J's Page

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


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.


Business Insider chart: Foursquare vs. Facebook Places

A foursquare post claims 7.5 million users now, and as Business Insider points out, that’s more than double their number of users when Facebook’s Places launched in August.

What location-based platform are you using?


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.

 




DVDs, earrings and more panties: Deals spotted on @foursquare

As I mentioned in an earlier post about foursquare, I’m recording the deals I see as I check in. For me, the marketing student, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers — and whether more businesses are catching on.

This 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.

Some deals spotted on foursquare in the Fairfax, Va., area:


1 Comment

Music, fondue, discounts: Deals spotted on @foursquare

As I mentioned in an earlier post about foursquare, I’m recording the deals I see as I check in. For me, the marketing student, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers — and how more businesses are catching on.

This 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.

Some deals spotted on foursquare in the McLean, Va., area:

  • Old Navy offers a free music download “Lunatic” by Andy Grammer.
  • 15% off next purchase at American Eagle Outfitters.
  • 10% off regularly priced merchandise at Metropark; mayor receives a one-time 20% discount.
  • Ritz Camera and Image is offering five free 4×6 prints at its Tysons Corner location.
  • Wildfire, a most excellent eatery, will treat the mayor to a spinach and artichoke fondue.
  • At Harry & David, get $10 off a $50 purchase. From the offer: “Excludes wine (bummer) and gift cards.” Cute.
  • Spotted again: First-time check-ins can get $5 off any $25 purchase at Payless ShoeSource.

Noticeably absent: MAC cosmetics, which has its own foursquare campaign going on now.

I’ll update the list as I see more offers.

ED’S NOTE: This URL has been SEO’d to death.


Foursquare talks the talk: Adds 5 more languages

Foursquare announced today that it is expanding the languages for the location-based mobile platform to include French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese, and more languages are on the way, along with a website update. The overhaul follows the service’s 3400% growth in 2010, a year that saw foursquare explode from 100 cities to more than 200 countries.

According to the company’s blog, users’ BlackBerrys, iPhones or Androids will update with the device’s selected language.


Deals on @foursquare

In light of foursquare’s recent announcement detailing their 3400% growth in 2010 (also known as the Year of Suckage), I’ve decided to record the deals I see as I check in.

This is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity as a marketing student, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line, here it is.

Among this weekend’s deals spotted on foursquare:

  • Buy one scoop, get one scoop free at Ben & Jerry’s.
  • 15% off next purchase at Aerie, American Eagle’s panty and bra shop.
  • Valentine’s Day Sale at Express: suit separates for her, BOGO 50% off; shirts and ties, BOGO $19.90. PLUS 30% off sweaters for him.
  • Get $10 off jeans $39.95 and up at H&M. Offer valid Feb. 10-21. Discount taken at register.
  • First-time check-ins can get $5 off any $25 purchase at Payless ShoeSource.

I’ll update the list as I see more offers.

ED’S NOTE: This URL has been SEO’d to death.


2 Comments

Deals on @foursquare

In light of foursquare’s recent announcement detailing their 3400% growth in 2010 (also known as the Year of Suckage), I’ve decided to record the deals I see as I check in.

This is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity as a marketing student, so Stoppers-by might be bored.

Among today’s deals spotted on foursquare:

  • 10% off at Piercing Pagoda
  • Free music download from Old Navy; song was by a guy I’ve never heard of.
  • Hewitt-Jackson offers a discount on tax returns.
  • Zales offers $50 off a $300 purchase.
  • Bath & Body Works has a buy 3, get 2 free

I’ll update the list as I see more offers.

ED’S NOTE: I’m wrestling with the uppercase vs. lowercase ‘f’ in foursquare, so you may see it both ways on this blog.


3 Comments

Foursquare: 3400% growth in 2010

Foursquare’s 2010 was much better than mine.

The location-based mobile service saw an astonishing 3400% growth in the Year of Total Suckage.

That’s a lot of check-ins.

This terrific graphic breaks down the hot spots in travel, dining, art and music, while this blog post, wait. Never mind. The sad-bastard tech writer I was going to link to is just exactly that: a sad-bastard tech writer who doesn’t get Foursquare. Never mind.

Hat tip to @scottdbowers for the heads-up.