Posts Tagged ‘ foursquare ’

Was Google+ Ever the “Facebook Killer”?

Back at the end of June, Google launched Google+ in beta for users only with an invitation. I remember feeling like I absolutely HAD to get an invitation as soon as humanly possible. I love trying out new social networking sites, so I obviously had to get my hands on this one. I’m already Google crazy, why wouldn’t I want to sign up?

Soon enough, I got my wish and signed up for Google+. Since then, I honestly haven’t done much with it. A post here, a post there. A new profile picture. I even got the iPhone app. But I just don’t use it a lot, it at all. It’s just one more network for me to be on.

When Google+ first came out many people touted it as a “Facebook killer“. After the service opened to the public in September, traffic to the site spiked, which I completely expected. This week, traffic to the site fell 60%. Was Google+ ever really a “Facebook killer“? Here’s what I think.

One more social network, one more thing I gotta deal with
In all honesty, Google+ is just another social network and at this point people are getting burned out. We’re already on over-load. With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, foursquare, LinkedIn, GetGlue, SCVNGR, Instagram etc, people already have a lot going on. Google+ was something else that we had to deal with, and it was just too much.

Awkward Space
Google+ occupied an awkward space in the world of social networking. At first, this seemed like a main selling point. It was a lot like Facebook in the way you could create a profile, add pictures and communicate with friends. But, it integrated the open-ness of Twitter of being able to follow anyone you want and not being limited to friend request approvals. It seemed like a match made in heaven. Google+ created its own space. However, the place in between Facebook and Twitter was kind of awkward. Personally, I was trying to figure out what I would share on Google+ that was different from Facebook and Twitter. How could I use this new space? Clearly, most people, like me, haven’t been able to figure it out.

Who are you?
I feel like every day I get notified by Google+ telling me that someone added me to one of their Circles. The problem with that is that I have no idea who these people are. It makes me awkward and uncomfortable, especially since most of these people just seem like spam (Does anyone else have this problem?). On Facebook, I only want “friends” to read what I write. On Twitter, I don’t really care who reads it. On Google+ I can’t figure out who my audience is.

Ultimately this brings me to a few questions: are people on social media overload? Is there a limit to the number of social networks we can be on before we get completely burned out?

To be honest, I don’t have the answers to these questions. And as for Google+ time can only tell what will happen to it. Maybe it will make a comeback. Maybe it will be the next Google Wave. What do you think will happen to Google+?

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It’s Real Simple, Stupid

Also featured on Emerson Social Media.

I’m an avid fan of geo-location apps and services like foursquare, SCVNGR, gowalla and more. However, there is a newcomer to the game, Shaloc. It is the easiest GPS sharing application humanly possible. The application automatically updates in the background and shares your location with your friends at any given moment. So rather than checking in to a specific venue or calling friends to get their ETA, you can find out in a snap exactly where someone is. In fact, I got a chance to interview the creator of the app, Rakshith Krishnappa via e-mail.

How did you get the idea for Shaloc?– Me and my friends meet downtown on weekends, we usually end up arriving at different times, and ended up calling each other to let each other know where they were, so I wondered if there was a way to make this easy by using mobile phone GPS and share with each other. Then came up with the idea for mobile app to share location and make it so that others can see location without requiring an app.

What is different about Shaloc from the other geo-location apps out there right now?– Shaloc is real-time location sharing, if you move 2 steps your friend will see you move 2 steps, other location apps update every 15 seconds or a minute. Shaloc is more for sharing your GPS virtually. Shaloc does not require the other person to have a app downloaded to view your location, and browser will work for viewing.

How has the response been since the launch of the application?– People have been using it many creative ways, to share location with family, kids are sharing with parents when they take the car out, and parents are able to see where they are using their computer. I heard about a new york pizza delivery company shared location to a customer. Some people are worried about privacy. App is downloaded based on word of mouth, people like the face that the location sharing can be viewed without the need for an app on the other end. Developers are asking for API to be released so that can can develop apps using real-time location data.

It’s clear that geo-location is a huge trend in social media right now. Where do you see this trend going in the future?– I see real-time location be a part of day to day life, soon you will be able to track where your UPS/Fedex truck is, where your mail man is, you will be able to share your location to 911 in case of emergency, your pizza delivery guy will be sharing location when you order pizza, you will be able to track where the subway or bus is, taxi… I think other static geo-location apps like foursquare and gowalla, will focus more on local deals and providing value to users rather than just badges.

Having the opportunity to interview Rakshith was great. I am always amazed by the power of social media and the type of people you can interact with. I tweeted about Shaloc in regards to an upcoming presentation for class. I got a response in a timely fashion and he was very open to talking with me and answering any questions I had.

The bottom line is that Shaloc is a great idea for an app. It strips down geo-location to the basics, which a lot of people can appreciate in today’s complicated world.

My Desire to Become Mayor of Everything

Image Credit: dpstyles™ vick Flickr

Lately this phenomemon called Foursquare has completely taken over my life. Currently, I am the mayor of four places, have six badges, have had 85 check-ins with only a total of fourteen nights out. In my opinion, that is sad. The reason why I have suddenly taken to this trend is because they just came out with the BlackBerry application. It all started off with the iPhone, and then it went to Droid and even Palm devices. But the BlackBerry application took soooo long. I thought it would never happen.
As a result, I now check-in almost everywhere I go. But hey, it’s paid off in a very short period of time. Two weeks and already mayor of four places?! I’m good! However, I do kind of feel bad for my friends. Now whenever we go somewhere, I always need to ignore them for a minute to use my phone. Also, for a while, I would tweet almost everywhere I went. It completely took over my Twitter feed. Needless to say, now I only tweet about foursquare when I become mayor or get a badge.
Recently, Bravo (the TV station), teamed up with foursquare so that users can now check-in at over 500 Bravo-tagged locations. You can even earn Bravo badges. Definitely interesting and if I lived anywhere near a Bravo-tagged location, you could probably find me there.
Small businesses have also taken notice of foursquare. At some places, if you are the “mayor” you can get a discount. Also, businesses are able to see who is checking in nearby and utilize that information. In fact, after going out for sushi, a nearby taco restaurant began to follow me on Twitter. True story.
However, foursquare has also recently come under fire. They introduced the Douchebag badge o people’s distaste. Some people were offended that they received the badge for checking into places that were tagged douchebag. Personally, I think it’s hilarious and people need to stop being so offended.
Love it or hate, foursquare is here to stay. It’s a fun social application that is now available to most users that can access the internet on their phone. There is something entertaining and special about earning badges and becoming a fake mayor just for looking at your phone. My addiction will continue. Hopefully I can become mayor of 10 places at once and unlock the Super Mayor badge!