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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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Twestival (Twitter Festival) is an event to raise money for charitable causes around the world. This annual event takes place in large cities such as Boston, NY, and Chicago – put together solely by volunteers who wish to make a difference. In addition, all monetary amounts raised are donated in full to the cause of that particular year. When I heard about Twestival, I was immediately impressed by the amount of effort put into the event within each city. Last year, the effort was to raise money for @charitywater, and this year it was for @concern, raising money for education. This event demonstrated that social media platforms, such as twitter, are more than just for networking and socializing, but a way to unite people with a common goal and spread awareness. I wish there were more events with such great causes, where people get together for a reason beyond themselves — for a global need.

Looking forward to Twestival 2011.