Tag Archives: foursquare

The Month in Review, Twitter-Style

rsmithing at TwitterSo I’ve committed to writing at least one post per month on social media. Sometimes it happens organically, sometimes deliberately. This is one of those deliberate months, what with this being the final hours of the month. But this is a good one – in fact, it’s the very best… of my Twitter over the past few weeks.

Man, I love embedding tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets I crafted this month, to give a little more depth to the hyper-fleeting nature of our favorite micro-blogging platform. Oh, and you should follow me on Twitter if you’re at all amused by any of this…

Started off this month with a visit to a local winery, Divine Llama Vineyards. Made for a sweet photo-op and a Foursquare moment:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/242003882446831616 align=’center’]

These haikus inspired by my frustration with MS Office evolved into a full-on blog post but were Twitter gold initially:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/243530569273720833 align=’center’]

I’ve also taken to posting my favorite songs occasionally via the excellent Soundhound app:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/246038943706001408 align=’center’]

In the middle of the month, I attended a great webinar by Mark Schaefer, and had several great twitter-interactions meanwhile:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/245961643752820736 align=’center’]

And finally, I commemorated the annual Talk Like A Pirate Day by getting into #Pinchat completely in pirate voice:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/248593444379975680 align=’center’]

What was your best tweet this month? Did you discover any great new Twitterers to follow? Do you participate in Twitter chats or share updates though other networks? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Stuff You May Have Missed – August 2012

I make it a point each month to write at least one post in each of the six categories here at my blog: photography, social media, PR, technology, music and writing. It’s my way of keeping myself accountable for having a productive blog, and these are topics I’m interested in on a personal level. Most months I’m able to do this without thinking, since the posts are topics I’m into anyway, but sometimes I’ll go more into one than the other. I’m happy to report that this month has been happily well-rounded, with several posts covering all of the categories we favor at rsmithing.com. In case you missed them, here’s a review:

Single Image Sundays & More

In photography, the Single Image Sundays theme dominated, with posts about a wasp, a restaurant, Mars, and my first-ever re-blog. The WordPress platform has this one-click feature that lets you easily include another WordPress post into your own blog, which worked perfectly this month as The Savoia (which happens to be done in WordPress) featured my artwork this month, which was quite an honor.

I constructed this image for my post about Twitter with the results of a Google image search for “Twitter Logo” and “Wrench.” Then I used Pixlr to edit the two together.

Social media-wise, we started off this month strong with a post about 5 Really Useful, Really Easy Twitter Tools. What’s even better is that I’ve since discovered more, and will likely be doing an update. Some Twitter developers even reached out to me because of the post, including setting me up with a premium account (full disclosure in the case of JustUnfollow), which was very kind and a pleasantly unexpected surprise. More to come on Twitter tools, for sure.

In the public relations realm, I covered recent activity of Foursquare, wondering if its time has passed, and considered whether their recent PR efforts can get the buzz going again. Since writing that post, I’ve gotten interesting feedback from some like-minded users of the app, but overall, the jury is still out.

For technology this month, I wrote about the Mars Curiosity rover in anticipation of its landing on the Red Planet. Several weeks prior, I’d discovered this excellent video, “Seven Minutes of Terror,” which naturally got my space-geek senses tingling. I even chatted it up on Twitter with some people at NASA, which was totally fun, and further demonstrates the immediacy at our fingertips thanks to social media:

[tweet https://twitter.com/SpaceLauren/status/232301374577188864]

 

Actual people at NASA interact with a random blogger on Twitter via shared excitement over sending a laser-shootin’ robot to Mars. I don’t care what anyone says; that’s cool.

Melodysheep Autotune Magic

Music was a highlight this month, as I interviewed John Boswell, the man behind MelodySheep and responsible for the excellent remixes of Bob Ross, Bruce Lee, Mr. Rogers and Julia Child that have been going viral lately. This was my favorite post by far of the whole month. A few weeks prior, I’d discovered his amazing musical montages, so I thought I’d see what happened if I emailed him some questions – he graciously answered and is a cool dude. Look for great things from this guy in the future. In the time it took to answer my questions and get back to me, Boswell produced this outstanding tribute to one of my personal heroes, Bruce Lee:

 

Finally, writing this month was a quick blurb and graphic I constructed for an inspirational phrase that appeared in my brain one day: It’s better to be ambitious than ambivalent. It was a fun way to incorporate text into a visual creation, something I used to do quite a bit but have backed off of lately. Also, I really believe that statement, so I’m glad to be sharing it with others.

There you have it, the month in review. Any of these stand out to you? Any comments to add to any of these? Do you keep an editorial schedule? What is your system for posts? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Foursquare: Do or Die Time?

Here’s something interesting: I often look to the media for blog post ideas, but this time it seems to have happened in reverse. Case in point: a few weeks back I heard a broadcast from Marketplace Radio speaking to Foursquare’s CEO. Amazingly, just a few weeks prior I asked this very question on LinkedIn: “Has Foursquare’s time passed?” There were several good answers and a general consensus that it’s too early to tell.

Not long after I posted my question, Foursquare released a major update to its mobile app and got its PR machine cranking. What’s interesting here is that both Marketplace and I shared the same thought: Foursquare was introduced in 2009, gained massive popularity, and has been gradually cooling off ever since. Is that a sign of its having peaked already or just the fleeting attention span of the digerati?

Life After Death of the Check-In

“Life After Death of the Check In” -Jon Mitchell via ReadWriteWeb

Earlier this year, months before any of this, Jon Mitchell of ReadWriteWeb did this excellent and provocative article on the death of the check in. He rightly notes that it can be overkill:

…it’s a mundane performance of “I’m at the grocery store!” which is annoying noise to one’s friends and followers.

I started using it in early 2011, out of curiosity and to have something to do – like taking photos – while waiting in line at places or making art out of routine trips to places like, well… the grocery store. Hey, at least I try to make my activity interesting – but I sure as heck do NOT post every single update to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Grocery Store Art

I took all these photos of my local grocery store with my phone for Foursquare check-ins.
I always try to include a photo with each one. Hey, it keeps me entertained.

Businesses Could be Using Foursquare Better

Here’s the secret ingredient: Photos. Include fun photos of your storefront, employees (smiling, preferably), specials, or a behind-the-scenes view of what’s going on. These kind of unique details draw people in, and it can certainly be endearing to customers. I’d love to see an “ask us about this photo” post at some place I check in, then feel like an insider when I take them up on the offer. I’d be getting to know the business better, and maybe even getting a special deal.

I’m glad to see Foursquare innovating and I look forward to what’s next. The real test will be adoption. It won’t be genuinely interesting  until more businesses and users get in on it and get creative. I just hope the next major developments don’t take as long – and with any luck they won’t. I’m sure Foursquare itself has also surely noticed its buzz decline, like Marketplace and your humble author.

What do you think? Are you on Foursquare? Have you been on it and lost interest? Have you ever gotten a deal somewhere because through the app? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Link Instagram and Pinterest with Flickr

Flickr to Facebook: I'll see your Instagram and raise you a Pinterest

Flickr to Facebook: I’ll see your Instagram and raise you a Pinterest. Photo by Courtney Patubo / edit by rsmithing. Click for full size.

Flickr to Facebook: I’ll see your Instagram and raise you a Pinterest

Hot on the heels of my post on using Pinterest for Instagram images with sites like Gramfeed, Flickr has made this even easier by including Pinterest as an option under the “Share” menu at the top left of any Flickr image. And the best part is, all photos are automatically attributed to the owner – including all photos ever previously pinned from Flickr!

Pinterest for Flickr

This is HUGE, because not only does it mean easy and proper posting from a site with millions of great images, but also it makes posting from Instagram easy as well, since Instagram users can easily link their accounts to post to Flickr when uploading at Instagram.

I personally only started using Flickr seriously as a result of Instagram’s integration, and I now swear by it as a great tool for managing your images with some neat social functionality thrown in. It’s highly customizable, easy to use, and a great value whether you subscribe for free or have a Pro account.

Just two steps gets any Flickr image on your Pinterest board. Click for full details at Flickr’s blog.

Bottom Line: Flickr Gets It Right… First

Maybe they were too busy being bought by Facebook to notice, but the folks at Instagram missed out on being the first major image sharing site to hook up so seamlessly with Pinterest. I’m fairly sure that day is coming, since Instagram already integrates with Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous, Foursquare, and of course, Flickr, but given the competitiveness in Silicon Valley these days, it’s not a given.

Pinterest’s growth is impossible to ignore, and Flickr did the right thing by integrating easily with the site. Rather than interfere with its own goals, this makes an already great platform like Flickr even better.

I don’t work for Flickr, but if you haven’t checked it out – and especially if you want to pin your Instagram images like a boss – definitely give Flickr a look… even if only to find cool images for your Pinterest Boards.

Impress your friends: share this on Twitter!

What do you think? Do you use Flickr in conjunction with Instagram? Do you use Pinterest and have you pinned Flickr images there? What has that been like? Will you be trying this now that Flickr makes it easy to share images originating on Instagram? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Klout = Krap?

In the past week, I’ve signed up for WordPress, actually blogged here (twice now), linked that to Klout, posted 20 pics via Instagram on Facebook/Twitter/Flickr while doubling followers, tweeted every day, conversed with influencers (both ways) on Twitter, gotten way more than usual hits on a Facebook post, posted in a writing discussion at Ragan.com via Twitter, checked in & tipped like a fiend in multiple states on Foursquare…. and — not that I care, mind you — my Klout score goes down by 5 points. WTF, Klout?

Really?

I’m serious about not caring; I truly believe any kind of “score,” rating or whatever of a person’s online relevance should be based on quality, not quantity. And I’ve definitely gotten some good out of Klout, just from a personal branding angle — it’s motivated me to align my online presences at Flickr, YouTube, etc.

For anyone not familar with this suddenly important metric in the world of new media, Stephanie Rosenbloom of the New York Times writes:

If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, you are already being judged — or will be soon. Companies with names like Klout, PeerIndex and Twitter Grader are in the process of scoring millions, eventually billions, of people on their level of influence — or in the lingo, rating “influencers.” Yet the companies are not simply looking at the number of followers or friends you’ve amassed. Rather, they are beginning to measure influence in more nuanced ways, and posting their judgments — in the form of a score — online.

So I have to wonder what they’re factoring in over there when my engagement and sharing have actually been higher this whole week. Again, not that any of this matters whatsoever. Oh, and please be sure to like/ retweet/ reblog/ photograph/ screenprint/ yadda, yadda.

Update, 10/27: Apparently I’m influential to someone over at Klout, because since this post they have revamped scoring. The image of my monitor included here on this day now no longer even looks like how it did in the picture. Interesting. Klout now rewrites history.

Update, 11/16: The plot thickens! If you’re concerned about privacy, you’ll be very interested to read, Klout Updates Privacy Features. Is it Enough? by Tonia Ries over at The Realtime Report.

What do you think? Are you on Klout? Have you ever even heard of it? Or do you know your Klout score by heart and check it regularly/daily/hourly? Let us hear from you in the comments…