Heads Up Foursquare, Here Comes Facebook

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Today I read about the unveiling of Facebook deals(in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK). What is Facebook deals you might ask? First, let’s take a quick tour of location-based social services. The two I tend to hear the most about (and the two I use) are Gowalla and Foursquare. Each of these services basically allow for a person to check-in somewhere, alert their friends to their location, share photos, and discover new places. 

Both have a way of rewarding users, either through accomplishment badges or pins, which really ads a gamey(?) element that people seem to enjoy. I, for one, and particularly proud of my “I’m On a Boat!” badge.

Foursquare decided they wanted to offer a little more, so they instituted Specials. If, for example, I were to check-in at a movie theater, I might find a special attached to that check-in for a free popcorn. This of course encourages people to sign up for the service in hopes of getting free chips and salsa each time they go to Chili’s (which you do). 

Now that we’ve covered that, Facebook deals might make a bit more sense. It’s the same concept: check-in somewhere and identify deals nearby for discounts and free stuff. So, who cares if others are already doing it? Here is an excerpt from the Facebook statistics page:

  • There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
  • There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.

Foursquare currently has just over 6 million users total for the service. They actually have a pretty sweet looking infographic to illustrate the 2010 year as a whole.

So, there are probably two questions I’d ask right now:

  1. If Facebook offers deals, is there any incentive (outside of the game aspect) for new users to sign up for Foursquare?
  2. Will Foursquare and others live on as specialized and niche services that people will continue to use and adopt in spite of Facebooks new features?

That’s it.

The Hollywood Sign

This past weekend my wife and I hiked to the back of the Hollywood sign. I couldn’t resist but take my camera. Since I couldn’t get the entire view in one frame, I combined a total of 4 frames for this image and added the front view as a point of reference from the second part of our hike. Hopefully more photos from the hike itself coming soon!

La_basin

Living Social + Amazon = Boom!

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Yesterday, the online-daily-coupon-emailing-company known lovingly as Living Social made 1,301,296 people very happy. Offering 50% off of a $20 Amazon gift card (making it $10 to do the math), subscribers jumped at the chance to cash in (I did). Why would Amazon do this? Probably because it just invested $175 million in the company.

So, let’s do some quick math:

1,301,296 people x $10 savings = $13,012,960 (You can check my math and I won’t be insulted. I’m not good with numbers.)

That’s a lot of money Amazon gave away yesterday. Of course, that’s assuming everyone actually cashes in on the gift cards. And it probably won’t be spent all at the same time. And the entire gift card may not be spent when it is spent. And there’s just a lot of ands.

Overall, I say “Nice job Amazon [pat on the back], I like where your heads at.” But that’s just me. Maybe Groupon should be reconsidering that Google offer…just saying. Also, other businesses out there, people like this kind of stuff…just saying.

Photoshop is Legit

I was doing some research today on Photoshop CS5 since I had heard some pretty cool rumors/stories about its capabilities. In wondering around I stumbled upon the Terry White Tech Blog youtube channel. In a word, awesome…both the youtube channel and Photoshop. Anyway, here are two quick tutorials to show some of the amazing capabilities of the newest edition. After watching these, I don’t think I’ll be able to ever believe a “crazy” photo again.