Facebook vs Foursquare

This is bad news.  As reported in Tech Crunch earlier this week, Facebook is moving in a direction I am for one not ecstatic about.  Not bad news for businesses but bad news for both Foursquare (the company) and all of the Facebook user community.

A bit of an overreaction?  Maybe.

Foursquare users already integrate this app with Twitter so all day you get to know where people are & what they are doing… even if this adds zero value to 99.9999999% of the world’s population.  I’ve already done a mild rant on this so I will digress.

But, with Facebook now looking to move into the location based messaging market, the whole world is in for something big and annoying.  Just like your Twitter feed, your Facebook wall will now be one massive list of where people are and what they are doing, ALL THE TIME.

My hope is that Facebook figures out that most of this is irrelevant and that there should be an extra tab on the main page for “News Feed”.  Maybe they will add a third list option.  Currently you are able to choose between “Top News” and “Most Recent” which are both helpful.  Imagine adding a third option of “Find Friends” or “Where Are They Now” or some other name will allow you to look for your friends, if you choose to look!

I am dreading the day that I log into Facebook and see everyone posting where they are at a particular moment.

I understand this is the wave of retail, restaurants and other businesses but don’t force-feed me this information if I don’t want to see it.

photo credit to Mitchell McKenna

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Over Thinking Social Media

I’m a thinker, a reader, a planner and then I will execute after I feel like I have covered many options.  But with social media, it is more of a think quick, try it, revise it and repeat it approach.

In a post last week, Lance Haun wrote about why you should mess up in your social media efforts and I agree with his view.  If you are sitting in a comfort zone and doing the same things repeatedly, what kind of strategy is that?  Do companies evolve to stay ahead of their competition?  Absolutely!  So why do you have the same approach to social media day after day after day?

I’ll tell you why, the unspoken rules.  You know those rules that people have spread around about etiquette, what to say and what not to say.  You know what, I was in that boat as well.

Here I am, the pot calling the kettle black, and jumping onto the new wave of social media.  Try a new approach, try a new direct message, heck – try anything new!  Think outside of the norm, of your norm, of your comfort zone and engage in a new way.  Add value to your network by doing something innovative.

Why should we wait for people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Brian Solis and others give their new thoughts away?  Beat these guys to the point and make it happen.

As Chris Brogan and Julian Smith put it in their book “Trust Agents”, make it a game.  Do something new, and then be a leader and tell others about it.  Add value by helping others… now go and have fun.  And kudos to Lance for getting me thinking in a new direction.

The Mobile ATS

Recruiting has been centralized around online applicant tracking systems (ATS) and being tied through traditional, non-mobile compatible applications.  In general terms, the entire application process is fairly lengthy for many companies and could be a detriment to candidates taking time to apply.

Now you introduce mobile phones and how many people rely on them for internet searches.  In a conversation with my brother-n-law, he let me know that he uses his iPhone for every type of search.  He only uses a computer or laptop if he needs to print something else.  I do not think he is in the minority in this regard either.

Mobile recruiting is already important and will only become more necessary in the short term.  But you also need a way for interested candidates to connect with you.

This will probably be an investment for all of us, but to connect and build relationships this is an absolute to be addressed, the sooner the better.  If companies wish to infuse their talent networks, we all must now think about how to merge the mobile world with the existing technology.

Social Media Certifications

These days you are able to apply for a certification for everything and anything, the latest entry into this is a Social Media Certification.

In general, certifications are nice and maybe a good learning experience but do they truly enhance your ability.  Anyone from any background is able to enter a certification course and gain the knowledge but that does not necessarily translate into usability.  There is an awful lot to learn, understand and apply into social media and just by taking a course will not make you any more savvy.  Sure, you might gain insight and potential tricks to use, but the application is so much more important.

Social media changes on an ongoing basis and keeping up with new tools, trends and even sites can be a full-time task.  Reading, interacting, connecting and adding value is how social media has made its mark.  Value is king though, if there was not value then no one would use it.

Get out there and use it in some business application.  Otherwise, it is great that you learned it, but I want to see what you’ve done with social media to make your mark.

Social Media Certifications

These days you are able to apply for a certification for everything and anything, the latest entry into this is a Social Media Certification.

In general, certifications are nice and maybe a good learning experience but do they truly enhance your ability.  Anyone from any background is able to enter a certification course and gain the knowledge but that does not necessarily translate into usability.  There is an awful lot to learn, understand and apply into social media and just by taking a course will not make you any more savvy.  Sure, you might gain insight and potential tricks to use, but the application is so much more important.

Social media changes on an ongoing basis and keeping up with new tools, trends and even sites can be a full-time task.  Reading, interacting, connecting and adding value is how social media has made its mark.  Value is king though, if there was not value then no one would use it.

Get out there and use it in some business application.  Otherwise, it is great that you learned it, but I want to see what you’ve done with social media to make your mark.

foursquare: I’m not sold

Foursquare, Gowalla, Whirrl and any other location based mobile social media “game” is definitely the buzz today, and rightfully so.  These have the potential to be very powerful tools for both businesses and users.

I have not bought into any of them for a variety of reasons.  What I have noticed is that businesses are doing some great and very interesting marketing tactics to connect further with the customers using these tools.  I have also noticed users adding absolutely zero value to their network.

Today I wanted to highlight what are my top 3 pro’s and con’s of foursquare, Gowalla, Whirrl and any other social networking location based tool.  In an effort to keep the videos short, I am just covering my top 3 points as I ramble.

To begin, let’s start on the positive side:

But, I am passionate about what I consider the negatives of these tools:

OK, so now you have read and viewed my brief takes on this subject and would enjoy hearing what you think about this.  Let me know if you agree, disagree or if I may have overlooked something – that happens too.  I look forward to your comments.