I will not stalk my ex on Facebook, and other social media resolutions

A friend of mine (who I met through social media) shared this post with me and I just had to add my two cents.

 

I’ll admit that I stoped dating a guy because he “stalked” my Facebook page, my Tweets and my blog posts. I’m sorry but it was just creepy and he got even creepier as the days rolled on. I’ll also admit that I “unfriended” an ex when he got married… NOT because he got married… but because he admitted he kept up with my whereabouts on Facebook (uh, no you don’t buddy… you’re married now… don’t you worry about what I’m doing). Yet, I’m not one of those people who checks up on someone else’s social sites. You would think with my type A personality and my need to be controlling that I would be all over their pages but it’s really not my style. In fact, my single girlfriends who are also “power users” have a rule: If we are seriously dating someone, you cannot be their friend on Facebook, allow them to follow you on Twitter and if it gets really deep, you might even want to block them from reading your blog posts.

 

Here’s the rub… what if they are already your “friend” or “follower” and THEN you start dating them? Ahhhhh, dating in 2011 just got interesting didn’t it? I’ll be blogging about that very soon but if we’re dating you’ll never get a chance to see that post now will you?

I need a certain amount of freedom to be me. I need to check in on Foursquare, write about my feelings and post content without censorship. So, while some folks need help NOT stalking other people, I need help making sure other people don’t cyber stalk me! That is all…

Amplify’d from thenextweb.com

On Christmas day 2009, my ex defriended me on Foursquare and stopped following me on Twitter.

Fair enough, I suppose. I didn’t need to know what bars he was going to and he didn’t need to read my 140-character self-deprecations. But I noticed his unfollow immediately and I cried, really hard. Three glasses of mulled cider later and I began to meditate on the aspects of sharing our lives, our work and our love online.

For all the other modern messes out there, here are 5 New Year’s social media related resolutions:

1. I will not stalk my ex on Facebook. There are so many different reasons why Facebook makes breaking up with people exponentially harder. First, if you were in an established Facebook relationship, the ensuing broken relationship will fill up your friends’ newsfeeds, dragging your already broken heart out into the virtual highway. Second, it means you have access to his or her life, even after you are no longer a part of it. If you don’t have enough willpower to avoid viewing your ex’s photos like a slideshow, then feel free to de-friend him or her. Just realize, that chances are they won’t ask for your friendship on Facebook ever again so it could make for an awkward digital reconciliation .

2. I will be more discerning with my friend requests. On Facebook, if your News Feed looks anything like mine these days, then you need to start being more discerning with your friend requests. Ask yourself 3 questions: Have I met this person in real life? Do we have mutual friends? Do I want this person to see photos of me and status updates for the rest of my Facebook using life? If no, then hit ignore or keep them on the wait list until you can answer yes to all three of those questions, otherwise known as Facebook purgatory.

On Foursquare, this is even more important. You can’t seriously want people you don’t even know to know where you are every time you check-in. That’s downright dangerous. I receive loads of Foursquare friend requests from people I don’t even know, most of the time its because they are new to the platform and haven’t realized Foursquare is more personal in nature than other platforms. But some of the time, the requests are simply scary.

3. I will not “auto” anything on Twitter. Don’t auto-follow. Don’t auto-DM. Don’t auto-tweet. Don’t do anything that shortcuts the already less-than-personal nature of social media. Nobody likes being on the receiving end of auto-generated messages, so don’t be the person to send them. In other words, be a human.

4. I will not spam my “friends” asking them to “Like me.” So you’re an artist, a fashion designer, or a musician, or you just think you’re going to be famous because you live in L.A. and you can breathe properly. Don’t badger your entire network asking them to “Like” you. If you’re really trying to get your message out there and gain notoriety ask your Mom, Dad, your roommate, a couple close friends, your boss and your significant other, but then stop there. More importantly, do something worth notoriety. If its truly notable, people will notice. It’s already a shallow effort and chances are you’ll piss off quite a few people who would’ve “Liked you” on their own without having you request their approval. Lastly, you’re devaluing the entire “Like” process by guilting your friends into adding one more “Like” to their Facebook page.

5. I will forget about MySpace. MySpace had its day, along with Ace of Base, white washed jeans and JNCOs. There are much better ways to waste your time on the Internet.

Read more at thenextweb.com

 

Sure, you can spend the night… but first let me see your Foursquare STD badge!

In a move to bring awareness to testing for STDs, Foursquare has teamed up with MTV to create…. wait for it… a special STD badge. I can hear the date going something like this…

Him: “I really want to be with your tonight, baby”.
Her: “Yeah, well I see you have a Player Please badge on Foursquare and now I need to see the GYT: Get Yourself Tested badge!”

The badge itself is lime green and black, with the letters “GYT” emblazoned in the middle. Now, I got tested last month (I’m clean as can be) but am I addicted enough to Foursquare to get tested again just to get the badge? Will I require a man who I’m thinking about being intimate with to have an GYT badge? Dating just got more complicated!

Foursquare users can go to their own health care providers, or they can find nearby clinics by visiting GYT’s website at http://gytnow.org and entering their ZIP code.

Amplify’d from holykaw.alltop.com

Getting checked for bumps, lumps, and rashes below the belt just became a bit more public thanks to an STD awareness campaign launched by MTV and Foursquare.

Foursquare users who check-in at an STD testing during the month of September earn special badge, and also help break down the stigma associated with sexual health screenings. MTV’s “GYT: Get Yourself Tested” campaign encourages safe sex practices and more open communication surrounding the taboo topic of venereal disease. Yes, the same MTV that has aired countless hours drunken promiscuity aimed at teens on shows like “The Real World” and “Jersey Shore.”

Full story at Yahoo.

Read more at holykaw.alltop.com

The Biggest Brands on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter)

If I had to pick only three social media tools that I could use it would be Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare… in that order… at the moment. Now read how corporations are positioning their brand with the there social networking powerhouses.

Amplify’d from www.readwriteweb.com

foursquare_logo_mar09.pngThe social media brand tracking site Fan Page List today expanded its directory of official corporate social media pages to include brand profiles on Foursquare, the leading location-based social network.

There are 132 “brands” with at least one Foursquare follower in the directory. Number one is Zagat, which publishes restaurant guides for major cities based on a large customer survey, with more than 51,000 friends.

Location-based social networking is a prime space for brands, who can grab advertise to users more immediately than ever before. Last month, we explained how Foursquare partnerships with brands are like layers of data that brand fans can opt-in to seeing as they navigate around their towns.

Television is dominating the top ten on Fan Page List’s leaderboard, with the History Channel, MTV, VH1, and TLC occupying the number three, number four, number six, and number nine spots.

Zagat’s popularity makes sense because people use Foursquare to get tips on where to eat and what to order. Television, despite being location-agnostic, is still fun to talk about – just check Twitter’s trending topics when American Idol is on.

Location-based social networks also hold a lot of possibilities for media like the Wall Street Journal, which has experimented with pushing hard news tips based on users’ locations. The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, CNN and New York Magazine all made it into the top 20.

Just because we know you want to know, the number one brand on Facebook is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Games. Number two? Michael Jackson. On Twitter, Britney Spears is number one, surpassing Ashton Kutcher at number two.

Foursquare is still much smaller than Facebook and Twitter – the top brands on those sites have 440 times and 100 times as many followers as the top brands on Foursquare.

Foursquare had 1.8 million users at the end of June, and the company says it is adding 100,000 users a day. Between its growing popularity and the advertising possibilities for brands that know where there customers are, we expect to see more brands jumping into the pool.

Top Five Brands on Foursquare:

    1. Zagat Survey – 51,056 friends
    Posts restaurant reviews and specials.

    2. Bravo – 48,659 friends
    Posts venue reviews from cast and crew of the network’s TV shows like Top Chef and Millionaire Matchmaker.

    3. History Channel – 45,261 friends
    Posts cool historical information about locations around the U.S.

    4. MTV 39,489 friends
    Posts tips on where to go in order to act like a dignified, intelligent adult like the stars of Real World and Jersey Shore.

    5. Bastard Jeans 33,608 friends
    Bastard Jeans has a standard User account, not a formal brand account, so its Tips can’t be viewed outside of L.A.

    Read more at www.readwriteweb.com

    Foursquare and Gogo Form Their Own “Mile High Club”

    Foursquare and Gogo have partnered, using the location based app to market to those of us who want to keep in touch while flying the friendly skies. I must admit, I’ve never heard of Gogo before I read about this partnership. I would imagine that is why they came up with the badge idea in the first place. So, once again, Foursquare is impacting my behavior and I’m off on a mission to get a badge I never even knew I wanted.

    Seeing a new badge roll out, a “Mile High Badge” at that, (don’t judge me) sparked my interest and I needed to learn more. I went to the Gogo website to see what they were all about, which, after all, was what they were hoping for. Gogo is a paid Internet inflight wi-fi network, providing coverage on flights throughout the United States. Here’s how it works, once the aircraft reaches 10,000 feet and the flight attendants says it’s OK to can turn on your portable electronic devices, you log into Gogo and you can tweet, check-in on Foursquare, blog, post to Amplify or surf the web right from your smartphone.

    Not only do I want the badge but I want to be able to tweet from 30,000 feet in the air. So, I’m off to find an airline tickets and signing up for Gogo. I wonder how many check-ins I have to do to get my badge? Meanwhile, Foursquare, we are going to have to seriously talk about more user incentives. I get why business want to partner with you and I appreciate the specials that pop up from time to time but we are going to have seriously talk about more user incentives. I mean, why would I keep checking in and going after these badges? At some point the “cool factor” is going to wear off. Already I’ve begun to enjoy checking into Yelp more than Foursquare. Oh, and Glue gives out real-live, physical badges… GIVES them out. I think I’m starting to move into stage five of my Foursquare addiction… it’s about time!

    Read all five stages of Foursquare “From Addiction to Apathy: The Five Stages of Foursquare Use” here. http://daniellericks.amplify.com/2010/04/12/the-5-stages-of-foursquare-via-a-post-by-originalnajeema/

    Amplify’d from mashable.com

    Starting today, airplane passengers who check in to Foursquare via Gogo’s Inflight Internet service will be greeted with a nice surprise — the “Mile High Badge.”

    The “Mile High Badge” is nothing more than a digital token you can use to celebrate your location-based conquest. But the Foursquare-Gogo team-up suggests that in the future, mobile phone checkins may have an important place in the sky too.

    Gogo Inflight Internet is available in the United States on Air Canada, AirTran, Alaska, American, Delta, United, US Airways and Virgin America. A la carte, Gogo service costs around $10 per flight, depending on the airline and the destination. The provider also sells service by month, in six packs and as 24-hour passes.

    As Wi-Fi in the sky becomes more ubiquitous, the competition to attract passengers who pay to surf will only grow for both Internet carriers and airlines alike. Gogo’s Foursquare “Mile High Badge” is a clever promotional vehicle that, if successful, will have flyers promoting their service across social media channels.

    Read more at mashable.com

    New York Mag Links Up With Foursquare. Have you checked in lately?

    A magazine taking advantage of location-based social networking. I have to say this is genius. I can see an immediate link between an actual venue an geo-location sites… but a magazine? Hats off to their digital, marketing or whatever department came up with this partnership.

    Amplify’d from www.mediaweek.com

    mw/photos/stylus/112207-NewYorkMagM.jpg

    New York magazine’s Web site nymag.com has linked up with Foursquare,becoming the latest in a rash of traditional media companies tohook up with the location-based social networking service.
     
    Users of the service can “check in” when they visit localbusinesses, alerting friends of their location while earning pointsthat can be redeemed for perks at the business. In recent months,The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Time Out New Yorkhave partnered with Foursquare to distribute news and othereditorial content.
     
    New York magazine is using Foursquare to grow the audience for itspopular restaurant, bargains and nightlife listings, data thatcurrently drive 10 percent of its Web traffic.
     
    New York’s followers on Foursquare—which number 7,000—will haveaccess to tips from the magazine’s online database that includes5,000 restaurants, 1,600 bars and 5,500 stores.Read more at www.mediaweek.com

    New York Mag Links Up With Foursquare. Have you checked in lately?

    A magazine taking advantage of location-based social networking. I have to say this is genius. I can see an immediate link between an actual venue an geo-location sites… but a magazine? Hats off to their digital, marketing or whatever department came up with this partnership.

    Amplify’d from www.mediaweek.com

    mw/photos/stylus/112207-NewYorkMagM.jpg

    New York magazine’s Web site nymag.com has linked up with Foursquare,
    becoming the latest in a rash of traditional media companies to
    hook up with the location-based social networking service.
     
    Users of the service can “check in” when they visit local
    businesses, alerting friends of their location while earning points
    that can be redeemed for perks at the business. In recent months,
    The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Time Out New York
    have partnered with Foursquare to distribute news and other
    editorial content.
     
    New York magazine is using Foursquare to grow the audience for its
    popular restaurant, bargains and nightlife listings, data that
    currently drive 10 percent of its Web traffic.
     
    New York’s followers on Foursquare—which number 7,000—will have
    access to tips from the magazine’s online database that includes
    5,000 restaurants, 1,600 bars and 5,500 stores.Read more at www.mediaweek.com

     

    Foursquare Positioned To Partner With Google, Yahoo, Bing And Other Search Players

    Well, now… this is getting interesting. Seems like the guys from foursquare have found a way to make expand on their business model. By the way, last week, Foursquare reported it had registered over 2 million users for 5.6 million venues on the platform, and around 1 million daily check-ins. The company is valued at around $100 million. So now I wonder, what’s in if for ME to continue to check in? Things that make you go… hmmmm

    Foursquare, the location-based social media site, is aware of the value of its data for searches and has started talking to “a lot of different potential partners,” including industry majors such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in order to clinch data deals.

    Foursquare.JPG

    Data Power
    Speaking to The Telegraph in an interview, Foursquare’s co-founder, Dennis Crowley, said: “Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search.” “We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment,” he explained.
    In Talks

    “Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what,” Crowley added. Recently, the company integrated its data to Twitter ‘Places’, giving the chirpy platform its ticket to paid search.

    ‘Historical’ Ties
    Crowley himself has ties with Google, to whom he sold Foursquare’s text-message version called Dodgeball back in 2005. The Telegraph further quoted him as saying that he now employs “former Googlers.” However, none of the search engines commented on the state of the Foursquare partnership talks.

    Ironically, Yahoo had expressed interest in the company in April. But not for teaming up with Foursquare. The intention of the search engine now turned content provider was to buy Foursquare. Now with the Search Alliance integrating Yahoo Search into Bing, who knows if Foursquare will not be dealing with both – one as a content partner and the other as search engine?

    Read more at blog.searchenginewatch.com

    @GeoffLivingston Mashable article on how non-profits can use @foursquare

    I used Foursquare to drive traffic to our VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) Coffeehouse each day of the National Conference on Volunteering in Service Conference in New York last month. I like the ideas in this article for even more robust and strategic usage of Foursquare for non-profits.

    Amplify’d from mashable.com

    Foursquare (Foursquare) isn’t just a good place to find cheap Mocha-Frappuccino’s. The social media tool is quickly allowing for new ways to benefit a range of fields, including non-profit organizations.

    There have been several articles on how non-profits are using Foursquare, but I wanted to find out how his location-based social network can help non-profits, so I chatted with experts about how non-profits can maximize their Foursquare accounts.

    “Non-profits are about awareness, they want to get as many people to understand what they are doing,” Foursquare Co-Founder Naveen Selvaduari said. “Foursquare is a great platform for that, and bringing people together, and make it easier together for them to understand.”


    The Standard Stuff


    taft image

    Having a location-based non-profit will obviously help you get the most out of a Foursquare account. Make sure you claim your location and then create specials that appeal to your audience.

    “Location based non-profits have an easier road, since they can offer specials and other incentives on Foursquare,” said Chris Thompson, author of the About Foursquare blog. “In Cincinnati, the Taft Museum of Art uses Foursquare as a loyalty program, offering increasing rewards as guests return again and again. The fifth check-in gets a free dessert, the 10th earns a free membership and the 15th gets a free poster or museum guidebook. It’s a great, easy way for the Taft to increase repeat visits.”

    Your account can also help you find and mobilize a base of willing volunteers and donors. “There are also other organizations like hospitals and small advocacy groups who can leverage Foursquare,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech and editor of Care2’s Frogloop blog. “…Big Love Little Hearts, an organization which helps children in developing countries with heart defects, raised $25K in just 24 hours by getting a donor to contribute $1 when someone checked in or tweeted using the hashtag #100by100. The money raised was enough to pay for 12 heart surgeries.”


    Leverage the API


    brooklyn image

    Perhaps one Foursquare’s greatest assets is its unique, open API. Developers can be deployed to create new ways to check-in, allow data mining and unique application creation to visualize foot-traffic at a location.

    “Using our API, anyone can go in create a unique effort,” said Foursquare’s Selvadurai. “Shelley Bernstein from the Brooklyn Museum pulled data from the API to highlight the people that come to the museum and started keeping track of all the mayors. The museum announces the new mayor when it changes. They host special mayor parties, and have turned it into an event, a token ceremony.”

    Read more at mashable.com

     

    How Foursquare Is Changing The “Game”

    I ran across the blog post quoted below when I was newly addicted to Foursquare.  I love how the author outlines the stages of Foursquare usage.  I am still somewhat addicted but I’m slipping from “Stage Three: Socialization” into “Stage Four: Greed”.  I WANT my badges, I’m fighting for my Mayorship of places I frequent and I DARE you to steal a Mayorship away from me.  Oh, and let me fess up right now, I worked for my Overshare badge and I am very proud of that.  But, what I find even more interesting than playing the game to earn points and unlock badges for discovering new things and interesting places, is how Foursquare is actually impacting behavior.

    I know people who are going to multiple Starbucks locations just for the Barista Badge.  I know one person, peeved that her Mayorship was taken at a local D.C. restaurant, went to said location and checked in twice without ever leaving the establishment.  Her reasoning, she had been there for seven hours and felt she was due two check-ins.  Oh, then she went back because she forgot something and checked in again.  If she was there eating, drinking, socializing then how great for the restaurant.  Oh, by the way, she got her mayorship back.

    As for me, I know I’m going to the gym more often (1) Because I’m getting ready for summer and need to get back in shape but also (2) I want my Foursquare Gym Rat Badge. So, it’s not just that we are checking in on Foursquare at places we were going to be anyway… the competition of the Foursquare game has caused us to modify our behavior and actually go places we may have not frequented otherwise.  This is fascinating to me and I’m sure totally unexpected by the Foursquare creators.

    Oh, and finally, there is cheating.  Yes, people are cheating at Foursquare and I don’t understand this mentality at all.  Folks are checking in at places they are actually just passing by.  They have broken the code for how to earn badges and again, have modified their behavior because they are now going to these locations to earn a badge.  I’ll admit, if it weren’t for the fact you have to go to TEN different pizza places to get the Pizzaiolo Badge, I’d be eating a lot more pizza… which sort of defeats the purpose of going to they gym but that’s a whole other story.

    I have to go… I just remembered I haven’t checked in at work and I have a co-worker who thinks she is going to take my Mayorship from me… NOT gonna happen.

    From Addiction to Apathy: The Five Stages of Foursquare Use

    BY Dan MacsaiWed Mar 31, 2010

    Foursquare

    Foursquare, the smartphone app that gives you points and badges for “checking in” at clubs and convenience stores, is about to reach the one-million-user mark. That’s a big deal. But it’s also a reminder that, try as we might to cover its every move, most of you haven’t tried Foursquare yet. (Or you’re using its scrappy archrival, Gowalla.) Here’s what to expect when you do:

    Foursquare curiosityStage One: Curiosity
    So you’ve gotten 27 emails about this Foursquare thing, and stupid blogs won’t shut up about it, and its always clogging your Twitter feed, and ugh, fine. You’ll try it, okay?! “That one guy from Jersey Shore has an account,” you think, “so it can’t be that complex.” As you toy with the app, you realize you can get virtual status symbols for, well, living your life the same way you always have. Suddenly, buying sponges isn’t just shopping. It’s a quest! For points! And badges! Ditto that trip to the dry cleaners. “Hmm,” you think. “This is actually kind of fun…”

    Foursquare addictionStage Two: Addiction
    Once you grasp the basic premise–which usually takes about a day or two–it gets harder and harder to imagine a time when you didn’t have an incentive to run everyday errands. You start checking in everywhere: your apartment, your apartment building, your subway stop, your office, your favorite lunch spot, your dentist’s office, etc. “It’s not oversharing,” you tell yourself, “it’s the ethos of Foursquare.” Eventually, you stumble across a venue that’s not in the database, which you can add to receive bonus points. “Jackpot!” you squeal, fist-pumping your iPhone. Everyone arond you glares. They just don’t understand.

    Foursquare socializationStage Three: Socialization
    By this point, you’ve become “friends” with actual people on Foursquare, and you can keep tabs on their whereabouts. In all seriousness, this feature is pretty useful: You can use it to surprise friends/significant others (“Can’t believe I ran into you at this obscure nail salon!”), exploit roommates (“I know you’re at the grocery store. Don’t forget to replace those Pringles you stole.”), and even see which bars are buzzin’ on Google Maps. “This is way more fun than getting points and badges,” you think. And then you discover the Leaderboard.

    Foursquare greedStage Four: Greed
    Because Foursquare is meant to be a game, of sorts, there are winners (people who check in all over the place) and losers (people who don’t). And as soon as you figure this out–generally after a week of just-for-fun use–the novelty wears off, and the competition kicks in. You start guarding venues at which you’ve been anointed “mayor” (more check-ins than anyone else), just so you can brag about the title. You start frequenting off-the-beaten-path lunch spots, hoping to find a restaurant that hasn’t been added (+5 points). You start shopping at different convenience stores, just so you can reap rewards for charting new territory (+3 points). You start checking in as often as possible, hoping to earn those coveted Superstar and Overshare badges. And you may even start cheating, just so you can make outrageous claims like, “I’m the mayor of the North Pole.” The whole time, you’ve also got one eye on the Leaderboard, so you can prove, once and for all, that you are the busiest, most adventurous, most Fouresquare-savvy person in…well, your immediate vicinity.

    Foursquare apathyStage Five: Apathy
    And then, just as suddenly as your Foursquare obsession began, it grinds to a halt. You’ve checked in at all your usual haunts, explored some new ones, added some others, and scored at least one week atop the Leaderboard. But since the charts reset every week, and you don’t get as many points for re-visiting the same places, your moment of glory is fleeting. “Well,” you say, sighing, “at least I have my badges.” And that’s true. You get to keep those forever. But now that you’ve gotten the basics–Adventurer (10 check-ins), Explorer (25 check-ins), Superstar (50 check-ins)–and maybe a few oddballs, such as “I’m on a Boat!” (checking in on a boat) and Gym Rat (10 check-ins at the gym during one month), you kind of stop caring. What initially excited you about Foursquare–apart from being able to keep tabs on people you know, which you still may want to do–was getting “rewards” for living your everyday life. Once you have to start working for them (spending more money, traveling greater distances), you realize they’re not actually worth it.

    That, or you start appreciating Foursquare for what it really is: a simple(r) way to stalk your friends.

    The Week In Review

    Microsoft has completed an integration with my latest addiction, Foursquare.  Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get your badges but now you can sync your location with Bing maps… although I don’t know why you would want to.

    I’m not sure what the difference will be from what we’re already doing on Foursquare but according to BuzzBox reports are:

    You will be able to search any location, and overlay it with a FourSquare “layer.” You will then get icons showing where users in this area have been “checking in.” This effectively shows you what the locals currently consider hot — where the action is right now.

    The Wall Street Journal could charge readers $17.99  a month to read the newspaper on Apple’s forthcoming iPad device.  In a news item on Wednesday discussing publishers plans to support the iPad, the Wall Street Journal says the newspaper and the New York Times are currently working with test iPads.

    “Six advertisers, including Coca-Cola and FedEx, have agreed to advertise with the Journal, and a four-month ad package costs $400,000,” according to people familiar with the matter quoted by the newspaper. Coke and FedEx however, declined to comment on terms.

    “The Journal plans to charge subscribers $17.99 a month for iPad subscriptions, according to a person familiar with the matter,” the newspaper notes.  The iPad could prove a good source of revenue for publishers.

    Read more at www.networkworld.com

    Google pushed hard on China and China pushed back.  Media company Tom Group Led., popular Chinese portal Sina Corp. and online forum Tianya.cn have announced plans to stop using Google search on their sites.

    Photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe/Associated Press

    Security officers tried to stop people from lighting candles outside Google’s Chinese headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday.

    China’s intransigence on the flow of information could harm its links to the global economy and sully its image.

    Google Faces Fallout as China Reacts to Site Shift

    By MIGUEL HELFT and MICHAEL WINES

    Google’s China operations came under pressure as some content from its uncensored Hong Kong site was blocked.

    China’s Internet Giants May Be Stuck There

    By DAVID BARBOZA

    Post-Google, China’s Internet market could increasingly resemble a lucrative, walled-off bazaar, experts say.

    Read more at www.nytimes.com

    Finally, in case the upcoming Apple iPad isn’t expensive enough, Mervis Diamond Importers recently announced the world’s first diamond studded iPad. The 11.43 carat iPad will sell for $19,999. You can order yours starting June 1.  So if you’d prefer a shiny, blinged out iPad over, say, a new car, you’re in luck.

    Foursquare

    My geeky friends and I have a new addiction, letting everyone know our whereabouts via Foursquare, a geolocation-based game that was built by the creators of Google-acquired Dodgeball. I have to admit, I don’t like the fact that you have to “check in” at various locations and instead I “check out”… letting people know where I’ve been rather than where I currently am.  Yet, I find myself joining my Foursquare friends Twitter buddies literally pulling out my phone as soon as I get to (rather leave) the gym, a restaurant, or some other location.  I am the “mayor” of the Bikestation at Union Station and the “mayor” of my commuter train.  This means no one else on Foursquare has “checked-in” as often as I have at these locations.  I had to laugh when someone I didn’t even know sent me a tweet that I “stink” because I stole the mayorship from him at the Bikestation… what can I say… I ride… a LOT.

    I’m late to the Foursquare party and I credit my Twitter friends for my latest social networking addiction.   But it seems I’m not the only one getting in on the act.  Foursquare has tapped into something powerful and Facebook is taking note.  The New York Times reports that Facebook is positioning itself to launch its own GPS based service allowing users to share their current location with friends and encouraging developers to build applications that I would imagine will give those of us on Facebook the same incentives as Foursquare.  Facebook is slated to announce the news at its F8 developer conference next month in San Francisco.

    I will say this, Foursquare has helped my workouts, I know people are looking for me to “check-in” at the gym since I’ve broadcast on 12seconds.tv that I’m back on my weight lifting program.  I’ll admit something else, I secretly want to steal the mayorship from whoever is that currently the “major” of my gym and I’m not going to be happy until I grab that title from him.

    This is where I must caution anyone getting into the GPS game, pun intended.  While you are letting all your friends know your every move you are also letting potential thieves and stalkers know where you are as well.  So, have fun using location-based services but please be aware of what you are doing and what you are sharing.  By the way, I just check-in at home but I’m really at my favorite restaurant that offers free Wi-Fi typing this blog post… I’ll “check-in” here when I leave.