Category Archives: Location

Weekly Round-Up w/o 5/16/11

Social Media

Your Content

Trend Lunch

Each month Anthem San Francisco hosts a Trend Lunch to share trends in culture, marketing and design. Here are some highlights  from last week’s lunch:


Weekly Round-Up 5/9/11

Social|Local|Mobile –SoLoMo

  • Groupon’s fast ascension to establish and lead the deals space is challenged with the introduction of Facebook Deals and other established incumbent entrants such as Yahoo! And AT&T Interactive.  Where Groupon has to rely on paid acquisition for new email and socialgraph distribution to drive demand and activation, Facebook Deals owns those channels for 600mm worldwide. Hard to compete with “free” or sunk costs. Other Incumbents like Yahoo! And AT&T Interactive can leverage sophisticated email marketing intellectual property and systems along with other forms of communications and relationships built into their existing businesses.
  • Here’s how Facebook’s thinking about deals—something between friends
  • Facebook begins paying users to watch advertisements because of low banner click-through rates.
  • Today, 17% of mobile users are using location-based apps, or 70mm+ of projected 2011 smartphone & tablet users.  Half of these people are concerned about privacy, but can these be mitigated by greater transparency, utility and even value-exchange dynamics we’re seeing from the deals space?

BTW, note how the linked article decries “only 17%” using LBS–it’s amazing that nearly 20% of an enormous installed base are already here and growing. New behaviors and media used to take decades, then years and now months to create. Little perspective.

  • R/GA’s Richard Ting weighs in on the cleverly named “New Social Media Splinternet”—while we’re big fans of Richard’s thinking, we respectfully disagree about holding off on experimentation with emerging platforms or that marketers lost their shirts as some platforms failed to emerge to scale. Ping us if you’d like to see our applied strategies for evaluating emerging media and its fit for your brand, strategy and objectives
  • Social-Loco 2011conference was in town last week. We’ll work on a more comprehensive recap shortly, and in the meantime, here are slides used to frame one of the great panels from the day:

In Other News: Apple


  • Make sure to turn it up a notch on your next run.  According to both Medincine & Science in Sports & Exercise and Ultimate Bootcamp, sprinting burns more fat than running longer–fits the theme from fast-spaces to fast companies to leaner start-ups; super performance is built into speed.

How are you planning your SXSW calendar? (Work in Progress)

Working on card-sorting SXSW interactive events is a bit of an art. In attempt to put some more science as well as to crowd-source some of the places I should be, I’ve turned to a couple of cloud-based tools. Plancast is a great social event tool that will likely be a breakout at SXSW this year in part due to its relevance for event-goers. It’s incredibly useful and plays nice with all your desktop, enterprise and mobile calendars. You can subscribe to my plans and see what plans my friends have as a way of prioritizing and planning connections. It’s discovery, serendipity and choice-meets-chance in an app.

I’ve also married plans that seem interesting with a Google calendar to see how over committed I am along with what events I’ll prioritize when I bounce from one to another. Here’s a handy peek at that Google calendar which should link to a live version of my plans:


Google Calendar of Plancast Schedule

Google Calendar of SXSW Plans, Agenda Format

Are you going or have had to organize similar complexity at an event with overlapping tracks. Have you found a better way to organize, prioritize and curate?

Look forward to your thoughts in the comments below.

Gowalla Embraces Buy/Build/Borrow for Greater Utility

In the check-ins space trade media casts Foursquare and Gowall as archrivals, in spite of principals from each service downplaying the competition. Both will compete for marketing dollars to be sure, but each consider their platform a departure from the others in focus, with Foursquare focusing on rewards and game mechanics and Gowalla emphasizing the discovery/touring experience. Gowalla further punctuated this point by integrating Foursquare into its latest release. This is a great move and should be directional advice for anyone in the space. By building great APIs Foursquare has advanced its role and value in the ecosystem as a platform. With Gowalla they get greater distribution and metadata passed back to its services on what consumers want. Gowalla also has APIs and it was only a matter of time before a third party integrated the two services into a mash-up app. Already, forward-thinking services like Geotoko are providing one-stop anaylitics and services for Foursquare and Gowalla. In the web2.0 space it’s smart to move quickly on the buy/build/borrow decision towards the goal of offering greatest utility.

Here’s a quick video with Andy Ellwood from Gowalla when he dropped into Real Branding back in July during the GeoLoco conference sharing their focus on utility, user experience and the social benefits of sharing those with friends and your networks:

We believe the geo-location space and services are nascent and that it is very early days. It’s great that we’ve got so many smart & dedicated resources working on winning solutions for consumers and ultimately marketers. That’s why I believe there’s a bigger story here than simply one versus another slugging it out for a single-winner scenario. Stay tuned.


Weekly Round-Up 11/29/2010

This round-up may have been inspired by all the Black Friday-Monday marketing activity because there’s a lot of shopping and news about news to cover:

Social Shopping/Virtual-Real World

News/Reporting Looking Forward & Back

And, curate this under the “Really?” tag:

  • In its march to ubiquity Facebook could soon own the trademark for the word, “Face

Laws of Check-Ins & Facebook Places doesn’t have to be Spammy

There’s an inverse corollary I’m proposing regarding Geo-Location: the fewer friends that you have, the greater the value of a Geo-location notice from a friend and in your socialgraph. The more friends that you have, the less value your check-ins are to that larger group. There are a lot of dynamics to support this hypothesis including why people follow/friend, what more centralized networks suggest, etc.

Here’s another part to my axiom-in-the-works:  The larger your network, the greater metadata value your check-in may have and the smaller your network, the less metadata value your check-in may offer (unless millions of small-node networks are at work with the same behaviors, etc.). So if a celebrity checks into a place, it may bode well for that place’s popularity and relevance. If one of my friends checks into the taco truck down the road, maybe not so much value unless a hundred people like him do the same.

With these thoughts in mind, I needed to quiet down my check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla so that my socialgraph, twitter stream and other networks aren’t overwhelmed with irrelevant data. In Foursquare and Gowalla I rarely “shout” my location out to my followers in that network and even less often will allow that check-in to leak out to Twitter or Facebook. Both services have done a good job of making that behavior opt-in versus default to protect users from unintentional location announcements.

FB Places ExampleIn Facebook, you can also quiet down your Places activity. On your home or profile page, access the “Account” pull-down in the upper right corner (see image). Go into Facebook “Account” Privacy Settings (linked here). Check “Custom Settings” and edit “Places” to “only me” and whatever other person/group/etc you want to share with. It’s that complicated and easy at the same time. 🙂 Now you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of Facebook check-ins of discovering nearby deals, people, events and places without having it show up in your stream as you see in the image here.

Any other tips for maximizing Geo-Location’s utility and value while minimizing its noise-potential?

Weekly Round-Up 11/01/10




Google news – Expedia, Travelocity say Google has crossed the “creepy line”


Weekly Round-Up 9/20/10

appnationApps/Mobile: Perhaps in honor of Drew Ianni’s successfully launching the AppNation Conference/Empire September 13-14 in San Francisco, it seems like most of the round-up is flavored with Mobile/Apps news, even in those that relate to Acquisitions, Apple and Facebook. Here are some App-related news inspired by the event:

Faux FB Phoney Facebook:


Social Media

Killer Apps:

Playdom enters the Magic Kingdom (part 2)

Last week Playdom’s acquisition by Disney closed. This week we spoke with Ben Chen, Head of Sales at Playdom, about SocialGaming’s mass adoption and future along with how brands can capitalize on the reallocation of consumer time in this space. To dimensionalize the opportunity briefly, with 45-minutes+ average engagement time, 100m US and UK players (over 200mm worldwide), and some early evidence that SocialGaming dynamics can change offline behaviors, this is a space marketers need to understand. Farmville, the first SocialGaming blockbuster, earns over 17.5 millon daily average users (DAUs)–only football, Obama interviews and a handful of other TV shows can garner that level of viewership–while delivering the kind of revenue that would put it on the top of Hollywood’s box office charts. To punctuate further, the 2010 Emmy’s earned 13.5 mm viewers and topped that week’s viewership charts. So think TV scale, Hollywood revenues and Gaming/Facebook levels of time and engagement.

Some additional data points:

Here’s our interview with Ben Chen of Playdom, the third largest app developer in Facebook:


What’s driving growth? Having a platform like Facebook with 500mm. Ben mentions the “K-factor” which is a graphing term applied by epidemiology to describe a viral effect.

Success rates in launching games? 60+%–with 2-years

Consumers are smart

Social City, 50 minutes average session, no drop off in levels of engagement until “level 29” with 3 million Daily Average Users (DAUs)

For consumers, it’s a commitment, so they want to see that the game will be there for the long haul and mandates respect for the consumer

How to respect the consumer?

  • What’s best for game and the user
  • Assets for game, additive a value-exchange for the user and brand
  • Playdom won’t short their user by popping up pre-rolls and banners to interrupt.