Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

Swarming at Jamaica Pegasus

// February 14th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Cool Stuff, Technology

Once again, The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel raised the bar with it’s 3rd tweetup on Friday February 11, 2011. Local twitter users converged “On top of the world” for the “Tweetheart” themed event. My friend Allison has already covered the main social aspects of the event here: http://nickmack.net/musings/why-the-jamaicapegasus-tweetup-is-relevant so I will go straight to what made my night:

Foursquare Swarm Badge

Foursquare Swarm Badge

At 8:44pm I felt like I had caught my unicorn when I unlocked the Swarm Badge on Foursquare. This is the most prized badge I have and am proud to now have it since I started promoting Foursquare use in Jamaica months ago. This is not the first event I have been to where I expected to unlock the badge. Originally I expected it to be unlocked at Monster, a party at Chilitos Mexican, however even though over 50 foursquare users attended, they were not all checked in at the same time. The Fiction Lounge also tried to unlock it at one of their events, with no success.

So without further adieu, congratulations to Jamaica Pegasus for hosting the first Foursquare flashmob in Jamaica. Keep on innovating!

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The true ROI of Social Media

// February 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Earlier I was having a discussion with @iniQiti on Twitter about the true ranking of social media efforts. He was telling me how his 3rd party twitter rankings were high and it helped build SEO (Search engine optimisation) for his twitter account. I disagreed with his trying to rate it via SEO or follower ratio or number of tweets, because I believe social media is about interaction. Thankfully Gary Vaynerchuck (@Garyvee) sent out a tweet featuring the video below which confirmed what I was saying:

What grades your social media efforts are interactions, how useful your tweets or facebook posts are, how it helps people, how it relates to others. Social media is building a relationship, with your friends, other personalities and brands. If your social media efforts do not help, or build relationships, then why bother? Now some people will add that hey, they are just trying to broadcast information  useful to their followers, this is also building a relationship because your followers then begin to trust you for quality content and in some cases understand you may not be able to reply specifically to them. The fact is trust, in social media people trust you for your content (opinions, blogposts, videos, photos, news, etc,). Changing or adjusting your content for better rankings or seo is not the aim, the community is the aim, build your community, word of mouth is a better recommendation than any search engine.

In all of your efforts, reporting, etc remember people first, ask yourself, are you helping someone or are you just pushing out useless content on a daily basis? It doesn’t matter if you have x amount of followers if they are bots, or you have no interaction, find your niche and provide for it.

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Google joins the Check-in War

// February 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Google announced today that it will integrate checkins to their Google Latitude app for Android devices.

Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

This new addition just adds to the company’s mission by integrating more social interactions into their products. Google has several social products, like Orkut which has been dwarfed by rivals Facebook and Myspace. They even tried microblogging with Google Buzz. However none of their social products have been dominant in their categories so far. With the addition of mobile check-ins Google will be rivalling Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places and other social apps that have jumped on to the check-in train.

Google Latitude Checkin screenshot Google Checkin Map

Unfortunately Google has launched the service in their Android Application only, leaving Iphone and Blackberry users waiting to test it out. Another flaw is that users cannot add venues from the mobile app, which negates it’s effectiveness in poorly mapped areas. Additionally Google Latitude doesn’t allow you to share your location with other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Hey Google, this is 2011, people like sharing content between social networks!

The good thing is that Latitude will support automatic checkins, well sort of, it will pickup your proximity to venues and automatically prompt you to check in. Never forget to check-in again! Also Google has learned from their Buzz privacy issues and have integrated some key privacy options from the get-go which seem to be very customisable.

Overall I think it is too early to tell if this is a hit or miss, with 10 million Latitude users, Google will have a large customer base to try out this new service, even if it is currently limited to Android users only. Let’s see how this will change the geolocation market and how other services will adapt to stay ahead.

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The First Jamaican Foursquare Event

// October 26th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Social Media Marketing

Monster Foursquare Party Flier at Chilitos Jamaica

Chilitos JaMexican restaurant in Jamaica is a huge fan of social media. They use it actively in promoting specials, events and to get provide better customer service. Chilitos is one of the first restaurants in Jamaica to use Foursquare (what is?) specials, giving away Margaritas to repeat customers. They are also heavy Twitter users, with over 290 Jamaican followers, proving that social media works for niche markets in the island. Recently Chilitos made a first by creating a physical Follow Friday board, to promote their most loyal twitter users:

chilitos follow friday twitter list

With the Monster Foursquare Halloween Costume Party Chilitos is not only organising the first Foursquare event and meetup in Jamaica, but also attempting to unlock the swarm badge for customers. When 50 or more Foursquare users are checked in to the same place, they can unlock the swarm badge:

Foursquare swarm badgeCurrently I don’t think any Jamaican Foursquare user has the swarm badge, unlocking this badge will be valuable to the users of this popular geolocation service. The event is also being sponsored by Fiction Night Club, who will be hosting the after party and will also feature Foursquare specials all night. As well as NCB Jamaica who with My Elite Grocer will be providing prizes and surprises all night at Chilitos. Other attractions include foursquare specials all night, a taco eating contest and more.

For those planning on attending the event and tweeting, they will be using both #monsterja and #4sqpartyja hashtags, you can use either to see tweets about the event.

For more information please see the Facebook event page, tweet chilitos (@chilitosmexican) or call them 876-978-0537

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Kingston Beta: The Town Hall Meeting

// August 27th, 2010 // 7 Comments » // Cool Stuff, Life, Technology

Kingston Beta is the bimonthly networking event and Startup pitch platform where Jamaican and Caribbean tech/internet/mobile/business professionals, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts come To Learn. To Be Inspired. To Network.

It was founded by Ingrid Riley, entrepreneur, blogger and tech evangelist in 2007. Since then,  Kingston Beta has seen hundreds of attendees and scores of startup pitches from Jamaica, plus Caribbean startups from the region and the United States.

Today’s meeting was different than I expected. I had never been to a Kingston Beta meeting before and somewhat expected a hollywood style frenzy of the who’s who in tech. Ok so I was a bit imaginative, the who’s who of tech was there but it was a lot more down to earth than expected. The theme of the event was a Town Hall Meeting. The main discussion was supposed to take place after a Skype conference call with a guest speaker, but ninjas kept stealing the wireless signal and we had to abandon hope.

The discussion was vibrant and informative, unfortunately the habit of introducing people came mid-way discussion, so if you attended please add comments below so I can give kudos where due.

Ingrid Riley, Founder of Kingston Beta

The initial topic was how Digicel’s 4G is going to help spur entrepreneur-ism in Jamaica. The general consensus is that nobody could say how it would help directly, however greater internet access would aid development, especially in the form of jobs and web applications. Ingrid also pointed out that Facebook now has over four hundred thousand (400,000) Jamaican users. These statistics show just how much potential there is in social media and web development, since there is a large user base to interact with.

From the initial discussion we moved on to the value of social media, after the town’s Doubting Thomas, who’s real name is David Clayton, asked who was making money from social media. A long discussion ensued going over the difference between using social media to make money and making money from social media. This discussion drew contributions from nearly everyone, it was quite informative. As one of the last people to hold the mic, I summarised that to make money from social media you either need to be a social media marketer, a company using social media marketing, a content generator/developer, a content distributor, or a data harvester. Everyone who makes money from or as a result of social media falls into one of those 5 categories.

foursquare logo

Foursquare, my favourite topic was also discussed. The question came up about who used it, what it was about, how does it benefit businesses? Of the 15 or so people in the room, about 5 were on Foursquare, we were referred to as the early adopters. Earlier in a twitter discussion with one of my followers we figured there were around 100 Foursquare users in Jamaica. I am beginning to think there are many more. Foursquare is a geolocation social networking application that allows users to compete for points and mayorships. In essence it is a game that allows venues to reward users by offering specials. Users who share their Foursquare activity with Facebook and Twitter then help to build presence for the venue they are checked in at. It was also noted that there are serious privacy concerns for a new user, however once someone understands that it is not always best to check in, or share your location then they can proceed to becoming mayor of their most frequented venues. I also managed to testify on the increased discussion levels online for Chilitos Mexican Restaurant because of their Foursquare special.

My Elite Grocer’s Gale Peart confronted the developers at the meeting by asking why there were not more local smart-phone and web applications, especially for Facebook. She emphasised local media houses had good content that needed create mediums for sharing it. Also corporate Jamaica could use these applications for better service and support. Hey with 400,000 Facebook users, if 10,000 of them paid US$1 for an application then that is the equivalent of a young programmer’s salary for a year.

Overall the event was good, had a long discussion afterwards as well with some of the attendees. I will definately try to attend the next one, I hear there are big plans for it being part of an international entrepreneurs week. Please comment below if I have left out anything.

Twitter users who attended:

@yorkali @ingridriley @persephone101 @chrysalisceo @forresterod @myelitegrocer @moniquepowell @top5jamaica @marciaforbes @CRAC16 these are just the usernames I know, please comment if I forgot you. Thanks! ’til next time!

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