Monthly Archives: May 2010

Foursquare – oh how ye has failed me

I took great pride in checking in with the location service, enjoying recording places I go and ones to remember.  I liked being able to see where my friends were at any given moment.  But, the failure soon began to materialize.

There is no quality control in making, duplicating and creating locations.  This is derived from individuals not wasting the time to correctly search and match a location, to network failures that don’t show results with prompts to create even more.  Seriously, do you really, really think no one has even been to that airport and checked in?  No one?

Then we move into the micro-location placements.  I read an article where Denny, of Foursquare, was paraphrased in saying that it is part of the fun when referring to creating these new micro-locations.

A micro-location (by my new definition) is small places within large check in points.  For example gates at an airport.  I can buy in the to the idea of doing that after you check into the airport itself due to the airport size and letting people know exactly where you sit.  However, which of the 5 airport listings did you get back in your result and how many variations of the gate are there now?  Shouldn’t “gate A7 at Stl” be matched and forced somehow into a single listing of “STL – gate A7″ and the other “A7 gate at Lambert” and maybe “Lambert gate A7″.  Oh the list goes on.  So much more.

A location service basing monetization needs controls of the data itself before moving ahead.  How can you guarantee people are using the one where you offer the free drinks or discounts?  What if two exist?  Who won?  How do I advertise?  How do I track results?

This adds to the overall complexity in the sheer number of location services fighting to be on top.  Or to get purchased and sucked into some major network.  I still use the service, for no other reason that people look there to find people.  However, I am losing value in the visits myself as the user base grows.  Even being a Level 1 Super User has me spending far too much time cleaning up others mistakes to simplify my later check-in experience.

Book review: the social media marketing book (Dan Zarrella)

I have enjoyed the writing of Dan Zarrella for some time online, so I was pleased to see he put together a book (and I was offered to review it).  His insight and commentary are always clean and to the point for any level of person in social media to learn from.

I was surprised to see the compact look and feel of The Social Media Marketing Book when it arrived.  It was also outside the normal form from O’Reilly books normal look and feel.  It was longer and wider than the usual arrival.  Strangely, it was fitting for Dan. At a mere 225 pages of actual content, you would guess that there would not be enough tips and tricks that you could learn from.  A huge mistake.  Each of the 11 chapters runs through the same format as much as possible:

  • Introduction
  • History
  • Takeaway Tips

The rest of the sections depend on the topic itself for that chapter.  He walks through each major area of social networking, from blogging, media, microblogging, bookmarking, news and more.  Each one was in such a readable format I actually spent an evening devouring the entire book.  Screenshots of sites and examples are laid out appropriately for each major section.

ROI and metrics are the Holy Grail of what social media experts try to sell you.  Dan leaves this towards the end and hits you over the head with it.  Are you converting visitors?  Are you tracking what catches their eye when following links or visiting?  How do you read all of these metric sites?  He ends the section with goal setting and software to choose from.

While nothing in the book itself was profound, it was a refresher for the seasoned veteran and a nugget finder for the entry to mid-level person. If you want to get your hands on this book, you can follow my Amazon affiliate links in the review.

Buy and read the Amazon reviews here for The Social Media Marketing Book