Dear Foursquare: You just don't understand my feelings anymore

Dear Foursquare.com:

When we met, it felt like you really cared about me and my feelings. You used to help me stay better connected to people. Now you only connect me to places in a mindless game.

What was once an interesting and useful relationship has become an irrelevant distraction. I’m taking you off my iPhone’s shortcuts dock for now, but I hope this note might help you change in ways that make you relevant in my life again. I’m going to take a break from our friendship for a while rather than unfriending other people… Continue reading

Skittles goes all in on Twitter

Skittles Vodka (with instructions on Flickr)

Skittles Vodka (with instructions on Flickr)

In a brilliant publicity move, tonight Skittles made its website home page primarily a Twitter search on “Skittles.” (They overlay a menu that lets you get to other Skittles content, including Facebook, Flickr and Wikipedia.)

Even if they take it down quickly, everyone will be talking about it for some time to come.

Like any good publicity stunt, this required rare courage.

I’ve already read several folks putting obscenities together with Skittles (some more creatively than others), or folks just adding the word to any tweet. The conversation will be as much backlash and criticism as anything else. But the point is exactly that people are talking about what Skittles did. And any publicity is good publicity, right? You just can’t buy the kind of media this will generate.

As well, we’ll all learn something in the conversations and fallout. That alone is worth the experiment. Bravo, Skittles.

Update (9:21am Monday):
Skittles is generating so much traffic to to Twitter that users are complaining of timeouts on loading pages (and TweetSuite isn’t yet updating with all the folks who’ve been kind enough to tweet a link to this blog). I’m looking forward to hearing from @abdur, Twitter’s Chief Scientist and creator of search.twitter.com, what he thinks of all this (and whether Skittles gave him a heads up).

@dalelarson on skittles.com

@dalelarson on skittles.com

Update 2 (Monday afternoon):
I liked this post, inspired me to think a bit deeper and comment:
Skittles Goes Modernista! With A Distributed Experience.

So far the only comments I’ve seen out of Twitter about Skittles are:
I am neither… there are both pro and con points” (thanks for getting back to me, Abudur!),
and
Netik’s quick response to @LaughingSquid: “I don’t know what they’re thinking.
Though one might take this status blog entry to mean that Skittles blew a fuse at Twitter’s datacenter: “We experienced a brief data center power failure this morning affecting a small number of servers. Site performance was degraded for 5 minutes.

A hint about good presentations, Politics as an example of transparency? and OMMA Social

The best speakers bring authenticity through personal stories.

It was easy to focus on Rich Ullman‘s lunchtime talk during OMMA Social today as he creatively wove in stories and slides from his experience over the last 48 hours. (Sorry about that olive, Rich.)

He made a point about transparency making newly appointed U.S. Senator Gillibrand an example. With the news around her appointment, he’d just learned that as a congresswoman, her Sunlight Report broke ground making her the first to list her official schedule daily (who she is meeting with) and among the first to disclose all her earmark requests and post her financial disclosure reports.

Cool!

Take it one step further:
I’d love it if every member of congress had a Twitter feed updated as they went through their daily meetings and proposed, amended, or voted on budgets or legislation. Following those I vote for would be manageable and give me a much deeper awareness and sense of engagement.

[Rich was kind enough to upload his slides to Slideshare within an hour of my request. Thanks!]
[You might also be interested in live blog posts about each presentation at OMMA Social by @dberkowitz]

Best iPhone Twitter app comes down to Tweetie vs. Twittelator Pro

Tweetie screenshot main page

Tweetie screenshot main page

Gizmodo’s new comprehensive review of iPhone apps evaluated many more than I did (“ten zillion”), but matches my own experience. We both narrow it down to Tweetie vs. Twittelator Pro.

I’ve been switching back and forth between the two for the last month or two. Either is a great app with the edge for smoothness going to Tweetie (which also seems to display more tweets on the page). The edge for pure power goes to Twittelator Pro.

Twittelator Pro screenshot main page

Twittelator has a great feature I wish was included in other iPhone apps:  a button to scroll down a whole page at a time. This is especially useful in catching up with a long list of tweets. This is the only app I’ve seen with this functionality, so it’s a nice innovation.

The other power feature I make use of in Twittelator is the ability to define my own saved searches.

I can’t think of anything in Tweetie that Twittelator doesn’t do (well, there are fart noises and the flashlight if you enable the Popularity Enhancer).

Despite all that, my current swing is in favor of Tweetie, though I still switch it up. Which do you prefer?

One Best Business Strategy for Facebook, Twitter, Digg or LinkedIn

In Twitter isn’t the point, Holly Ross of NTEN comments on a study showing that influence and word of mouth are becoming more important than ever to consumer behavior, and more of it is happening online. She goes on:

I think we’re missing the mark, though.  It’s not really about Twitter.  It’s not about Facebook.  It’s not about whatever the next buzzword is.

It’s about friends.

It’s about building real relationships that inspire people to act on your behalf.  That’s the skill we should focus on building. Whether it’s Twitter or Digg or Facebook or LinkedIn, it’s about those relationships.

We have to teach ourselves to operate that way again.

We commonly use phrases like “Facebook Strategy” or “Mobile Strategy,” but we’d never talking about building a house in terms of “Hammer Strategy.”   The technologies are just tools and our language is tricking us.

When we’re wowed by case-studies showing off the power and effectiveness of these tools, we’re really being impressed the underlying strategy, a powerful one that we can all take advantage of.

It’s easy to forget that it has always been one of the best business and marketing strategies to make friends. We do that by focusing on others, on listening to them and meeting their needs. How will your business be making friends and thriving in 2009?

Six Alternatives to the Same Old Holiday Cards

What to do? Paper Christmas cards seem eco-unfriendly. Ecards just seem unfriendly. Thoughts/alternatives?

What to do? Paper Christmas cards seem eco-unfriendly. Ecards just seem unfriendly. Thoughts/alternatives?

Looking for the best way to connect during the holidays? Me too.

At one time, I mailed cards each December as part of maintaining important relationships personal and professional. But I’d fallen out of the habit.

Wanting to restart or create a new habit in line with my values, I turned to the collective wisdom of Twitter (and Facebook) to ask “What to do? Paper Christmas cards seem eco-unfriendly. Ecards just seem unfriendly. Thoughts/alternatives?”

I was surprised by the instant response with so many wonderful ideas to share! Read on for the best so far, and add your ideas to the comments. Continue reading

Could Twitter's transcendent clarity trump Facebook?

Like email, IM, and text messaging before it, Twitter is destined to become a common communication tool familiar to all. What might be less clear is the long term fate of particular social networks like Facebook and Linkedin.

How could this make sense? Facebook and Linkedin already have considerable revenues. Twitter has zero. They also have far more users than Twitter. And so on. Some have even said Twitter is not a business.

Yet Twitter has a kind of transcendent clarity.

It’s not that Twitter now tops the list of fastest growing social networks or that Facebook offered to buy Twitter for $500 million.

Continue reading