Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

Rethinking Klout

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

There’s been a lot said about Klout.

I don’t want to get into a rehash of what’s said before, but I want to express a couple of thoughts I have about the service.

I will say that the +K efforts that Klout rolled out is a step in the right direction. But even that has limited appeal. Let’s take a look at an example.

Below is my Klout profile, with a list of people I influence and a list of topics I’m influential about. Now, notice my bio, which was imported straight from my Twitter bio.


Yes, I have a food blog, and I write about Wisconsin a lot. Now what do tweeps think I am influential about?

Klout Topics

Milwaukee and food.

So the problem I have with +K, essentially, is that those topics (and more not pictured) are already summed up in my profile. In other words, tweeps who fill out detailed profiles don’t gain anything with +K. Sure, my score goes up, but I don’t really care about that.

What I care about is connecting. And I generally already connect with people who fill out their Twitter profile, so the +K hasn’t given me much impetus to be excited.

What I’d like to see

Let’s allow the user to have some sort of influence over the topics that are auto-generated. Or even just an immediate refresh if you delete ones you don’t think pertain to you.

As it is, experimenting with +K has reaffirmed my support for Klout as lukewarm.


Why Oust.Me Saved Foursquare

July 20, 2011 2 comments

A screenshot of, featuring one of my territories (red) and the territory of someone else (grey).

I’ve been a Foursquare user for a few years, and my interest has been waning in the past year, as others have already discussed.

I, however, didn’t fully quit Foursquare. Instead I simply checked in at select locations, ones that were badge-eligible, ones where I was mayor or close to it, or ones where I knew my friends would be.

In essence, I slimmed down my Foursquare checkins.

But that’s changed with It makes a game of your checkins. Sure, Foursquare gives you points for checkins and other things, but this add-on is better.

What the site does is take your geolocation checkins (Gowalla and Facebook Places included) and put them on a Google map. Then, it takes three of your checkins less than 2 kilometers from each other and builds a territory. If you territory intersects with another, a level of influence is taken into account. The best part is that it does this automatically after you sync it with your geolocation service.

It’s gotten me to check in to venues that I would normally not check in from because it didn’t pertain to any of the three criteria listed above.

Yeah, I know. Not every social media channel has to have a game component, but this one is no work, all fun. So settle down and let’s play!

(I have not been contacted by or compensated for my opinions above.)

A call for Wisconsin @foursquare badges

December 13, 2010 2 comments

Photo courtesy of foursquare

Lately I’ve been getting back into using foursquare after the company has seen an influx of new badges.

Unfortunately — and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a great example of this — there are a lot of badges that are specific to certain cities. And if you’re not in those cities, tough luck.

I think city-specific badges break down into three categories.

  1. Conference badges. The biggest example is of the SXSW badges, but there are other more recent examples, too.
  2. Followers badges. These badges are unlocked by following another foursquare user, then checking in to certain locations. Chicago has the richest user experience in this department.
  3. Miscellaneous badges. There’s tons of these badges out there, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving badge. There are others, though, too.

That’s why I think Wisconsin needs to step up and create some state-specific badges. There are a lot of opportunities, but here are a few:

  • Summerfest is the biggest musical festival in the world, so why not award a Big Gig badge to attendees?
  • Given that I am also a food blogger, perhaps an Eat Wisconsin badge for checking in to the Wisconsin Products Pavilion at Wisconsin State Fair.
  • How about a Badgered badge from Travel Wisconsin when you check in to a Wisconsin venue tagged “travelwisconsin.”
  • Perhaps a Spread Your Wings badge for checking in to Brise Soleil at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Those are my ideas so far. Maybe I’ll continue to think possible badges up, but it would be great if some Wisconsin entity, whether it’s on my list or not, take up the task and create and sponsor some Wisconsin-specific badges.

What Wisconsin-specific badges would you create?

The stagnation of social networks

August 11, 2010 1 comment

I’m on a lot of social networks. And I enjoy keeping up with my online and offline friends on all of them. Building and interacting with a community each day is a lot of fun.

But lately, some of them just haven’t been as engaging or have suffered problems that set them back. And that’s led me to wonder: Are some social networks stagnating?

Foursquare: This social network erupted earlier this year as a lot of Twitter users flocked to incorporate the location-based application. It was used heavily by users to see where their friends are, see where the happening place is on a given night, and earn badges. But I think a lot of users are going through what I am, too: Not a full withdrawal from it, but a huge dropoff in check-ins. I check in to places where I’m the mayor, where I’m close to being the mayor and where I’ve never been before.

How to solve it? Mike Wisniewski of @CometBranding offered a good solution. Read it here. (GigaOM has a story worth reading, too.)

Twitter: It’s no secret that this social platform is quite popular, and growing quite rapidly. And, as a art enthusiast, I enjoy looking at the famed Fail Whale. But it’s been happening too often lately. It seems that the user base is growing — with no sign of stopping — at a rate faster than the company can handle. Even Mashable has questioned whether the company can scale up with its increasing userbase.

How to solve it? Unknown. I’ve read a lot about whether people think Twitter is scalable. But with the rollout of promoted tweets through Twitter’s API, perhaps this is the beginning?

Facebook: Well, I think we all know about this. But the main issue here for me is the terms of service. As Jim Raffel pointed out in his #MKELikemind discussion, how many times has the company changed its terms of service in the past year?

How to solve it? Up for discussion. For me, I tolerate it, only because a lot of contacts I want to keep in touch with are connected with me only on Facebook. That’s what makes this social network more important than others: Its user base is far greater, and growing all the time.

To me, those are the big three. But I’m also on a lot of other social networks and have begun to explore them. Perhaps I’ll soon come across those stagnating as well. Are there other social networks you think are stagnating?

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