Archive for the ‘Foursquare’ Category


Boulder Digital Works’ Aggregates Like No Other

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been anything but typical.  There is no clear leader of the movement, their message is very broad, and it is taking place throughout every major city (and not so major cities) in the country.

The strange thing is, though, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.  As of today, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been going strong for over 50 days.

Ten years ago, this may not have been possible.  Through the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, protestors in cities all over the country have been able to communicate and organize activities for thousands of people.

But, even with all of the tools that social media offers, it can still be difficult to know what is happening minute to minute.  What modern day protests thrive on is speed of communication.  While one group may be using Twitter to communicate, another group could be using Tumblr or Facebook.  It takes time and vigilance to keep an eye on every social media outlet.  There was a need to bring all of this information together on one page.

It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention, and out of a need for better aggregation came  Constructed by Boulder Digital Works, the site curates every bit of social media data for the movement from various Twitter hashtags to a map that shows the number of Foursquare check-ins for each city.  It truly is a social media lovers dream.

Here’s how the creators of describe themselves:

“Occupationalist is an impartial and real-time view of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Covering history as it unfolds. No filters. No delays.”

Given the success of, we’re likely to see other aggregation sites like it popping up for other movements.  Keeping participants up to date on the latest information is crucial.  Those that do it best are the most successful.

Foursquare’s Best Feature

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Foursquare is an amazing service.  It allows you to check-in to your favorite restaraunts, stores, or parts of town and leave comments about your visit.  People everywhere are connecting in new ways and having fresh experiences based off of recommendations from Foursquare.

Businesses are changing the way they interact with their customers, too.  Comments about poor customer service or bad food can be posted in real-time, and businesses must up their game to ensure that their patrons are leaving positive reviews on the site.  For example, there is a new Tex Mex restaraunt in my neighborhood with excellent food.  The problem is, it takes FOREVER to get your food.  It doesn’t matter if you are the second person in line.  It will take 20 minutes to get your food and pay.  Their system is inefficient, and it shows.  As I check-in on Foursquare and leave my comments, I notice that I’m not the only one that is frustrated by the wait time.  Several other patrons even commented that they won’t come to this restaraunt if they are fairly hungry, simply because the wait time is too long.  In an age where 9 out of 10 new restaraunts fail, it’s important that the owner pays attention to these comments and makes the appropriate changes.

This is one of the main features of the service, and it makes Foursquare worth the time on its own.  But, there’s so much more.  It’s fun to compete with people to become the mayor of places like your local grocery store or gym, and users enjoy earning various badges for checking in at certain places or times.  The best feature, however, is one that very few users are even aware of.

If you see that one of your friends has checked in and left a glowing review of a new restaraunt, you have the ability to add it to your to-do list.  That’s the part that most users already know about.  Odds are, however, that they haven’t experienced the extra step that Foursquare takes in an effort to bring people together.  If you and one of your friends both add the same item on your t0-do lists, Foursquare will send an email that explains how both of you have marked this as an experience you would like to have, and they suggest that you go together.

The first time I received this email, I was blown away.  I immediately called my friend and explained what had happened.  He said that he had seen the same email, and we proceeded to make plans to check out the new hot spot.  We had a great time, and it probably would not have happened if Foursquare hadn’t made the connection for us.

Afterwards, I immediately began thinking of all the potential connections that this virtual icebreaker could make.  Imagine if a prospective client of yours happened to mark the same to-do as you.  You now have an excuse to call them to set a meeting.  Or, better yet, imagine the excitement if you saw that you and your love interest were both interested in checking out the new Italian restaraunt in town.  You can call him or her and explain that it must be fate, and you should make plans to go together.  You both have a great time, decide to date, get married, and live happily ever after.  Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but it could happen!

So, keep checking in to your favorite places around town.  You never know what connection you’ll make next.