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Adam Rosenberg stated, “If you are a social media enthusiast, then by now you already know that if 2009 was the year of the “tweet,” then 2010 is almost certainly the year of the “check-in.” Geolocation apps such as Foursquare, have caused many to wonder if they really want people to know where they are, aside from just what they are doing.

During our first Business of Social Media class, there were many topics discussed, one of them being “privacy.” When speaking of social media, specifically geolocation — privacy tends to be an issue where some people are careful about which side of the line they stand on. Although I am a “social media geek” and use many of the platforms available, when it comes to geolocation, I am a bit conservative. I am weary when it comes to people knowing where I am because of the usual concerns of stalkers and theft. If you think I am being a tad over-concerned, then you may not have heard about www.pleaserobme.com, which revealed the location of empty homes via the use of Foursquare and Twitter. Disturbing? I thought so!

However, as a marketer, I do see the benefits of geolocation apps for brands. Starbucks, and other companies have used geolocation apps to gain further brand loyalty by their consumers who compete to become “mayor” of a specific Starbucks location, and can then receive cool discounts and/or free items. Great marketing strategy, indeed!

In addition, privacy on apps like Foursquare are up to the user, not the app. The Foursquare user decides whether they want just their friends on Foursquare to know their location, or whether they would like to push it out to Twitter and Facebook as well. Therefore, it is not the use of the geolocation app that is breaching privacy of location. You, the user, are deciding who knows about your location when you push your location to a larger pool of people on Twitter and Facebook.

In the end, I think the idea of geolocation is pretty cool, and I would like to invest some time into playing around with it some more. However, being an “Apple geek” as well, I am going to wait until I get an iPhone (I have a blackberry) to delve into the perks and coupons and freebies associated with “checking in” and being a “mayor.”

Until then, I’m checking out…

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Unfortunately due to my silly MBA classes, I was unable to attend any of the FutureM events earlier in the week, but I was able to hit up a couple events Thursday night. Holland-Mark‘s Digital Man Mike Troiano spoke about “Scalable Intimacy,” siting their client example Notch Session (which I must admit is some exceptional beer — especially if you want a few without that headache the next morning). The set up of this event was particularly interesting, since it was a contest where the winners received on the spot social media advice from Mike himself. (Full disclosure: I did work for Holland-Mark and loved every minute of it.)

And who were the winners?

3rd Place: Creative Crafts for Creative Kids

2nd Place: Formaggio Kitchen

And the 1st place winner is….United Way of Mass Bay!

All 3 received specific advice on areas they were having trouble in – whether it be content strategy, which social media tool to focus on (depends on where your target market it), etc. Lets just say, the crowd was not yawning, and they were not leaving early. Mike knew how to keep the crowd laughing and entertained while teaching the crowd on how best to utilize social media to your advantage. And if you are now sorry you missed this, you can see check out the full deck from the event.

And as I tweeted from the event last night: “Remember the social, not just the marketing” – Mike Troiano.

After saying “great job” and “c ya later”, I quickly ran off to Mantra where Cyberbrew had been kicked off. There was an eclectic crowd of veteran “cyberbrewers” and newbies (such as myself). Unfortunately I missed the open bar, but I did meet some interesting folks and ran into a few good friends (Jason Rush from Boston Interactive and Joselin Mane from BostonTweetUp). Familiar faces always make an event that much better. While I laughed at the men who “networked” from one female to the other, I drank my glass of wine and chatted away…until next time FutureM, you sure did rock!

As I sat in my MBA Global Branding class last night, I couldn’t help but laugh. As the professor went on and on about how brands need that “one word” which consumers will recall at the drop of a hat — I thought back to my time at Holland-Mark (HM). HM coined the term “One Simple Thing” (OST), which is that one attribute that most well defines the brand. For example, as my professor asked in class “what do you think of when you hear Coca Cola?” Everyone should be thinking of the same word (unfortunately for some brands this does not always occur). Supposedly the “OST” for Coca Cola is “happiness” — did you think of that? Coke would hope so! And so would their marketers!

As I sat there in my seat, I started to realize that the concepts the professor was teaching were processes and terms that I had become well acquainted with during my time at HM. And with the hands-on learning and experience, I learned way more than reading cases and discussing them in a classroom. Now, I am not knocking my MBA education — it is definitely valuable and am happy to be a candidate for 2011 spring graduation — but learning these concepts in a work setting where you are automatically putting them to use is not only rewarding but helps one (or at least me) recall and understand things way more.

It was pretty awesome to be sitting in class and feeling that I had a firm grasp and knowledge of the topic (at least so far — it’s only been a few weeks into the semester). And I owe this knowledge and understanding to the exceptionally bright and talented folks at HM — especially Mike Troiano who if you haven’t heard speak — you should!

Now I ask you — where did your best knowledge and understanding come from?