Free State Social – Scott Raymond #fssocial

Scott RaymondTitle – Location Based Social Networks

Scott Raymond, Co-founder and CEO CTO of Gowalla

Fun thought – someone is in their basement right now, coding something that will be huge in 3 months.

A funny thing – while building the first version of Gowalla, he had to actually code a bit, then go outside and check in somewhere, then go back home and code some more, etc.

He thinks location is fundamental.

Macroscope – a way to access the world at a social scale. Helps us see what the aggregation of many small actions looks like when added together.

Services like gowalla act like macroscopes.

Passports are cool, because they tell a story. In the passport view of gowalla, you can see a recorded version of a person’s life through his passport stamps.

Photos – you’re sharing with your friends … Like what the food looks like. But you’re also sharing with everyone else who checks into the restaurant or place. That’s huge.

Hotspots… Sort of like trending twitter topics. Places getting lots of checkins get put at the top of the list.

business case:

deals: during sxsw, they gave away virtual tacos … Then you could go to the real restaurant, and get a real taco. Gowalla was going to pay for it. The company, One Taco (I think), said forget about paying, because they sold 12 tacos for every one, and had a huge line down the block the whole week because of that one virtual taco giveaway.

Service

Location based services can provide data.

A restaurant manager, for example, can see who his most frequent visitors are, then contact them via Twitter. It should be possible for that manager to be emailed when a loyal frequent customer checks in so they can go to the table,  shake their hand, comp their wine. Wow.

Presence

The check in shows up on his facebook stream. Shows he was really there, had a good experience. It’s word of mouth.

What if you could infiltrate your competitor’s space … What if one competitor “owned” another’s Location-based space, and could leave messages there?

They made a game for a laptop bag company sold at Apple stores. You check into an apple store, possibly see an ad for a case … and you could get a badge. If you collected all 6, you could get a free real bag.

He sees gowalla as less of a game and more of a sharing experience. And the visuals are nice.

Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!

This is a follow-up post to my original post, Foursquare and Libraries – Anything There?

Lots of you left some great ideas in the comments, so I thought I’d do a little copy/paste and highlight some of them … because they’re really very cool ideas!

So – here are what some of YOU are doing with Foursquare:

  • Colleen Greene: Pollak Library (at Cal State Fullerton) is using it in beta mode, adding in a bunch of To Do items and Tips for students (i.e., get a Titan Card, set up their borrowing privileges, check their circulation record, use one of our AV or Group study rooms, visit the latest exhibit, etc.). our Social Media Team is exploring the idea of prizes. I am also teaching our campus social media working group how to use it and incorporate it into a campus culture.
  • Jason Clark: Saw this in a tweet from NYPL which talks about the kernel of an idea – summer reading meets foursquare . A friendly reading competition in the mobile space? Job description provides some more detail. While this isn’t true foursquare integration, it points to how foursquare could lead to/inspire new library apps and services.
  • Brad Czerniak: Canton Public Library offers a weekly prize to their Mayor. Just a concept. This week it’s a #totebag http://twitpic.com/ynn7x
  • libmario: Harvard and UNC recently teamed up with Foursquare to encourage social engagement with the campus community ,including faculty. Innovative way to encourage learning and connections that could be extended to libraries. – http://mashable.com/2010/01/12/harvard-foursquare/

And one interesting sidenote. Sometimes, people can be a bit negative about our libraries while adding tips to Foursquare. For example, Stephen Francoeur said “Saddened to see that one tag already added to my library: shitty wifi. Hope to find a way to turn that perception around.”

We’ve had one of those, too. Jason D. added this To Do list item to my library’s entry: “Late fees are being enforced, so to help you remember to take your books in, sign up for email reminders via tscpl.org.” Not sure that’s really a negative comment, but it makes us sound a bit like “enforcers of the evil late fee” or something…

Anyway, yet another use for Foursquare – see what customers say about you in the Tips and To Do lists sections (then see if you can improve or fix those things).

Feel free to friend me in Foursquare!

Foursquare and Libraries – Anything There?

Library entry in foursquareFoursquare is a location-based game. From Foursquare’s website: “We’re all about helping you find new ways to explore the city. We’ll help you meet up with your friends and let you earn points and unlock badges for discovering new places, doing new things and meeting new people.”

Basically, Foursquare works like last.fm or librarything, but instead of sharing music you’ve listened to or books you’ve read, you’re sharing places you’re visiting, and aggregating that list out to your friends.

To play, install an app on your phone, via an iPhone or Android app (a Blackberry one is in the works). You can also use the mobile version of their website for other phones that have web access. Then go visit places … like a coffee shop, a restaurant … basically wherever it is that you go. Once there, “check in” with the app. Checking in gives you points and badges. If you visit a place more than anyone else, you become the “mayor” of that place (until your title is swiped by someone else).

Friend people, and see your points tallied with everyone on your friends list. In the process, you can also create to-do lists and tips at each place you visit, and suggest things for your friends to try or do. Every time you do something, it can be shared with your Twitter and Facebook friends.

wifi tag in foursquareSo … how does this relate to libraries again?

Well… here are some ideas for your library or organization on Foursquare:

  1. Add your library as a place, or edit the entry if someone else has already added it. You can enter your street address (Google map is included, phone number, and your library’s Twitter name.
  2. Add tags relevant to the library. For example, I have added the tags library, books, music, movies, and wifi to my library’s Foursquare entry. If you are in the area (Foursquare is a location-based service, so it knows where you are) and search for wifi – guess who’s at the top of the list? Yep – the library.
  3. Add Tips and To Do lists. When you check in to a place, you have the option to add tips of things you can do there, and you can create To-Do lists of things you want to do there. For libraries, both are helpful – it’s a way to broadcast your services to Foursquare players. To Do lists are handy, because you can make the list and other players can add those To Do list items to their lists, too. When they do something on those lists, they gain points. Think of it as a fun way to get people doing stuff at your library! Just think – someone could gain points by getting a library card – how cool is that?
  4. Add your big events. Then, you can have an event check-in with prizes for the first person who checks in, etc.
  5. Shout outs. These are a type of status update, and can be sent to Twitter and Facebook. So do stuff, then shout out that you’ve done them.

Ok – so Foursquare is definitely fadish right now, and is mainly played by Twitter and Facebook users. But it’s also a great way to connect with a very active, involved online mobile community – and pretty much every city and town has that these days.

Here are a couple of other articles on Foursquare:

We’ll see how it goes – if you’re curious, feel free to follow me on Foursquare!

Update – check out my follow-up post, Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!

Game-Making Development Kit is Free

Ever wanted to make a game, but didn’t know where to start? Here’s one way -download the Unreal Developer Kit from NVIDIA. More from their site:

NVIDIA now offers the Unreal® Development Kit, a free version of the award-winning Unreal® Engine 3, the software development framework used to create computer and video games, 3D simulations, TV shows, films and more.

Anyone can download UDK and work with the same game development tools used to create blockbuster games, architectural walkthroughs and digital movies. UDK ships with the latest version of the Unreal® Editor, with its unrivaled content creation toolset and rapid prototyping functionality. It can be found on NVIDIA’s Developer Zone site at http://developer.nvidia.com/object/udk.html or at the UDK home site, www.udk.com.

Read more about it here.

Gaming and Libraries: Intersections of Service – TSCPL #staffday

Jenny Levine, ALA

1850s – libraries in Britain – pool halls in libraries, 1880s early chess club in a library

2005 or so – entering Eighth Age of librarianship – a participatory age.

Redefining what we mean by reading (Second Life avatar reading a book, avatars listening to someone else read a book in SL)

Gaming has been in the library (1850s) longer than KIDS have been in the library!

“stare at the screen all day” – it’s not passive – it’s active, and two-way

“he just sits there all day long…” – balance is the issue – shouldn’t read all day, play sports all day, game all day – gaming is not the problem – balance is

What would happen if video games would have been invented before books? – books are tragically isolating… no interaction, etc (Steven Johnson quote)

“aren’t social” – video games are actually very social.

“they already play videogames at home” (Eli Neiberger) – well, why do we do storytime at the library, if you can read at home? The library adds value to it… same thing with the library and gaming. We’re one of the last non-commercial facilities out there!

“Gaming is too loud…” Our libraries are loud, too!

“Libraries are about books” – and crocheting, and music, and etc etc etc – not just books anymore

“violent video games” – 85% of games are rated for everybody

Numbers – define gaming: any type of game. Summer reading is the biggest game in the library!

Who’s a gamer? Everyone pretty much – average age of gamer – 35 – middle-aged women are the largest demographic of gamers

talking about teaching a college-level statistics course for athletes – using Madden Fantasy Football

Gaming is a social experience for teens – gamers tend to be more civically engaged than non-gamers.

Games as readers advisory (from Beth Galloway): if you like to play Halo, here’s what you might enjoy reading…

Some libraries are offering Senior Spaces that have gaming as an introduction to technology. They use the Wii or the XBox, teens show the seniors how, then the seniors move to computer tech from there.