A Deeper Look at the foursquare Phenomenon; Where People Check-In

A Deeper Look at the foursquare Phenomenon; Where People Check-In

Recently, I wrote about the popular location based social network, foursquare, explaining all about how it can be used, why it’s helpful, and how to protect your privacy. But, looking deeper, I wanted to examine where people want to check-in and why people want to broadcast where they are in the first place.

This past June, BitsyBot Labs examined a week of foursquare check-ins and divided the results into eight categories; arts and entertainment, shopping, food, travel, parks, education, nightlife, and other. Unsurprisingly, the two most popular check-in location categories were food and shopping, which maintained high levels throughout the entire week. After all, who doesn’t love to eat and buy things?

What was surprising, however, was that the number of nightlife check-ins was so low. Foursquare, like many social media networks, has been touted as a tool for younger generations, the bar-hopping crowd who stays out till all hours of the night. But, from the chart below where BitsyBot Labs compares the number of food check-ins to nightlife check-ins, you can see the stark difference.

I, for one, was very proud when I unlocked the Zagat Foodie badge for eating at five different Zagat rated restaurants! Way more proud than becoming the mayor of the local bar. I mean, let’s face it; 29 Newbury Street Restaurant is way cooler than The Harp.

Check back next week to see why people are bothering to check-in in the first place! What are the reasons behind this motivation?

Updating Social Networks, Lessons Learned

Updating Social Networks, Lessons Learned

As a PR professional, securing interviews with big name journalists who write prominent columns or blogs is always exciting.  Your pitch worked, so-and-so is interested in your client, your client will be happy with you, your boss will be happy with you… all these thoughts race excited through your mind as you read that little response, “Sure, what time can your client talk?”

I’d imagine that the journalist, although receiving hundreds of pitches daily, has a bit of excitement too, thinking “I get to interview the CEO of XXX, I get to break this story, this fits in perfectly with my next feature, or I’ve been looking for a follow up with more stats like this!”

In all the excitement, you rush to your social networks to tell the news, updating your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter status that you’re going to be speaking with so-and-so.  But, wait!  Is that really what you want to be doing?  Let’s step back a moment.  The journalist doesn’t rush off to these social networks to tell the world that they’ll be interviewing your client.  This would reveal their source and maybe even the topic of their next article.  It also destroys that element of surprise for the journalist’s frequent readers who wonder what they’re going to write about next.  It could also tip off the journalist or publication’s competitors as to what they’re writing about.

So maybe, like the journalist, updates like that should take a back seat (at least until after the article is published), so as not to destroy the privacy or validity of that awesome interview you just secured.  Your pitch still worked, the journalist is still interested in your client, and your client and boss will still be happy with you, so does the rest of the world really need to know when it’s not even your place to say?