Tag Archives: Foursquare

A few ways the AFL can improve its Digital Strategy

Ted Richards marks against Nick Riewoldt

Australia’s most popular football code does a lot of things right online. The AFL recently announced on Twitter that it would be running UX workshops for its website. The workshops will hopefully pick up a bunch of usability issues such as cross browser bugs and confusing IA.

In addition to addressing these issues here are four ways the league can improve it’s digital strategy.

1. Stop using Microsoft Silverlight.

It’s basically Microsoft’s version of Adobe Flash and it doesn’t work on iDevices. This means a whole bunch of people can’t watch any of the AFL videos and highlights. The AFL needs to embrace HTML5 and let everyone in on the action.

User Experience needs to be more heavily integrated into the design of AFL digital properties. People should be enjoying AFL content online not thinking twice.

2. Report the bad stuff as well as the good stuff.

Lets face it, when news breaks in the AFL, people don’t go to AFL.com.au. Why? Because the AFL is so worried about it’s image, bad PR and being number 1 that it can’t be transparent, open and honest with the public. The benefit of coming clean, letting its hair down and been more transparent (especially via social media) is that the league can lead stories rather than go around with a pooper scooper.

3. Engage with Fans

Social media offers so many opportunities for players and the clubs to listen, discuss and feedback. This doesn’t just mean posting photos on Facebook. It means actively engaging with the community online.

The AFL needs to utlilise more platforms more efficiently. That could be an incentivised swarm on FourSquare or even just broadcasting the match hashtags on TV. Strategist Hugh Munro suggests coaches should run Google Hangouts with fans. This could be a great way for the AFL to connect with supporters overseas or in remote areas.

DemandMedia are doing some good things with the AFL by running live chats during football events. Eventually these should be tablet friendly and you’ll be able to engage with live games, view alternate angles, ask Paul Roos questions and turn Bruce off.

The AFL needs a mobile strategy not just an App. Smart phone usage is increasing by the quarter and the AFL needs to work out how and why followers are using their mobile to obtain AFL related content. An improved understanding and strategy can be leveraged for mobile advertising and greater exposure.

4. The Footy Record Online needs an upgrade.

One of the league’s greatest assets – the Footy Record – has a terrible existence online. It’s an embarrassment and it needs to be fixed. Where is the iPad app or HTML5 Football Record website?

Tagged , , , , ,

Is Social Media narcissistic?

Social Media T-Shirt

“Some of the youth of today have a higher level of narcissism than perhaps the youth of the past, but one needs to take into account the developmental context to this…Narcissism is a normal stage of life that people often grow out of and it’s not the end of the world if children or youth are going through a narcissistic stage” – Dr Ranil Gunewardene

Watched a pretty interesting episode of Insight last night about narcissism. As a father-to-be and a Digital Producer it raised several interesting questions about parenting and social media.

Social networks are often referred to as been narcissistic. Users can portray themselves in a much grander, more positive but delusional light. I’m sure everyone follows someone who over shares ‘look at me’ photos, checkins or status updates that are nearly always of them having a great time or boasting about their successes. I may even be guilty from time to time.

Surely the positives of social media out way the negatives. One person on Insight suggested that Facebook is sometimes the only social interaction for people who work in offices. I know without Facebook I’d have no idea what my brother was up to in Munich. Arguably, without LinkedIn, I wouldn’t have my current job. Twitter is such a convenient way to stay up to date with the latest news and I use FourSquare to find/share good coffee shops and restaurants. Social media is about prioritising the good stuff from all the crap on the net. Yes it can be used for evil in the wrong hands but most of the time it’s a great lifestyle enhancement tool.

The picture above is from a T-Shirt design that you can buy from Despair.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Is Facebook Open Graph Doomed?

Facebook Dislike button

Facebook recently announced a raft of take-over-the-internet updates at their yearly conference – F8.

A significant update is an auto-share feature that will mean everything you read on certain sites will be shared with your Facebook buddies. Instead of selecting the Recommend or Like button on every SMH article that you want to share you will just tick once the Add to Timeline button. It will share anything you do on the site like comment, watch videos, listen to music or any other interaction.

This has a few potential issues including the embarrassment of viewing articles you probably shouldn’t. My beef with the feature is that social media isn’t about sharing everything – it’s about sharing the best stuff. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Last.fm, FourSquare, Yammer, Google+ shine light on what your network likes. This is the underlying strategy behind the Google +1 button and Facebook’s social ads and sponsored stories. Turning Facebook into a stream of people’s entire online activity will dilute it’s value.

Auto-sharing won’t do Facebook any favours in winning over privacy skeptics either. Who wants to be thinking – is this site on my timeline? Have I shared this article already? What if I want to add a comment to a story I’ve already shared automatically?

What do you think? The Like button is possibly the most passive/meaningless way to share content but is auto-sharing going one step too far?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Why Foursquare is failing Down Under

australia foursquare

One of my favourite apps in the whole wide world is Foursquare. I’m constantly checking into places. The only time I have deliberately not checked in was when I was at a funeral. Inappropriate.

I love finding out Lonely Planet style tips on what to order, the best time to visit or any special deals on offer. The stalker in me is also interested in where my Foursquare buds are hanging out and if they have just discovered the new micro bar or hole in the wall piccolo joint. I’m also trying to be the mayor of my new apartment complex in Leichhardt. Be warned that Karen C is going down.

I digress.

Despite the joy Foursquare provides and its worldwide success (over 10 million worldwide) Foursquare has failed to crack the Australian market. How come?

1. Australians are inherently lazy and without greater incentives won’t use a separate app for location-based  check-ins. It’s just too easy to check-in on Facebook.

2. Not enough places have deals. Australians love a bargain so more bars need to offer free beer with check-ins. Coffee shops need to get rid of loyalty cards and start rewarding loyalty check-ins like with eCoffee Card.

3. You can’t ‘tag’ users in Foursquare. Tagging significantly increases the reach of apps. Haven’t checked in lately on Facebook Places? That’s ok – your geek mate has tagged you. It’s reminded you of the app, the check-in functionality and reminded all your friends of the feature. Check-in fueled conversations put the ‘social’ back into what, some might say, is just narcissistic sharing. Social media can use location to stay relevant as, unlike interests, locations change all the time.

4. Australians are a modest bunch and Foursquare’s unique selling point of gamification isn’t enough of a draw card to get people to start checking in.

5. Despite Gen Y and many other Australians been obsessed with themselves and self-promotion, the audience simply isn’t there to call for the cries of  ‘look at me’.

So in summary, Foursquare is lacking the mainstream critical mass of features, users and deals to grow and become popular in Australia. Of my Foursquare friends 47 out of 58 are in the early adopter/yuppie, media/arts, geeks/attention seekers world. Like Google+ Foursquare is stuck in geekdom.

Follow me on Foursquare

Related articles

Tagged , , , , , ,