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New Media News Break: Cyberbullying, the Olympics on Foursquare, and More

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Every week, we post a New Media News Break to help catch you up with what’s going on in the world of new media and get you through the work week. Here are this week’s top stories:

New York Lawmakers Take a Stand Against Cyberbullying

In New York, state lawmakers want to put an end to cyberbullying by making it harder to stay anonymous online. According to a report by Mashable, “Anonymous web users would then have but a single recourse to save their posts if such a compliant is lodged against them: unmask completely by revealing their name and going through an identification process.” If the user refuses to comply, webmasters must remove the post. While this law could definitely help with the huge cyberbullying problem online, it also poses some questions about free speech. The Electronic Frontier Foundation says this proposed bill is unconstitutional, citing the fact that the right to speak anonymously has been upheld since the founding of the United States. What do you think?

Student Suspended for Fake Suicide Video

In another story related to cyberbullying and online rights, 15-year-old Long Island teen Jessica Barba has been suspended from school after a posting suicide notices on Facebook. The teen did so under a fake account as part of a project to raise awareness about cyberbullying issues, which was actually part of a school assignment. Even though Jessica and her parents say there was plenty to indicate the video was fake, one parent didn’t realize this and called the school. Whether or not you think the project was right to post on YouTube, do you think that schools should have the right to suspend or otherwise punish students for content they create online?

The Olympics Come to FourSquare

In an interesting marketing move, the Olympics have taken to FourSquare. Not only are they encouraging users to check into London sites, but they’re also hoping FourSquare-ers will check into historical Olympics sites, helping to create a buzz about the London games. Users who do so at least twice will get a badge and be entered for a chance to win a trip to the London games.

What do you think of the Olympics embracing FourSquare, in light of the recent move to closely control what athletes are allowed to say via social media?

Facebook and Morgan Sued Over Pre-IPO Forecasts

In a move that surprises…well, no one…Facebook shareholders are already suing the company, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley, and others. Within three days of trading, Facebook shares dropped 18.4 percent from their $38 IPO price. Shareholders claim that the social network and bank within reports that forecasted a weak growth outlook for Facebook shares in the future. Defendants include Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. According to reports by Reuters, the lawsuit also claims that “underwriters disclosed the lowered forecasts to ‘preferred’ investors only, instead of all investors.”

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

“The Amazing Race” Adds Video Tips and Team Checkins via Foursquare

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The Amazin Race Foursquare

CBS has linked their hit show “The Amazing Race” with Foursquare and created a brand page on the site.

Given the topic of the show (traveling to different destinations all over the world) it completely makes sense for CBS to make this move.

Here’s the message on their Foursquare page:

CBS’s “The Amazing Race” celebrates its 10 year anniversary with 10 years of travel tips, trivia and more. Follow us for exclusive videos from host Phil Keoghan, a look back into the photo vault of previous seasons and fun facts from the Race. Grab your passport!!!

Fans of the show can now see when their favorite team checks-in at their next location.

As you’ll see on “The Amazing Race’s” Foursquare page, they are also using it to promote YouTube videos done by the show’s host, Phil Keoghan. His videos offer travel tips like never check a bag or how to stay fit while traveling.

I like how CBS has integrated everything. Fans can keep up with their favorite teams, as well as get great traveling tips via video – which adds one more fun element to watching the show.

What do you think of the show’s social media strategy?

Only 12 Percent of Smartphone Users Access Check-In Services

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Pew Smartphone Survey

Are you a frequent user of smartphone check-in services like Foursquare or Gowalla? I don’t use them because personally, I don’t want people to know where I am. I guess I like going incognito.

Come to find out, I’m not alone. A recent study by Pew shows that only 12% of smartphone users use theses check-in services.

The study shows that 59% of smartphone owners use their phone to access social networking sites, and 15% use their phone to access Twitter. As for sending photos, 80% and sending or receiving texts was 92%.

So, what do you think this study shows? Are check-in services’ popularity slowing down, at a stand still or just getting started? To me it seems when someone first starts using these check-in services it’s fun and exciting, but after awhile, it just gets old.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Foursquare to Roll Out New Pages Feature This Week

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foursquare

According to AdAge, Foursquare will roll out a new pages feature this week where anyone, not just brands, can create a page. As of now, only brands can create a page where users can follow them and see “tips” that are left.

Starting this week sometime, everyone – from brands to the average citizen – can create a page and leave tips for others to follow.

Foursquare’s product manager, Noah Weiss, says “We’re seeing 70 new brand page sign-ups a week with the old system. When we launch this, anyone will be able to create a brand page that can be followed.”

This new feature will allow users to develop a connection with people on Foursquare, without having to reveal where their location is. This will also encourage users to do more writing by leaving tips on the locations they visit. They are hoping this additional content will add more value to the app.

Another important change is the ease of signups for pages. The 75 person Foursquare company had been approving accounts through a hand-written process, but now with the new feature, it’s done completely online. The new process only requires a Twitter account to authenticate.

Will you use the new Pages feature to create your own page on Foursquare?

 

Groupon & Foursquare Partner Up for Real-Time Deals

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groupon-logo

The rumors are true. Groupon and Foursquare have been in talks to form a partnership, Mashable has learned. Both U.S. and Canada can expect to start seeing daily deals in the explore tab of the Foursquare application. Chicago is the first city to see the Groupon real-time deals and location-based Groupon Now.

All U.S. and Canada Foursquare users can expect to see the Groupon deals along-side Foursquare roll out this Sunday.

This partnership is beneficial for both companies. Groupon will share an undisclosed amount of revenue with Foursquare, while gaining exposure and broadening their audience reach.

A company spokesperson says “Foursquare’s goal is to help people connect in the real world, discover new places, and save money through Specials and Deals. We’re excited that Groupon’s daily deals and real-time deals will now be included in our Deals platform”.

For those of you who use Foursquare, can you see this partnership adding value to the application?

Foursquare Check-ins Help Play a Role in Your Klout Score

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Klout 01

Towards the end of June, it was announced that Klout had come to Facebook, which gave brands a new way to engage with fans. It also results in brands offering rewards to their fans based on their Klout score.

Ever since this bit of news hit the web, the big question has been “How do I raise my Klout score?”. If you use Foursquare, you’re in luck! Your Foursquare check-ins now help play a role in your Klout score.

Klout  just added Foursquare to its scoring system and it’s in good company sitting alongside Facebook, Twitter and Linked In – all of which already help determine your online influence.

It’s super easy to integrate Klout with your Foursquare check-ins. Just head on over to your Klout dashboard and click the orange “Connect Now” button to be one of the first users to be scored with Foursquare.

 

Have you checked your Klout score lately?

Exploring Location-Based Context

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… by Mike Schneider

Location has been hot on the minds of marketers and technologists. Some have even been so bold as to call the ability to know a person’s exact location the holy grail (not really – OK -maybe a piece of the grail).

We do know is that location is a key activity stream in the new era of data-driven personal marketing. This new piece of context gives message makers of all kinds an opportunity to give someone a piece of content that they need at exactly the perfect time. At BlogWorld NY, we will explore three key opportunities with 3 of the world’s top 25 brands: deals, discovery and loyalty.

Deals

And the content that is delivered is not just advertising, but that is one critical component. Location-based platforms present a great opportunity to give a person a deal when they need a deal and certainly there is a difference between deals for acquisition and retention. American Express just announced a partnership with SCVNGR that will make this easier. PepsiCo has tried deals with their Loot app.

Discovery

Content in the place that you want it is key. People are attaching secrets to places on a number of mobile platforms like Yelp, foursquare, Bizzy, foodspotting, Gowalla and more.  Disney in particular has been a leader in enhancing the experience of its guests by giving them reasons to check in to every attraction in the park.

Loyalty

Acquiring a customer is expensive for a business so keeping them is paramount. Using innovative ways to get customers to return has been the business of American Express and PepsiCo for years. American Express has introduced new ways to pay, reward and surprise and delight their customers by partnering with location-based services like foursquare and SCVNGR as well as with merchants. PepsiCo has built and participated in a number of loyalty driven initiatives including a social program based on a person’s checkin history.

The co-authors of Location-based Marketing for Dummies, SchneiderMike of allen & gerritsen and Aaron Strout of WCG will lead the discussion with Josh Karpf of PepsiCo, Tom Aronson of Disney and David Wolf of American Express. The panel will be late-night talk show style with Mike hosting the show and Aaron providing color and insight and also keeping his bananas peeled for interesting audience questions via the iPad.

Hope to see you there. If you could ask these brands one question about their location-based initiatives, what would it be?

17 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Foursquare

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge link of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Foursquare

I’ll admit it. When I first hear about Foursquare, I thought the idea was ridiculous. Why would anyone ever want to publicize where they are all the time? But today, I do see the benefits (as long as you are still smart enough to do so safely), and I occasionally will check in. There are, in any case, definite advantages for small business using this service! Let’s take a look at what some brilliant bloggers have to say about Foursquare.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

Location-Based Services: Foursquare vs. Facebook Places by Ryan Goff

I love this post on Social Media Examiner – it compares two of the major location-based services, as well as goes into detail about how why and how to use them effectively, both from the user perspective and from the business perspective. you really can’t go wrong when it comes to Social Media Examiner; trying not to get lost reading all the excellent advice at that website is like trying not to breathe. After you’re done with the post, don’t forget to follow @smexaminer and @RyanatMGH.

The Island Grill Chain: How we’ve used FourSquare in our Marketing by Ingrid Riley

If you’re a small business owner interested in using Foursquare, this is a really great case study. The restaurant owners featured in this post talk about how they are using the service to successfully lure in new customers and reward fans. Check it out an follow Silicone Caribe on Twitter @siliconecaribe.

Confessions of a Foursquare Addict by Hilton Barbour

I love Hilton’s post because it perfectly sums up why Foursquare works and why businesses should be using it. There’s a bright future for not only this service, but other location-based services as well…and this post explains why. I’m sure a lot of you guys can relate (I know I can – my roommate and I were battling over Red Robin mayorship for a few months).

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Foursquare? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

Next Week’s Topic: Vlogging

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Blogger Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

How Bloggers can Use Location-Based Social Media

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I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the entire concept behind Foursquare was stupid when I first heard about it. In fact, I remember ranting to a friend of mine that it was creepy to tell people what you were doing and where you were going at every moment of the day, not to mention dangerous, since it means that stalkers can find you and thieves know when you’re not at home.

Maybe those things are still true, at least in some cases, but if you’re smart about it, location-based social media services can help you as a blogger. I think that over the next several months, we’ll continue to see an increase in the options available, as well as the number of users, and I have to admit…the mayorships and badges and such are growing on me. Yes, I am a huge dork and constantly try to overthrow my roommate as mayor of Red Robin.

I’m by no means an expert on location-based services, so I’ll give you the tips I’ve come across with my personal use, and hopefully you all can chime in as well with even more tips on how bloggers can use this kind of new media!

  • Building Your Brand

I’m a fan of the fact that you can link location apps directly to Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to spread the word about what you’re doing, even if people don’t use these services themselves. In fact, because of my paranoia about the creep factor, I don’t actually accept friend requests and the like on Foursquare itself. Maybe that will change in the future, but right now, I like being about to check in privately to earn discounts and free stuff, but publicize it to my Twitter account when and how I want. When you go places that make sense to your brand, it helps build that image on other social media sites. For example, if you’re a parenting blogger, it makes sense to check in when you’re shopping at Gymboree and if you’re a food blogger, it makes sense to check in when you’re out to eat or grocery shopping. Incorporating pictures is even better if you’re able to do so!

  • Earn Free Stuff

Like I said, sometimes, I’ll check in privately, without publicizing to Twitter, because I know that a location offers free stuff to those who check in or become mayors. Although I’m generally a lover of getting crap for free (fact.), this can also help your blog if you’re looking for products to review but don’t have tons of cash on hand to make purchases or the notoriety to get noticed by the big brands yet. For example, a few months ago, Gap was offering free jeans to the first several thousand people to check in at one of their locations, and that would be a perfect review product if you’re a fashion blogger.

  • Conference Connections

When I was at BlogWorld, location-based services were extremely helpful because I could see what my friends were doing and where people were without having to call or text anyone. For example, there was a party one night that I was on the fence about attending because I’m not a fan of huge crowds. I checked out the check-ins for that location on Foursuare and made the decision not to go based on the huge number of people already at that event. Oh, and while I was doing that, one of my friends popped up checking in somewhere else, and it looked like a much smaller event (it was), so I went and had a blast. At conferences, bloggers often don’t personally know tons of other people, so it can be weird to ask for a cell number. Check-ins allow you to find the people you want to meet without being a total creeper.

Ok, those are my favorite three tips for using location-based social networking if you’re a blogger. How do you use this form of new media?

Holidays 2010: All About Location-Based Services?

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Although Foursquare was around this time last year, this is the first holiday season where I think we’ll see significant use of location-based social networking by shoppers. While users have long-used apps to locate stores, I think we’ll see a rise in usage this year for one main reason: coupons.

According to a survey as seen on Mashable, an average of 30 percent of users are willing to travel move than five miles to redeem a coupon. Of the 1200 surveyed, 21 percent are already using mobile coupons and 36 percent expect product descriptions found on location apps to be valuable while doing holiday shopping. Times are still tough, and just like last year, shoppers are willing to give up convenience of shopping online, shopping at a single store, or shopping at the nearest store to save money. I know I am.

So what does this all mean to you?

For Businesses:

  1. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, consider offering a coupon via location-based apps like Foursquare and Whrrl. In general, the better coupon you offer, the farther customers will travel to redeem it.
  2. Produce descriptions will go a long way in convincing someone to come to your store. Even if you can’t afford an awesome coupon, smart usage of location-based services can help you attract customers.
  3. Publicize your location-based app deals. If you leave it up to the customer to stumble upon what you’re offering, you won’t see much of  response.
  4. If you’re online-only, it might not make sense to offer coupons for location-based services, but don’t forget that offering coupons during the holiday season is a great way to drum up some business. Even if you’re a blogger offering an ebook, discounts during the holidays are appreciated.

For Shoppers:

  1. If you use a location-based service to find someone, especially a small business, tell the cashier as you check out. It encourages them to continue using the service.
  2. Do searches before you leave home to find the best deals and coupons being offered.
  3. Considering downloading a few different apps, since coupons could be offered through some, but not others. For example, Foursquare is great when I’m around home because some of the businesses I frequent offer coupons, but while I was at BlogWorld, Whrrl gave me amazing deals.

Will you be using location-based social networking this holiday season?

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