James Mayes

Archive for the ‘Foursquare’ Category

Blog: FourSquare visualisation

In Conference, Foursquare, Mobile, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups, SXSWi on March 19, 2012 at 9:03 am
Just back from a week at SXSW, the year’s major global digital event. As always, loads of great new ideas and tools to share – but very much blown away by FourSquare this year. While not a new service, it certainly broke out in a way I haven’t witnessed first hand before. Previously, I’ve watched as people used competing geo-local services to organise and communicate, often with the activity being tied together on Twitter.
This year was different. FourSquare owned it, and not in a small way. Pretty much everyone I spent time with agreed FourSquare was their go-to place for geo-local discovery during the week, for meet-up organisations, for lunch planning, for parties, etc.  I’d love to see some traffic figures from the company on what happened during the week, and indeed whether those levels endure – but it was certainly amazing to watch and participate in. Example? I checked into the convention centre. Early users got excited by a Swarm badge for checking in with 50 other people. I checked in with over 3,700 other people on the second day.
Back to London now and contemplating implications of this.  I have another post on FourSquare in the works right now, but first up, I want to share a quick trick I found.  I felt Austin (SXSW host city) was fairly compact. Events around town, but all walkable. So how easy is it to extract info from FourSquare on my check-ins and verify this? Quite simple, as it happens!
  1. Log into the FourSquare website
  2. Take your 4sq KML feed from here
  3. Paste it into the search box here
  4. You’re done. Scroll and zoom as you please!

You’ll get the full history here. You can remove specific places if you choose and play with the display from there. Personally, I was just interested in my Austin adventures.

The next post will look in more detail at some specific usage which has relevance to recruiters. Right now though, I’d simply suggest if you’re using Facebook and Twitter as part of your social strategy but haven’t considered FourSquare, you have work to do – and not much time to do it in!

Blog: Twitter vs Foursquare – just a local micro-trend?

In Facebook, Foursquare, Mobile, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups, Twitter on March 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

I wrote recently about visualising FourSquare check-ins after I watched adoption of the platform skyrocket during SXSW. When I wrote that, I wanted to follow up with some micro-level observations on usage – and throw it out for wider validation. There are trends I’ve noticed which, if mirrored in your lives, have significant implications for recruiters and technologists alike. FourSquare isn’t the whole focus here, but certainly the catalyst for the thoughts.

First up – the scene.  I live in a small British town, not an urban metropolis.A handful of streets, close and friendly community, mixture of age groups, a very strong group of parents with school-age children (teenage and not-quite-teenage). A year ago, almost all were using Facebook. Some were absent, but amongst those I know well, adoption probably exceeded 80%.

Six months ago, a shift became apparent. The younger generation started hitting Twitter.  Mostly the chatter was around the music scene, but I noted a rise in smartphone around the same time. It was also evident that a few had unfriended parents in recent months on Facebook, so maybe that played a part. PLEASE, let me know what you see in your communities, I’d appreciate the feedback whether it validates or disproves! If this is borne out in the wider market, it certainly has implications for any recruitment campaign around the entry/graduate level of the market. I’d also note that while there’s been some adoption by adults, it’s been much less so. That segment still far more Facebook focussed. The teenagers are still active on Facebook, but to a lesser degree than a year ago.

FourSquare logoThe catalyst for this post remains FourSquare though. Over the last few months, a number of the parents have jumped on there. Im keen to understand why, and whether this is a wider thing. FourSquare was huge at SXSW, but that’s mecca for geeks, so makes perfect sense. The parties, the promotions, the networking, the discovery.

My area has minimal specials on there, so the recent adoption isn’t for money-saving reasons. If the kids aren’t there, it’s not for keeping track of them. It’s a fairly regular community, not a heavily digital selection, so that’s not it. Yes, there’s been an increase in smart phone adoption – but that delivers all kinds of opportunities, not just FourSquare. Certainly, there’s a focus and an interest around the mayorships – the gamification aspect is really driving engagement, no question.

Regardless – if you wanted to target this group, FourSquare’d be a great option right now – so clearly, I want to understand if this is a more widespread trend. If so, FourSquare and recruitment are only just getting acquainted…

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