Are You Participating In Foursquare Day on April 16?

This Friday (April 16), more than 100 cities around the globe will participate in Foursquare Day, a day where “mayors” will surely be un-seated, unique badges awarded and swarms of iPhone-clad digiratis will flock to public places and do only God knows what.

From PC World: “Check-in at more places, and at the same place more frequently, than other users to generate the highest amount of points in your area and earn special badges for specific kinds of check-ins. For example, a user who checks into 20 different pizza places can earn the coveted “Pizzaiolo” badge, or the “Swarm” badge for checking into a Foursquare venue with at least 50 other users.”

Will you participate? C’mon. You know you want that “Pizzialo” badge. Although, college frats may have dibs on that. Also, what LA? not participating? #shockedbummedsad

For the working bit, check out the nifty list of participating businesses and sponsors:
Smart People List #1
Smart People List #2

Full piece here.


Facebook Fairytales Share Real Stories

Being in the trenches of MAR/COMS, it’s sometimes difficult to take a step back from the branded CPMs and recognize the incredible things happening in ordinary lives — made possible by ordinary people — thanks to the power of social networks.

I was pleasantly reminded of this when reading an interview with Facebook Fairytales author Emily Einhorn Liebert. Liebert’s book is stacked full of 25 heartwarming (some tragic) stories of amazing reunions, love stories, adoptions that have been made possible thanks to Facebook.

You can learn more about Leibert and her book, Facebook Fairytales in her own group. Why do I get the feeling we’ll see her on Oprah?

The next time you’re wrapped up in the latest political dust-up, celebrity scandal or international crisis, it might do you good to pick up a copy.

How To Handle A Customer Complaint: 101 – Or I Heart Richard Branson Part III

The latest entry on my series, Why I heart Sir Ricky B is really a no-brainer in customer service.

Picture it. An air passenger receives poor service, dodgy food and amenities, but rather than take it out on the nearest attendant, uses a pinch of humor to send a message of woe to the big boss. Blink and it’s 2010, his complaint has gone viral and it’s learned Branson personally telephoned the author.

What could have easily blown into a lawsuit or Crisis PR dream, was easily diffused by kindness, humor and a little forgiveness. The next time you feel like taking out your anger on an innocent employee, consider mom’s advice and write a letter — and answer your phone.

Twitter Buzz?

Logged onto Twitter this evening and saw this…

#Olympics Use Social Media To Connect Crews, Athletes and Fans

Whether you’re an athlete, fan or one of the thousands of crew in Vancouver, chances are you’re using social media to stay connected during these Olympic Games.

Thanks to Samsung and their clever WOW service, everyone will be connected via the mobile network – preferably via the new Samsung Mythic and track everything from medal counts to snow storms.

NBC’s Web site offers a slick portal to track just about anything Olympian with widgets, RSS, socnets, blogs and more including their slick “Olympic Pulse” Tweet Sheet which offers a real-time stream right from the athletes. Now may be your chance to find out what Shaun White eats for breakfast. Victory Wheaties?

For everything else, track Olympics on Twitter using @Olympics or hashtags #olympics and #vancouver.

Find Out What the World is Buzzing About via Twitter Location App

It’s Friday and raining in Los Angeles. Therefore, the entire city shut down and collective intelligence dwindled to only comprehending catchy phrases and pretty colors.

No better time than to discuss one of my new obsessions – Twitter’s Location Trending app. The app lets you quickly see the top ten or so trending topics, based by location. London. Seattle. New York City. Or via countries like the UK, Brazil and Mexico – even worldwide.

Sure. It’s got a ways to go (looks like only Western countries/cities at the moment) but a nifty tool considering it lets you get tap HIVEMINDS around the world in just a few clicks.

A quick glance today show’s most folks have gone mad for iPad and John Terry while other, but other intriguing topics are trending, depending on market including Juarez (Mexico), Friedrich Nietzche (Sao Paolo) and Black History Month (Los Angeles). Then there’s the adoption of weird conversations across different markets. #hospitalsongs. WTF?

Some may intrigue, while others may bring a smile. Either way, get into the habit of using this free tool to get a bead on trending topics in your core markets. Don’t be afraid to go beyond your own borders too. News doesn’t always start in your own backyard.

#FINALLY Foursquare for BlackBerry

Last week, the long awaited Foursquare mobile app was made available to BlackBerry users.

Must we take it seriously? Hell, yes. Just look at the numbers.

In North America, for example, the iPhone accounts for 65% of mobile usage, while the DROID and BlackBerry are at 8% and rising. In Europe, the iPhone accounts for 46% of mobile usage, while the DROID and BlackBerry are at 3% and rising. Source: Quantcast Mobile Report

At first blush, it may seem too small a number to consider when looking at Big Daddy iPhone, but we’re talking about potentially reaching tens of millions, not forgetting Asia and Oceania where BlackBerry usage is even greater. Also consider London, LA and NYC were some of the biggest users of Foursquare even before the BlackBerry app.

Think about the typical BlackBerry user. We either own our own device out of necessity or have it assigned to us for work purposes. Why? To remain “plugged-in” while on-the-go. Will the urge to “check-in” from our favorite lunch meeting spot be too hard to resist? Only time will tell.

For now, I recommend signing up and trying out the Beta. It may not be perfect for all of your clients, but certainly something you’ll want to bring to the next board meeting.