Geolocation and other shiny things…

So I’m assuming that even those of you who are not Foursquare addicts like me might have heard that 2010 will be the year of mobile, and might be vaguely wondering what this geolocation fanfare is all about, and more specifically, why it might become important to pay attention to from an organizational point of view. I’ve been reading a ton about it all lately, and since it’s all speculation for the time being I thought I’d just share some of the most interesting posts from all kinds of sources on what the big deal is, and leave it up to you to think about and let me know your predictions or if you see the possibilities. Please comment! I have lots of ideas about the potential for using localized apps, but I’m going to sit on them for a little while until I see what rises to the top…

Will 2010 Finally Be the Year of Location? Om Malik gives us the big picture from the tech side.

Geo Me This – nice post from AppsLab talking about a few different geo-apps you’ll recognize.

My new obsession… Foursquare – Lynn Morton tells it like it is. Later in On Being a Responsible Foursquare User, she looks at it from an association point of view.

Maggie McGary picks up on Lynn’s post and has some cool ideas about what might be.

Moving Beyond the Novelty: Geolocation – Stuart Foster looks at geolocation as a marketing tactic.

Here’s more:

How Non-Profits and Activists Can Leverage Location Based Services (Mashable)

Five Simple (and Fun) Ways to Promote Nonprofits on FourSquare (Nonprofit Tech 2.0)

Harvard Teams Up With Foursquare For Collegiate Check-Ins (Mashable)

FourSquare and Social Business Design (Peter Kim)

13 Ways Businesses Can Leverage Foursquare and Gowalla (Mike Merrill)

Twitter Launches Location-Based Trending Topics (Mashable)

And finally, The social behavior incentive (how your app can be as addictive as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare) from Robert Scoble which I find particularly interesting from a “why this might be huge for building community in general” point of view.

We’re hearing lots of people talking about the potential for these kinds of apps for association events and conferences, specifically.   If  you’re going to ASAE’s Technology conference, expect to see some good stuff about mobile there.  Have you seen anything in action?  Other thoughts?  Let us know!

(photo credit)


SocialFishFood January 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Geolocation and other shiny things! #socialfish

maddiegrant January 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Geolocation and other shiny things!

social_medio January 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Geolocation and other shiny things!

Shannon Otto January 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

What an awesome list, Maddie! (And thanks for the link love, too!) I’m personally not on the foursquare wagon yet, but I’m not sure how popular it is in Atlanta. I tend to fall somewhere between early adopters and early majority, so we’ll see… I do see FourSquare having some cool uses for associations, especially at events. And with Twitter rolling out location-based trending topics and location-enabled tweets, things could get even more interesting. I think some people could be hesitant to use location-based services for safety purposes, too — if they disclose to the world that they’re going on vacation, there could be some consequences there? Just thinking (typing?) out loud…

Maggie McGary January 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Thanks for the link love!

Even though Foursquare is still a bit clunky for me at this point–very few places are already in their database (if you live in the burbs like I do) and adding them means manually typing in information, I’ve already seen glimmers of how useful it will be to both users and businesses. Now when you check in to a place, you can view nearby tweets, see if anyone else is checked in to that venue, leave reviews on Yelp, etc. I also had my first “ah ha” moment as far as how local places can use it the other day when I checked in somewhere and got a “nearby offer” message. I clicked that and it was a coupon for free chips and salsa if you check in at California Tortilla across the street.

For events, I’m a little sketchy on how it could be used, but surely there’d be a way to make it work for exhibit halls. I know Intel used it at CES. Maybe using it as a tool to generate an additional revenue stream from local vendors and restaurants by letting them advertise specials to attendees?

Jake January 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I’ve been thinking about location for a while, and Foursquare does it right by creating incentives and layers of game mechanics around the core unit of work–divulging your location.

I saw a lot of potential for Foursquare at Oracle OpenWorld last September ( By checking in to a venue, you can see who else is already there, and your checkin is announced to your friends, less work than tweeting and scanning tweets.

Foursquare is still very small, only 300,000 users or so, and like Twitter, many aren’t very active. As with Twitter, the mass of data may eventually become Foursquare’s goldmine, producing hyper-local data for local merchants.

starfocus January 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm

RT @chadnorman @maddiegrant: Geolocation and other shiny things!

Ari Herzog January 27, 2010 at 12:03 am

When you consider I’ve received free food from restaurant owners who saw my reviews on Yelp, why oughtn’t something similar occur to mayors on Foursquare?

Jake January 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

@Ari: Agreed. Actually, foursquare makes more sense vs. Yelp, since the reviews there are *supposed* to be genuine, i.e. not influenced by freebies, not that yours was, just don’t think Yelp is going in the right direction by adding checkins.

STUARTFOSTER January 27, 2010 at 6:54 pm

RT @SocialFishFood Geolocation and other shiny things!

unhatched January 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Geolocation and other shiny things! (via @maddiegrant)

devseo January 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Have a read – Geolocation and other shiny things… –

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