Once upon a time, in the land of commercial advertising, 30 seconds of persuasion, art, and/or deception was the recipe in trying to win over a prospective customer’s business. In television and radio’s infancy stages, this proved to be an excellent return on investment. At the time, when the concept of motion picture was still a novelty, consumers were not only willing to sit through Pepsi’s elevator pitch on why you should drink their cola, but they were actively engaged, even seeking entertainment.
Throughout the years, however, advertising went from a novel byproduct of entertainment to a virus that consumed it. As the relative cost of advertising decreased, the percentage of businesses who bought into it increased. As the number of channels and shows available increased, the percentage of time dedicated to non-sponsored programming decreased. As the consumers attention span during a commercial decreased, the prevalence of unethical brainwashing tactics increased. Eventually the lines between advertising and entertainment completely evaporated with the use of product placement and brand sponsoring.
Those who weren’t entirely immune, had at least grown skeptical. Those who were neither, were children.
Is it a revolution in location based social media, or the latest fad destined to fizzle out?
Any seasoned Foursquare user is familiar with the ebb and flow in interest with the application’s use. After initially registering for an account, the excitement that comes along with each additional check-in can only fully be understood by a fellow Foursquare user. Before you know it, you’re planning your lunch break based upon the likelihood of obtaining a new (or securing an existing) mayorship. Your nights out are swayed in the direction of adding to your collection of badges. You won’t even commit to where you grab a cup of coffee before scouting the other Foursquare users in attendence.
The check-ins keep coming, but the badges and mayorships don’t . “[Insert mayor’s name here] cheats. There’s no way he/she is here more often than me. I live here.” The push notification to your smart phone alerting you that a quasi-acquaintance is at the grocery store across town is more irritating than informative. Your co-worker is the mayor of the cubicle next to you, bathroom stall number 4, his parents’ garage, his favorite park bench, and won’t stop bragging how much better at Foursquare he is than you.
The novelty has worn thin.
I now present to you, two possible paths for Foursquare. Path number one leads to an impending lull in curiosity and eventual demise. Path number two makes Foursquare the most important location based application your smart phone will ever need. The outcome lies squarely in Foursquare’s hands.
While filling out your Google Profile, one question asks to suggest something that you might not be able to find on Google. Mistakenly, I figured this was either a trick question, or an attempt at some subtle humor. Little did I know, Google uses this as their suggestion box.
The earthquake’s origins were in Baja, Mexico, but the BPM’s of my heart monitor would indicate the quake was isolated inside my apartment. In hindsight, it was no big deal. The walls and floor rumble for a half a minute, your dishes shake, and you pee yourself a little. Kind of fun actually. But it’s also educational. You learn a lot about yourself. Here’s what I learned about The Good Badger during an earthquake .
Entirely unprepared. My initial reaction was to lay in bed. My next reaction was to duck and cover. Luckily I was with gf who is much smarter than I. As soon as she could get me to stop crying, we fled outside.
Entirely unprepared pt. II. On my way out, I forgot to grab my shoes, wallet, keys, or any snacks. Upsetting, but not the end of the world. What is far more traumatic, however, is forgetting my iPhone. How was I supposed to Tweet my paranoia, check in on Foursqure (you’ll see in a minute), tell mom not to worry (in a very worried tone), or even find news about the earthquake. Fortunately 12 of the 12 neighbors around me had their iPhones and were kind enough to show me the drop pin of the earthquake’s epicenter no more than 10 minutes after it occurred (awesome). iPhone, will you ever forgive me?
Technology is Awesome. Within minutes the TwitOSphere was overrun with fellow San Diegons giving their 140 character takes on the situation. True, nothing anyone said saved, prevented, or helped anything, only because their was nothing to save. With that said, there’s a calming presence knowing other people are going through the same thing. Had the situation been worse, however, Twitter has proven to be a life saving resource.
Technology is Awesome pt II. A new social media service has poked its head into the emergency reaction game- Foursquare. For those who are still unfamiliar, Foursquare is a location based, social-networking service, where users “check in” to different establishments to notify their friends of their whereabouts and collect badges. One of the more highly sought after badges, The Swarm Badge, is acquired after you check in to the same establishment with at least 49 other Foursquare members simultaneously. Within a half hour, someone created the check-in location “earthquake”, and over 70 people checked in. I’m guessing this is the first time the service has been used to check into a establishment-less event. I’m also guessing it’s not the last. Either way, I got me a Swam Badge, suckas!
My takeaway from this: Apple needs to invent an iPhone holder which you can put inside of your body. Maybe a surgically attached Kangaroo pouch. The iPouch?
Selfishly, I would campaign for San Diego, but a) we’re over the 500,000 person limit and b) I missed the deadline (3.26).
If timing is everything, this post is nothing.
But I would like to point out a great pitch made from my former home, Madison, WI, as the lucky recipient of the magical Google Fiber. The pitch can be found at the Powered Green Blog, home of the green laptop. If high transfer speeds can remedy intolerable winters, I might be moving back…
Foursquare users can unlock this rare Swarm badge, by being one of 50 or more users to check into the same establishment at the same time. It should come as no surprise that a conference such as South by Southwest would be the perfect storm for such an occasion. Accomplishing this task outside of Austin’s SXSW conference, however, is far less likely. Steffan Antonas found one social media savvy business owner who took advantage of Foursquare’s appeal to drive swarms of people into his establishment.
You have exactly 8.5” x 11” to separate yourself from the pack of other highly motivated candidates. What are you going to do? Find a sleek template online? It’s an advantage over people who’ve never used Google (infants and those older than 90). I’m guessing you’ll highlight your achievements. But, chances are, you’re only distancing yourself from the latter half of the pack, not your real competition. Also, employers have good reason to believe that people lie on their resumes. Now what? Unless you’re the president of the Harvard Law Review, you’re resume will only get you so far. Read more →
I’m sick of people not using Google Reader. Why? Because it’s underrated and it’s awesome. And quite frankly I’m here to make you more awesome. So help me help you become a better Internetter. Read more →