Tag Archive: foursquare

2011 Tech Trends

I have really enjoyed the last few days of the year with family. Working a little here and there. No surprise that I’m  Tweeting, checking in with Foursquare, posting to Facebook, viewing LinkedIn status updates and now “pinning” thanks to AK Stout and Lisa Johnson who introduced me to pinterest. I think I will soon post a blog “Help me please! I’m addicted to another social media platform!”

Today, I’m thinking about the top tech trends of 2011 and contemplating what will be in store for us in 2012.

Top Tech Trends of 2011

My friend Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich says she believes 2012 will be the year of “integration of all disciplines.” She says:

This is kind of selfish one on my part (because I have a book coming out about it), but integration is going to be crucial next year. Today we talk about mobile, social, marketing, public relations, advertising, direct, email, customer service, and sales as if they’re working in silos. But 2012 is the year it needs to integrate. Customer service can’t do its job without talking to sales. Sales needs the help of public relations. And mobile can’t live without marketing. You’ll see these disciplines all work together, as if they’re in a circle, and not in silos.

What do you think 2012 has in store for social media and tech trends?

Preparing for FranCamp

We are just a few weeks away from FranCamp! There is a great deal going on behind the scenes to make this event one of the best in franchising.

Watch this video to find out who should attend

Learn more

Visit our Website http://fransocialcamp.com/

Be a FranCamp Groupie –  link here We are collecting suggestions for our sessions. We will also use LinkedIn to continue the discussion after the event.


Bring Your Own Device! Smartphone, iPad, Laptop, Video Camera, Digital Camera…. This is a working event so have your power device with you and ready to test and use! Want to learn more about using video for marketing? There is a session for that.  Want to know how to conduct location based marketing? There is a session for that! What in the world do you do with QR codes and how do you design and read them? Guess what?! There is a session that too! Be prepared during the roundtables to whip out your devices and learn what to do with them!

Apps to download prior to arriving in Nashville

Foursquare, SCVNGR,  QR code reader and LinkedIn


Follow our tweets!  #FranCamp

Did someone say TweetUp? A social media event is not complete unless there is a TweetUp! Join us at Tasti D-Lite in Nashville on Friday October 21st.

Start preparing now! Don’t hesitate to contact me or Thomas Scott with questions.

There was considerable amount of discussion last week about Apple iPhone and Google Androids tracking the whereabouts of users. It made me think about my use of Foursquare and Facebook Places and how I post my whereabouts for all to see! I totally agree with what Ken Colburn said on My Fox Phoenix  regarding the situation. He said the line of privacy is between “when we decide to put the information out there and when someone else decides to gather the information on our behalf.”

Computer Explorers corporate office is northwest of Houston. Just 30 minutes from downtown. First time visitors are always surprised by our location and the beautiful 100 acre setting at Northwest Forest Conference Center. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am that I don’t have to drive through the downtown traffic. One of the first things I do when I arrive at work is checkin on Foursquare. I love to compete for the title of Mayor with Lorri Wyndham, Charmayne Redd and Cheryl Phillip!

Here is a quick video of my drive down Kwik Kopy Lane. Forgive the sound of the wind and the bouncing of the camera when I drive over the speed bumps in my convertible!

I have written about our culture of fun and how much I respect and enjoy working with the COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate team. I have not described our offices and the close proximity we are to each other. Here is a quick tour of our offices.

Please come visit us at 12715 Telge Road, Cypress, TX 77355. I would love to give you a complete tour of the facility. If you checkin on Foursquare there is a free gift waiting for you!.


2010 was a year of challenges and opportunities. Franchisors and franchisees financially took a hit but the strong were using Web 2.0 technologies to regain strength in their industry. The term is used to describe popular technologies invented after the last wave of Internet innovation (1995-2001).

The following is a short list that characterize the Web 2.0 era.

  • A massive connected world – there are over one billion people who have access to the Internet. Web 2.0 software applications rely on there being a vast number of people connected to each other via the Internet.
  • Users are cocreators – We are no longer a generation of just online readers; we are writers and creators. Our creations enhance the services we use.
  • Global but Central – We interact with people all over the world but acting together we create central communities. Individuals and communities have become very influential via the Internet.

IFA (International Franchise Association) will celebrate their 51st convention in Las Vegas this month. IFA is the world’s oldest and largest organization in franchising. It is an old organization that is using new technologies to recruit, organize and engage their members.

The convention has incorporated a new mobile app to enhance attendees experience. The app provides 24/7 access to the  schedule of events, list of speakers and exhibitors, the latest news and best of all tweets! The app can be found here so attendees can build their schedule.

Foursquare Swarm Badge

Foursquare users can checkin to IFA Convention (@MGM Grand) when they arrive. Since I have the foursquare Swam badge I’m hoping there is an opportunity to earn the Super Swarm badge. This badge requires over 249 Foursquare users to checkin to the same location.

TweetUp fun!  This will be the third annual TweetUp held at IFA. The difference this year is the event is recognized by IFA. I am honored to have worked with the new Communications Director, Matthew Haller (aka @Franchising411), Jack Monson (aka @JackMonson) to host a TweetUp at The West Wing Wine Bar at MGM Grand. Register today and remember to use hashtag #ifatwtup when you tweet from the event. http://tweetvite.com/event/ifa

The final brochure of sessions can be found here. I am anxious and prepared for the moderation of the roundtable discussions on social technology. Hopefully you can join me with Jon Carlston, Ken Colburn and BJ Emerson as we discuss:  Beyond Facebook: Reaching Your Audience Where They Live Online on Tuesday, Feb 15th 10:45.

If you need help preparing for IFA using the new technologies, contact me and don’t forget to connect at IFA!

Foursquare Fun In The Workplace

If you know anything about COMPUTER EXPLORERS you know that we create fun in the workplace. Sometimes there is a photo on Facebook of a co-worker not completing a task. For the record the task was to complete her conference presentation and she was caught swimming in the company pool (after hours of course). We are known to develop funny videos about the history of COMPUTER EXPLORERS and enter them into international competition (actually took first place)! You can watch the video by clicking here

Foursquare fits right into our culture of fun allowing the team to compete for badges and of course Mayor! I will admit that I am a little competitive. It may be true that I dragged one of my franchisees (possibly Robin Scott) all around New York City so I could collect a few very specific badges: Today Show, Historian, Far Far Away badge etc.

We are a technology education franchise and accustomed to listening to children giggle joyfully while learning. We at COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate office believe that we too can enjoy what we do and giggle joyfully. We create our own fun and involve other departments. For example: once we took a photo of an employee from another department and told him he was the new “CT” (computer turtle mascot). We couldn’t resist, we photo shopped his picture as the turtle and shared it with him and department. Not much he could do since he was on a business trip to Russia.

Foursquare fell right into our fun culture. Lorri Wyndham aka @LorriW on Twitter and I started competing for mayorship. Outsting each other day after day developed quite a cheering squad. There was a Lorri for Mayor team and a Deb for Mayor team.

Lorri came up with a brilliant plan how to resolve our battle. She decided to oust the Mayor of Northwest Forest. ICED Headquarters is part of the Northwest Forest 100 acre campus. Great solution! Now we can both be Mayor and battle anyone that tries to oust us without battling each other!

Charmayne Redd, Director of Advertising aka @Charmayne01 is also very competitive but she stays out of the Mayor feud. Instead she took on #4sqcling. Charmayne is the administrator for Foursquare Northwest Forest and when she received the window cling she made it Texas size so no one entering the campus will miss it and of course be able to say she has the largest cling (let’s not talk about Times Square). You know, everything is bigger in Texas!

Lorri Wyndham and Charmayne Redd

How do you create fun in the workplace? It’s proven that Foursquare is a successful location base application and should seriously be considered for its application of fun!

Do you flip?

I just finished reading John C. Maxwell‘s book “Everyone Communicates Few Connect.”  The book was suggested to me by friend, BJ Emerson as we prepare to connect with our audience of Social Geek Radio. Maxwell outlines that we shouldn’t just talk we should connect. He provides basic principles if you want to connect one-on-one, with an audience or in a group setting.

One of my favorite chapters is – Connecting Goes Beyond Words. Here is a blurb from the book describing how a breakdown would occur:

  • Something I know but do not feel, my communication is dispassionate.
  • Something I know but do not do, my communication is theoretical.
  • Something I feel but do not do, my communication is hypocritical.

After finishing the book I started thinking about how I communicate and connect with friends, family and franchisees. Since we live in a visual age spending countless hours looking at YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, reading email  I realized that I often communicate making it a visual experience. I love posting YouTube videos on Facebook wishing someone a Happy Birthday. I send video messages to franchisees who are not feeling well or just need to know I’m thinking of them. I communicate where I am via foursquare and post videos of my experiences on Facebook using my flip camera. I promote and connect with my tweets. Believe it or not I also use an old school tool and actually telephone (via cell phone of course) just to say hello for no reason at all.

It’s no surprise that I like to communicate but my goal is to actually connect using the tools provided by social media!

Foursquare visit

I had the pleasure and the ultimate geek experience this week to visit the foursquare headquarters in New York City with my friend BJ Emerson. BJ is Social Technology Officer of Tasti D-Lite, blog author of “Social Tech Blog” and his favorite line is “When in Doubt Geek it Out!”

BJ scheduled time with Eric Friedman, Director of Client Services of foursquare to demonstrate the Tasti D-Lite loyalty integration with foursquare. I was honored to sit, listen and observe the demonstration. I did my best to keep up with their geek speak and BJ took “when in doubt geek it out” to a whole new level.

I am an enthusiastic user of foursquare and so are some of my friends and colleagues. Currently Lorri Wyndham, Operations Manager, COMPUTER EXPLORERS is Mayor of ICED Headquarters (COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate office location). Charmayne Redd, Director of Advertising ICED is Mayor of Northwest Forest Conference Services. Both Lorri and Charmayne are investigating the new features available on foursquare to create specials and coupons for a venue.

If you are not familiar with foursquare read Jennifer Van Grove’s post on Mashable – Foursquare: Why It May Be the Next Twitter. In Jennifer’s posts she talks to Dennis Crowley, co-founder of foursquare who says “the point of the service isn’t I’m here, but I’m here, so now what?” Using foursquare check-ins and activity have a meaning. As a game you collect points for every check-in. After checking in at the same location multiple times you become Mayor. Lorri and I constantly battle for Mayorship of ICED. To date she is Mayor but Eric awarded me with the official foursquare Mayor shirt!

Like any great social technology app foursquare integrates with Twitter and Facebook. While traveling this week I am personally using foursquare checkins to inform my family, friends, coworkers and franchisees of my whereabouts. I am using the tips and to-dos feature to find specials, coupons and to locate restaurants and shopping in the area. If it’s not listed I have the opportunity to add the venue and my tips.

At this time I don’t see foursquare as an application for COMPUTER EXPLORERS. I plan to continue exploring and learning more and I am confident that sooner rather than later foursquare will find a home with COMPUTER EXPLORERS!