Oops, What Did I Just Do – and What to Do Next

This afternoon, I checked in to a place on Foursquare that I’d never actually go visit in person. Nothing against interesting establishments … but the problem was, I wasn’t there – I was on a plane.

I had just landed at the Kansas City International Airport. The place I didn’t visit and the airport that I did visit share similar names on Foursquare (Kansas City International Airport, and Kansas City International Airport Glory Hole), and the full name of the second place doesn’t display on the iPhone Foursquare app (see the screenshot in this post). Not paying much attention, I checked into the wrong place (and quickly received multiple Twitter replies and DMs, kindly suggesting that I perhaps checked into the wrong place).

Anyone ever done that before? Signed up for an app on Facebook, only to spam your friends list? Suddenly found your Twitter account asking everyone to “click here” when all you did was try out a new service? Or, like me, click something, and then realize that’s not what you wanted to do … but too late to take it back? This has the potential to be pretty embarrassing (thinking about the time I clicked a link in an email from someone that I had been waiting for an email from, only to watch in horror as my email account started spamming everyone in my contact list … including all library staff email accounts).

Yep. Been there, done that. And it’s bound to happen to some of us with our organizational accounts, too. Many of you no doubt have found tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite extremely useful – you can log into multiple accounts, both personal and organizational, at the same time. It ends up saving a ton of time … until you accidentally forget to turn something off. Then, much embarrassment and backpedaling ensues.

When this inevitably happens… what should you do?

  • First – don’t panic. It was a mistake, and we all make them.
  • Second – simply publicly admit the mistake. Say something like “oops – wrong account.” Or “How did that happen? Sorry about that” or something similar.
  • Third – delete the mistake if you can (I couldn’t until hours later, and I decided to let the accidental check-in stand. I find it mildly humorous)
  • If you sent out something potentially malicious (like one of those rogue spammy Facebook apps), you should send out a message warning your followers/friends to not click the link, it’s spam, and add a quick “sorry about that.” They’ll understand – most likely, they have done it themselves, too.


How can you avoid having this happen to you?

  • Look before you tweet – make sure you are sending what you think you are sending … before you send it!
  • Check for spelling oddities (auto-correct on the iPhone can do strange and amusing things to seemingly innocuous words).
  • If it’s an interesting-sounding app or tool, you might do a quick search in Google or Twitter first, to see what others thought about the app. This can quickly help weed out spammy apps.
  • Think about keeping your work accounts and your personal accounts separate. Meaning don’t put both on the same Tweetdeck install. Maybe use Hootsuite for work and Tweetdeck for personal, for example.

What else should I add here?

Meta Social: Online Interactions & how to make them ROCK

Here’s my presentation from today’s Handheld Librarian III web conference. It was a fun talk, and a great conference – lots of good food for thought.


Pennsylvania on Foursquare

Gary Price over at ResourceShelf sent me this – State of Pennsylvania Now Participating in Foursquare; First State to “Sign-Up”

What an interesting project – the State of Pennsylvania apparently worked a deal with Foursquare to have branded Foursquare badges. So for example, if you check-in on Foursquare at one of VisitPA’s recommended Foursquare restaurants, you earn the PA Shooflyer badge.

Cool, huh? In fact, PA’s Deputy Secretary of Tourism is quoted in a PR Newswire article as saying “We would like to see every Pennsylvania  restaurant, retail store, historical site, and museum join Foursquare … ” That’s pretty amazing.

Libraries – is your library on Foursquare yet (we are)? Something to think about … especially if you’re in Pennsylvania, I guess!

ps – make sure to check out ResourceShelf – good stuff! Hey Gary, can we earn a special Foursquare badge for signing up ? :-)

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!