J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


Marketing tools for good

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. It does not endorse any product, services, organizations, campaigns or agency. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

The Demi and Ashton Foundation’s new “Real Men” interactive campaign begins this week, using A-listers such as Justin Timberlake to educate the public about the child sex trade in the USA.

Certainly it’s a cause more worthy than, say, aiding a Kardashian or a Real Housewife — the foundation’s efforts to raise awareness aren’t without merit. But doesn’t there seem to be a huge disconnect here between the very serious subject of child sex slavery and the flippant tone of the ad’s script?


Onion investigation: Facebook as CIA’s most valuable tool

Too funny. Too true. Too creepy.

On Twitter:

Four hundred billion tweets and not one piece of useful data was ever transmitted.

On al-Qaeda foursquare threat:

The people who use (foursquare) are people no one would mind seeing bombed anyway.


Tweet this: D.C. tops ‘Twitter Towns’ list

Does that headline seem familiar? It might. It’s the headline I wrote for today’s story in USA TODAY. (I did not, however, edit the online story.) Didn’t read it? That’s OK. I’ll recap and link: Men’s Health, with the help of Rodale Inc., is reporting that Washington, D.C., is the top socially networked city in the country!

The exclamation point there is just a result of an extra cup of coffee on a rainy day — not actual surprise. It makes sense that the one U.S. city where reach and influence is everything that every person would be wired in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and beyond. (“My 140 crappy characters will change this world! I know it!” ~Insert name of unknown congressman here.)

El Paso appears to be the least wired-in city, with research suggesting that residents have a high rate of job satisfaction. The USA TODAY story quotes psychologist and MIT professor Sherry Turkle who says El Paso residents could simply be happier with their off-line lives.

From the story:

“When people are gratified and fulfilled in their face-to-face interactions, when these satisfy their desire for connection, for gossip, for feeling wanted and plugged in, they don’t need to feel technologically plugged in,” Turkle says.

It’s a shame this story couldn’t have been longer because Turkle touches on a question I wrestle with daily: Would I be so plugged in if I were happier and more connected in the physical world? I think that’s something everyone should ask themselves from time to time, especially as digital networks continue to expand and permeate our lives.

Would we be happier without Facebook? Twitter? Digg? Reddit? Etc.?


1 Comment

@foursquare revamps Merchant Platform with 3.0

As foursquare continues to expand and upgrade, the location-based social network is stepping up efforts to court businesses and their customers with an overhaul of the foursquare Merchant Platform

According to the company’s blog, businesses will find that foursquare 3.0 offers improved analytics, and a variety of new “Specials” — Friends, Flash, Swarm, Newbie — that are aimed at attracting new customers.

The Friends and Swarm specials find strength in numbers, mining the “more the merrier” sentiment: Customers can check in with friends or a large group and get a deal. Playing to the “me first” instinct are the Flash Specials, offers for the first players checking in after a certain time. The seemingly standard Newbie Specials are for first-time check-ins, and then there’s the plain-vanilla Check-In Special that may not be limited to first-time check-ins. For businesses looking to reward existing customers, merchants can still offer Mayor Specials, as well as Loyalty Specials (e.g. “Free coffee after 10th visit!”).

The post announcing the new specials has some very cool examples of what businesses are doing, as well as a sneak peek of the new dashboard. At the time of this writing, the post had 13 comments, including one that succinctly declares the platform upgrades as “cool.” Foursquare’s leaders at can rest easy now.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: As a marketing student interested in social media’s role in promotion, I record specials that I see when I check in on foursquare. For me, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers, which merchants are catching on — and which ones aren’t. This project is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line and foursquare offer, here’s the post.


At the movies with @foursquare

foursquare at the movies!

This cool foursquare graphic looks at 2010’s opening-weekend movie check-ins, breaking down the data by title, gender preferences and overlap, and regional interest. Of note: Mississippians dug Gulliver’s Travels and Toy Story 3, while Utahns preferred Edge of Darkness and Tooth Fairy.

Among my opening-weekend check-ins: The Town and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  I slept like a baby during both. Not among my opening-weekend check-ins: Sex and the City: 2. I write this proudly.

In other foursquare news, the location-based social network is now distinguishing between friends and followers. This will allow marketers to determine the users with a large reach. The HubSpot blog has details in their Feb. 28 post that I missed because I was researching strategies for Angry Birds or doing something equally important.

I also missed foursquare’s “Rudest Cities in the World” list posted Feb. 28 on the network’s engineering blog. While it is interesting to know that Manchester, England, has the most … colorful … check-ins in the world, the post more importantly details how the company will mine (explore) the data it collects to make decisions about venues, promotion and demographics. The post is heavy on the tech, but offers some insight into foursquare’s ambitions.

For those more interested in the rude cities themselves, AOL Travel has a roundup.