Articles about "Location-based social media"


Midterm voters to get special badge from Foursquare

Mashable
In a new civic participation project for the 2010 midterm elections, Foursquare will provide an ‘I Voted” badge for those who check in at their local polling place.

Working with groups such as MTV’s Rock the Vote, the Pew Research Center, Google and the Voting Information Project, Foursquare has gathered location information for 107,000 polling places. Adam Ostrow reports that users who check in and use the “#ivoted” hashtag will receive the badge. A special elections site created by Foursquare will track the activity on an interactive, real-time map.
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Google exec: location-based mobile coupons are “Holy Grail”

Mobile Marketer
A Google executive said Thursday that the search giant is “making progress” toward its goal of tapping into the local mobile advertising revenue stream.

Dan Butcher reports that Mike Steib, director of emerging platforms at Google, said that increasing the number of local businesses advertising on its platforms is a priority for the company:

” ‘The Holy Grail for local advertising is location-targeted coupons, and we’re building Google Offers to enable that, as well as click-to-call functionality for nearby businesses,’ Mr. Steib said. ‘If you have the ability to reach out to consumers nearby and pull them in using mobile, it’s great for consumers and advertisers.’ “

According to Butcher, Google sees local coupons as a $1 billion business by next year.… Read more

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Hernandez: Foursquare can be used to find sources

Neon Tommy
Speaking with Laura J. Nelson about social media and journalism, Robert Hernandez predicts geolocation is only going to grow, and he continues to look for ways to use the current tools for newsgathering:

“I’m using the Discovery Channel hostage situation as the example. The day it happened, I looked to see who had checked in [on FourSquare] and I saw a guy based in LA had checked into the building a few hours before the incident. 

That allows me to find potential sources who are actually there. And because this person is announcing to the world that they’re there, that increases the likelihood that they’re willing to talk. Instead of going to a place, or cold calling, or going up to people and interrupting them or going on a fishing expedition, you can find very specific eyewitness sources.”

Hernandez is a founder of the Twitter #wjchat group and a former Seattle Times staffer. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
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Location-based games worth a try for media

Foursquare/SCVNGR
Foursquare and SCVNGR today both launched new tools that encourage on-the-ground activities that go beyond simply checking in as “present” at a specific geographic location. This could be good news for local media.

Foursquare has announced a partnership with fitness site RunKeeper.com to reward users with a variety of badges for completing various running events, including training runs, a 5K and a marathon. In a blog post, the company stated that it intends to roll out badges for more “real-world experiences” with selected partners soon.

And, SCVNGR has launched a new app on Facebook that will let businesses feature location-based challenges and rewards on their own Facebook Places page. SCVNGR has recently worked with partners such as The Boston Globe to offer mobile scavenger hunts with rewards such as Red Sox tickets and movie passes for readers who complete challenges around the city.

As location games mature and focus on action instead of simple geography, new opportunities are created for media companies that want to become more involved in the location-based-services trend.

Media organizations that promote or produce annual community events should look toward becoming the hub for location-game activities centered on those events. Interest in location games and rewards is still limited to an adventurous few, but Facebook Places is increasing public awareness.… Read more

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Foursquare launches location-based ‘to-do’ feature

ReadWriteWeb
Foursquare released an update to its iPhone app Monday and, writes Marshall Kirkpatrick, also rolled out an interesting “add to my Foursquare” button that can be placed on any website:

“If you own a business or publish a web page about any real-world location, this very simple button will allow visitors to your website to add going to your location as a ‘to-do’ item and receive a push-notification to their phones whenever they check-in anywhere nearby. This small button could deliver a substantial part of the promise of Foursquare — tying together our discoveries online with our experiences offline.”
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Bilton: Digital, mobile technology is all about ‘me’

New York Times
New York Times blogger Nick Bilton says in his new book that digital technology makes the world all about “me.” That, he reports, is having a dramatic effect on how people consume the news and other media.

For example, go to your smart phone and ask to it show your current location. In his book, “I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works,” Bilton writes that if you walk down the street, the map follows you. That effect of keeping the user in the center is a reversal of the analog way of life:

“In the print world people don’t go to the store and say, ‘Oh, excuse me, can I buy a map of me?’ Instead, they ask for a map of New York, or Amsterdam, or the subway system. You and I aren’t anywhere to be seen on these maps. The maps are locations that we fit into.”

Bilton said he believes this omnipresent focus on the “me” has significant ramifications for publishers:

“The Internet generation is looking for personalized experiences, from the clothes that they buy, to when, where and how they watch the latest episode of ‘Glee.’ For content creators this poses a problem: if they don’t offer the option to consume a product in a personalized way, many consumers will simply go and get it themselves — something that some would call stealing.”… Read more
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‘Intersect’ Provides New Way to Share Life Stories Based on Time & Place

Often, the stories we tell — as journalists and as citizens — are part of an ongoing narrative. It’s easy, though, for parts of that narrative to get lost along the way. Our memories get hazy. We lose touch with the people we met on a trip, in school or at work. Even if we post photos and status updates to Facebook, they can be pushed quickly into the recesses of our profiles.

Now, there’s a community journalism site aimed at helping people remember and reconnect to their past and the people who were a part of it. Intersect, which was unveiled today, enables users to organize their stories into storylines that they can tag with a time and place to create an “intersection.” Users can then scroll through other users’ storylines and see if their stories intersect.

Peter Rinearson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former vice president of Microsoft, created the Seattle-based startup site and brought on about 20 people to be part of his team. Among them is Monica Guzman, who left her job as a reporter for seattlepi.com in May to become Intersect’s director of editorial outreach.

I interviewed Guzman on Tuesday evening via e-mail to find out more about the site and how journalists can use it.… Read more

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One-third of mobile searches have local intent

Mobile Marketer
Quoting recent Google research, Giselle Tsirulnik reports that one in three searches performed on mobile devices has a “local intent,” meaning the consumer is searching for information or content related to his or her geographic location.

Tsirulnik writes that user behavior on mobile devices continues to diverge from desktop Web use:

” ‘We’re seeing a clear pattern emerging of a different kind of search behavior on mobile,’ [said Charlotte Rogers, client services director of Efficient Frontier.] ‘When on the move, consumers don’t want to browse, they want to find.’

” ‘Searches are more specific, more action-based and more localized.’ “

This local focus for on-the-go users has significant implications for media companies working on mobile strategies. It is important that mobile websites and apps focus not just on narrative news content, but on local information, including business directories and geo-tagged data such as real estate or classified listings.… Read more

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Facebook Places spurs coverage outside of niche, tech sites

A month ago you would have expected to see location-based services discussed on sites such as Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, TechCrunch and Gizmodo. Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and others have been the tech press’ stock-in-trade for months, assuming they were not busy headlining the latest Apple gadget.

But what about The Augusta Chronicle, the Camera in Boulder, Colo., The Indianapolis Star and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times?

Call it the Facebook Places effect; those are just a few of the mainstream publications that have written about location sharing in the past few days. While reports indicate that few people have heard of location services and only 1 percent use them regularly, Facebook’s launch of Places last week could change that statistic.

With 500 million global users, people talk about what Facebook does — and the talk is on.

The Indianapolis Star’s Erika Smith recommends thinking about the privacy implications before you start broadcasting your location on Facebook:

“Think about who is on your list of Facebook friends and then think even harder about whether you really want all of them to know where you are. For example, if your boss is your friend, do you really want him to know how often you go to bars?… Read more
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Location services a niche for young males

New York Times
Claire Cain Miller and Jenna Wortham examine the effort to move location sharing into mainstream culture and conclude that user adoption may be more dependent on age than technology.

Despite $115 million in venture capital investments in the past year, only 4 percent of U.S. residents have tried location-based services, and only 1 percent use them regularly. Miller and Wortham report that 80 percent of those users are male, mostly between 19 and 35 years old:

” ‘The magic age is people born after 1981,’ said Mr. [Sam] Altman of Loopt. ‘That’s the cut-off for us where we see a big change in privacy settings and user acceptance.’

“That rings true for Richard Sherer, 65, a freelance writer in Redondo Beach, Calif. ‘I can’t think of anybody who cares where I am every minute of the day except my wife, and she already knows,’ he said. ‘Maybe it’s a generational thing. As we old fogies die off, maybe this will no longer be an issue.’ ”

The low adoption rate for location sharing via Foursquare and Facebook Places is separate from the potential to use location data to provide targeted information to consumers. Online publishers who hope to engage a mobile audience must find ways to utilize location to customize editorial and advertising content.… Read more

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