Facebook Places: Taking Check-ins Global

So I’ve long thought that services like Gowalla and Foursquare (which allow you to “check-in” when you visit certain locations, see which of your friends me be there or see what special deals or services that location is offering) has a big hurdle in terms of widespread adoption. In short, there aren’t enough people using these esoteric little services yet to matter much.

But all that might be about to change with Facebook Places, which took the idea from Gowalla and Foursquare and made it automatically available to its hundreds of millions of users on Wednesday.

More thoughts, after the jump.

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#LRTweetup: A 1-year Anniversary Video by @JeffDailey

Happy 1-year anniversary, #LRTweetup!

More, plus a wrap up of the anniversary event here.

Wal-Mart Worries in Northwest Arkansas and Has the State Jobless Rate Peaked? in This Week’s Arkansas Business

Arkansas Business is on the racks and the InterWebs now! Let’s take a look-see, shall we?

Gulp! Wal-Mart’s home office job cuts and a slow exodus of vendors — along with whispers about decentralized operations — has northwest Arkansans seeking new economic development engines for the region.

Is this as bad as it gets? Arkansas’ top economists think the state’s unemployment rate might have finally peaked. Still, it’s tough out there. Includes a look at how many jobs we’ve lost since 2007.

Banking on social media: Arkansas banks wade carefully into the waters of social media — and a sea of federal and industry regulations.

Let’s toot our own horn! Gwen Moritz on just how prescient Arkansas Business has been on a host of issues: banks pruning their branches and — of course — Asian carp!

We’re So Jealous! Follow These Arkansans at #SXSWI

Emily Reeves and Charles Crowson

Emily Reeves (@reeves501) talks via Skype from Austin to Today's THV This Morning's Charles Crowson.

So this is happening.

The opening day of the South by Southwest Festival’s Interactive conference — coupled with pre-order day of the Apple iPad — make today, Friday March 12th, perhaps the geekiest day of the year! And you certainly don’t want to miss out on that, do you? Of course you don’t!

Fortunately, we’ve got Arkansas Tweeple on the ground in Austin, Texas, home of #SXSW. Among them, Emily Reeves of Stone Ward of Little Rock, who’s tweeting and Skyping from the event. This morning, live from Austin, she checked in with Today’s THV This Morning’s Charles Crowson to give us an overview of what’s happening at this year’s event.

We expect more updates via her @Reeves501 Twitter account and her personal blog, Ms. Adverthinker, where she’s already posted her insane schedule, which we kinda hope is really only for keeping up appearances. There’s not near enough time in there for boozing and partying and geeking it up with fellow geeks, which is really what SXSW is all about, right? Right.

Also in town, another friend of the blog, Bryan Jones and Wade Austin, both of CJRW of Little Rock. Both are tweeting from there as well, and Jones will be providing daily wrap-ups on his blog, Flairification.com.

Any other Arkansas Twitterers in Austin at the festival? Let me know, and I’ll list them here.

So what’s on tap for Friday? You can the full schedule here, which includes seminars on pay TV vs. the Internet, developing apps for iPhone, Internet analytics, Web typography, Gen Y entrepreneurs, social media marketing for business and much more.

You can also expect the usual complaining about AT&T’s inadequate data network as thousands of iPhone-equipped geeks jockey for bandwidth during the entire event. You’ll also hear lots about Foursquare this year, as everyone checks in at every conceivable site in Austin. And, as Emily notes in the video above, folks will be waiting to hear what Twitter co-founded Ev Williams has to say about his coming revenue model for the microblogging service.

Of course, the elephant in the room, the phantom hanging over the entire proceedings, is the Apple iPad, which won’t even hit the streets for another month. Nevertheless, it will likely dominate most chatter at the event.

Related

Ah, Austin. How we love you!

Talking Social Media and Business at Commerce Arkansas Nov. 3

About 900 folks came out to Commerce Arkansas last year, a business expo at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock put on by Arkansas Business and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. This year, we’re doing it again on Nov. 3, and we’ve got a great lineup of speakers and seminars free to anyone who pre-registers.

Among the seminars, a panel I’ll be moderating on social media and business. “Using Social Media for Business, Nonprofit and Search Engine Marketing” will provide an overview of how businesses and nonprofits can use social media – including Twitter and Facebook – in aid of e-commerce, marketing and charitable campaigns. You’ll learn what tools are available, how to staff social media efforts, how to set expectations and measure success.

So who’s on the panel? Scheduled to appear are:

Ed Nicholson of Tyson Foods, who was kind enough earlier this year to provide some guest posts on social media for this blog

Natalie Ghidotti of Ghidotti Communications, who’s advised companies like I.O. Metro on using social media to connect with customers

Megan Knight of FLEX360, the Web development firm’s interactive marketing director on search engine marketing expert

They’ll each talk about different aspects of using social media for your business, marketing and charitable needs. We’ll share more details leading up to the seminar. Meanwhile, register now to attend this seminar and others for free.

More

Last year, Commerce Arkansas attracted some great speakers. This year, we’ve done it again. Among those on the roster:

Jeffrey Gardner, CEO of Windstream Corp. of Little Rock

Jon Harrison, general manager of Caterpillar’s North American Motor Grader Operations in North Little Rock

Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville

Linda Nelson of the Arkansas Small Business Technology and Development Center

Greg Henderson of Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions

Pew Study Shows Emerging Trends in Political, Civic Engagement Online

On KARN radio on Monday, political bloggers Blake Rutherford and David Kinkade commented on how new media has finally arrived in Arkansas, and how blogs and social networks will play an even bigger role in the 2010 election cycle (one that’s already sure to be exciting given a certain U.S. Senate race) as more Arkansans become politically engaged, bloggers break news alongside traditional media and candidates rally supporters in online spaces.

This week, a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project outlines emerging trends in political and civic engagement, and it will be interesting to see if some of these findings play out in Arkansas, so often the final destination for new social and technological movements. Below, some of the Pew study’s key findings and some brief comments:

Whether they take place on the internet or off, traditional political activities remain the domain of those with high levels of income and education.

There’s obviously been some hope that the Internet might be the great equalizer in terms of political engagement by the haves and the have-nots. But the Pew study finds that this simply hasn’t happened yet. Pew notes, of course, that much of this is tied to broadband availability. In Arkansas, of example, you’re much more likely to have high-speed Internet access if you are more affluent and live in a larger city.

But:

At the same time, because younger Americans are more likely than their elders to be internet users, the participation gap between relatively unengaged young and much more engaged middle-aged adults that ordinarily typifies offline political activity is less pronounced when it comes to political participation online.

So youth might be a leveler, in terms of political activities by folks in vastly different economic classes. And, Pew says, so could blogs and social media, because the bigger group of people who use those Internet media are aged 18-29:

There are hints that forms of civic engagement anchored in blogs and social networking sites could alter long-standing patterns that are based on socio-economic status.

Pew says “hints,” because we don’t yet know whether we’ll see a generational change in civic involvement, or merely a “life-cycle phenomenon that will change as these younger users age.”

(After the jump, more findings by the Pew study.)

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Video: The Do’s and Don’ts Of Using Twitter in the Workplace

Click to watch the segment

Click to watch the segment

Today on “Today’s THV This Morning,” I sat down with Charles Crowson (who tweets @CCrowson016) to talk about what can happen when your Twitter life affects your work life. Or, rather, when you say something stupid on Twitter and your boss finds out.

Just as users are having to learn to watch what they post on Facebook, MySpace and blogs, so too are they having to be more careful about what they say on the fast-growing microblogging service. Twitter’s very nature — a quick, easy-to-use service that allows you to post stream-of-conscience thoughts almost as a reflex via desktop and mobile platforms — lends itself to accidental misuse. And once you say something on the Internet, it’s hard to take it back.

Careerbuilder.com has numerous examples of workplace horror stories stemming from Twitter misuse. In that vein, I offered some simple do’s and don’t for professionals who use Twitter to help them avoid such workplace gaffes.

Don’t

1) Bad-mouth co-workers or your company – Lots of people mistake the Web as a place to vent. But it’s simply not professional to go online and rip your boss, your co-workers and your employer. Even though these people might not be your Twitter followers, they can see your updates by going to your Twitter.com account. And even if you’ve protected your updates to followers only, there’s always the risk that what you say in the heat of the moment could be retweeted.

2) Complain about your the specifics of your job – We all have boring aspects of our jobs, and everyone has a bad day every once in a while. But again, your tweets can reflect poorly on your employer. If you want to stay employed, you’ll want to keep those feelings in check.

3) Talk about your salary, good or bad
– Just as you wouldn’t talk about your raise in front of a co-worker, you shouldn’t brag about that bump in pay you just got. At the same, hard as it might be, refrain from gripes about salary or benefits cuts.

4) Conduct a job search out in the open – As great as social networks and Twitter can be in the job hunt, be careful about openly inquiring about new jobs at other companies, unless you want to be outed early and possibly dismissed before you’re ready to make a switch.

5) Overshare personal tidbits that could reflect poorly on your company
– It’s probably not a good idea to talk about how drunk you got last night. And watch those late-night postings to Twitpic that might not seem so funny the morning after.

After the jump, some suggestions about what to do to keep your personal and professional lives in harmony on Twitter.

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