Sunday, April 10, 2011

Foursquare Meetup - 4/4squared/2011 day, perfect marketing #4sqDay


I always struggle with the "check in" concept and at times wonder about the value of the geo tagging check-in concepts. Mobile devices have made the art of checking in much easier but posting where I am all the time is . . . well, it's a little intrusive - BUT I will say that when it comes to events and meet-ups, I'm there and checking in!

This coming event on Saturday April 16 looks to be a perfect date that FourSquare is using to market and expand it's level of engagement. The play on numbers is the like striking gold. 4sqDay aka the 16th of the 4th month couldn't be a better marketing bonanza for the foursquare addicts and community event planners are taking full advantage. Some are using it to actually collect items for the needy like this one:

*** MAYOR OF GAITHERSBURG SIDNEY KATZ WILL ATTEND EVENT AND PROCLAIM FOURSQUARE DAY IN PERSON! *** Please bring non-perishable food for donation to Manna Food Center! 15% of all food sales from 12-3pm will also be donated by Dogfish Head Alehouse! See the blog at and see the Facebook event at we will have our event at Dogfish Head Alehouse 12-3pm on Saturday April 16th! RSVP and see you there! *** FREE T-SHIRT TO THE FIRST 50 REGISTERED

The way 4Square had engaged with Meetup events and the number of schedules popping up all over the place is fun to see. I was surprised how easy and quick it was to use the service - I even managed to set something up for an event at the 16th. If you do any event planning and want to have a little fun give it a whirl. All you need is about 10 min, a meetup account and of course some 4Square savvy technical know how - the app helps.

Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Zachary Karabell for TIME: To Tweet or Not to Tweet | Me thinks Zach needs to get outside and mingle


It's Sunday morning, I'm sipping a rather strong cup of coffee, flipping thru my emails, Facebook status, Tweets when I happen to catch Zachary Karabell piece he wrote for Time with a title I had used in one of my blog posts. In this case though the piece from Time was trying to place the economic value on Social Media. The full title was "To Tweet or not to Tweet - Social media sites are all the rage, but what is the added value to our economy?"

I will credit Zach ( can I call him Zach? ) with putting the various business aspects of the products into perspective - I enjoyed the article. It had a nice flow and was well written. But Zach missed the mark entirely when he tried to say that the tools are a "divider" of social and economic class. I think the stat he quoted from Pew Foundation that - "only 45% of adults making less then $30K have broadband service" does not represent or speak to the conclusions he makes between the "haves" and "have nots" when placing value on Social Media.

I don't have the space or bandwidth to get into the reasons why this country hasn't put more effort in making broadband a part of the infrastructure all across the US but between mobile, free WiFi in almost all coffee shops and even pubs, the Library . . . you mean to tell me that my fellow Americans who make under $30K don't have access to broadband content? Give me a break Zach, I don't buy it.

What Zach also missed is how social media has brought people together, how people with similar passions can more easily unite and share. How we connect today is very different with how we connected 5 years ago. If you weren't in my email list the chances of me reaching people outside my small network was slim. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn has changed the playing field and as a result expanded the playing field. As I commented in my blog a few months back, these services have become the new "In-Box" for many of us and the monetary aspect of using these, it's there Zach - it may not be measurable in the terms you are use to working with but value is most definitely there.

Added value is engagement. Added value is connections and networking. I streamline and work more efficiently because of Social Media and I have seen plenty of folks who make under $30K do even more with these tools. You want an economic value to social media? Try this out: Today I am planning to attend the "SWING INTO SPRING at LES FOLIES BRASSERIE, in Annapolis" I'm doing this because a Facebook fan page of a Jazz group I follow recently posted the event - the tickets are $8 I would have not seen or easily knew about the event if not for social media. and I'll most likely spend much more than $8

When I read how billions are being spent on these tools I'm reminded that when I signed up for Twitter it cost me zero dollars. My Facebook, LinkedIn, Yammer, Foursquare, YouTube, Google, Picasa, Posterous accounts . . . ZERO. These guys are data mining the crap out or me, I get it - anybody not in tune with that is missing the big picture, nothing is free. In fact come to think of it the only thing that cost me money was the subscription to Time - had I known I could read Zach's somewhat skewed comments for free . . . . may have to rethink my subscription.

Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own.