with Foursquare!  Well, because I am what some might term an oversharer (I have the badge),  I had checked in at 72nd Street and, when I finally arrived at Canal, I checked in again.  Several minutes later, as I pulled my iPhone out of my bag to check in at 200 Hudson, I took a look and saw that I had started my journey one hour ago.  Ah, rapid transit.

Going Out or Getting Glued? – the newest must-have social app


I’ve just met the Mayor of the digital agency where I’ve been working. She recognized me as I was eating my 4-Minute FreshDirect microwavable meal and said, “I see you’ve been checking in on foursquare.”

Game on?

Actually, she seems quite nice, and I’m not just saying that because she might read this.

Evidently, there is a little bit of history behind the mayorship here. There was someone who held the post for some time, whilst three others competed to oust him. Finally, two of the competitors gave up and stopped checking in completely. Meanwhile, he left the agency, and hence the keys were passed to the woman I met by the microwave.

As we continued to chat while she heated up her Parmesan meatballs, I asked whether she was also a user of Get Glue, which she said, seems to be especially popular among her friends on the West Coast.

From what I can tell, GetGlue is foursquare for people who don’t leave their homes/apartments. You get to check in to entertainment activities like TV shows, like them and rate them. Lordy!

Specifically, as the founders describe it on their site, “GetGlue is an innovative social recommendation network for movies, books, and music. The GetGlue website provides a recommendation stream based on personal tastes, what friends like, and what’s most popular right now. The GetGlue browser addon brings filtered friend reviews, personal recommendations, and contextual content to popular sites around the web, such as Wikipedia, Amazon, IMDB, and hundreds more.”

You can use GetGlue by visiting the GetGlue.com site, by downloading the browser add-on for use on pages around the web, or by downloading the iPhone app. When you visit pages about books, movies, music, etc. you can click thumbs-up or thumbs-down on things you like or dislike. GetGlue will then suggest books, movies, music, etc. based on your personal tastes and what your friends like.

Evidently, the online/mobile application/website experienced 800,000 ratings/check-ins in the six days following the launch of its iPhone app, which, I’m told, is a big deal. One of the founders wrote recently that the lion’s share of the 800,000 number is ratings with check-ins averaging 1-5 per minute.

I started hearing about getglue a few weeks ago and in just the last 24 hours, it’s been ALL OVER Twitter. I guess I’d better give into peer pressure and download it. Plus, it sounds good because I consume a lot of media, e.g., tv… so it should be interesting.

I don’t think it would be so good for Dennis Crowley though. He seems to use foursquare predominantly when he’s out and about – and doing exciting things like watching the Spain-Germany World Cup match. Am I jealous???? Well, ok, just a little.