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SXSW10: The Big Showdown – GoWalla vs. Foursquare

Well, now that SXSW 2010 is over and everyone has begun shoring up “their own conference overviews”:, It’s about time I finish off the last two posts on the conference.

So with out further adieu, here’s my take on the “other big topic at this year’s festival”: Yes, friends without question the big showdown of *SXSW 2010* was between geo-locational social network superpowers “GoWalla & Foursquare”:

The big guns were definitely brought out to play, as each of the two superpowers fought for the affection of the influential _first adopter_ crowd. In laymen terms, *they were coveting the nerds*.

The idea being that, if you win the Nerds (First Adopters), they’ll return to their home town and influence others to join the network. Now to preface it, both foursquare and gowalla were predominant at the ’09 version of the festival, but this was the big year. iPhones and Smartphones were are as common as underwear at SXSW and pretty much everyone at the conference was already using one of two power house apps. But the key for these two start-ups was to convert the nerds to their own service. To come out one top and _create the next Twitter Effect_.

So after all the final software updates, redesigns, secret badges and super, super duper checks-in were completed, who won?

The Big Winner Is…

Well, this may come as a shock, but I would have to venture that Austin based “GoWalla”: was the slight winner. Which for those following the Geo-Locational Network apps battle (or “even this web site”: will see as a bit of shock.

“Foursquare”: has been the _it company_ for this new section of the Social Media spectrum for over a year, with “predominant deals with national and local media outlets”: and a buzz that’s rivaled Twitter. But, with an ill-timed redesign roll-out and some glaring downtime issues, Foursquare seemed to miss a golden opportunity to squash the competition. Rather than blowing the socks off of the crowd, it left with a small whimper of excitement. Instead, smaller “GoWalla”: was able to keep rolling with a crisper interface design (“just look at those gorgeous icons”: and leverage the _cool small guy_ vibe to win over a majority of the _nerds_. By the end of the five days, most dedicated Social Media Enthusiasts and Insiders were gravitating towards GoWalla and away from Foursquare.

What this means for the future of Geo-Locational Networks is something that will play out shortly, but for the future if you are looking to expand your business into the Foursquare network, it would be best to keep one eye on GoWalla as you start to build your strategy. (Don’t worry, they are both fairly interchangeable) Foursquare will still maintain it’s buzz and significant edge on users, but GoWalla made a solid impression.

The question for the future will be, was it enough to sway a majority of the _First Adopters_ and their friends to make the switch.

SXSW10: Twitter Launches The @Follow Platform

Much will be said about yesterday’s keynote speaker with “Evan Williams”: Unfortunately, most of it will revolve around the horrible nature of the interview format and “the mass exodus from the panel”: But the big news is that Twitter has “officially launched a new development platform”:, which will allow more web site integration for web site owners.

In laymen’s terms, Twitter is trying to “compete with Facebook’s Connect (That blue button that you see everywhere) to allow seemless integration of twitter accounts into 10 major web sites”: Essentially, this will make Twtter as easy to integrate into web sites as Facebook Connect is. Which will be an incredibly interesting revelation to watch and will alter how information is shared on Twitter.

But what does it mean for smaller web sites with smaller budgets?

_Eventually_, this tool will allow a more seamless integration of twitter into your users viewing patterns. Which in turn will mean that it will be even more important to have an established Twitter presence for your company, blog or non-profit organization. With a simple click, users will be able to tweet directly to your company’s twitter account without having to bounce back to there twitter tools. It’ll streamline the ability for users to interact and comment on your web site, giving your blog or news posts better interaction with your potential clients.

Now, this is all based on one talk, but it something to keep an eye out for and shoudl be more of push to integrate your business with Twitter.

SXSW10: The State of The Internet 2010

As SXSW kicks off, the ideas are flowing and the conversations are blooming.

One of company’s that caught my eye in the barrage of posters and advertising material is “JESS3”: a design agency out of Washington DC. In their impressive portfolio is their gorgeous state of the Internet vimeo clip, which anyone interested in the metrics of the web should check out.

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.

I’ll have some more posts up over the next few days, but first sit back and get int he mood of SXSW with this beautiful clip.

SXSW10: Armadillo Studios At SXSW’10

Has it really already been a year?

Sure doesn’t feel like it has, but once again *Armadillo Studios* is heading down to Austin, Texas for the “SXSW Interactive Festival”:

That’s right another five days of beautiful spring Texas weather, far too much salsa and *the latest trends in the Web and Social Media Industry*. But this time there’s a twist. Armadillo is not just a spectator, but an actual participant. Yes, Armadillo will be apart of the “Leave Your Job, Start An Agency”: core conversation with our good friends from “Stale Life Inc.”: and “Bitfyre”: It’s happening on “March 14th, at 11:00am at the Hilton E room”:, if you happen to be at SXSW make sure you swing by to say hello.

As all always, Armadillo will be blogging and “tweeting” the entire conference. If you’re in Austin or just on hanging online all day make sure you follow along with all the fun.

Calgary Social Media:Free Social Media Advice for Local Politicians

News of “Bronco Dave’s decision to not run in the next round of civic elections”: has sent a bit of a political shockwave through the circles of political pundits and social media networks in our fair city.

While this buzz grows, plans will be formed and serious candidates will start to come out of the woodwork. So as they do, they will inevitably turn to the growing local Social Media communities to get their voice heard. So in anticipation of that, your friendly friends at Armadillo have some *free advice on how to best get your message heard and better yet, not have it backfire*.

Join Twitter And Learn The Vocabulary

First and foremost, join “Twitter”: and set-up a clear and interactive “Facebook page”: We have an “intro on Twitter for the Calgary Market”: that has some nice advice.

Second, covet and understand the hashtags of Twitter. The “yyc hash tag”: has grown into an unstoppable beast that many Calgarians use for a variety of information. While this aspect of the Twitter lexicon is invaluable be sure you don’t abuse it, as it can quickly turn on you. Using the _yyc tag_ is a great way to reach many Calgairans, but if you start overloading the stream of information, it may tarnish your image. *So don’t SPAM! Be engaging in the community*.

Even better start using the “yyccc hash tag”: (yyc City Council). Many users who follow city council have adopted it and it would be best to broadcast your message through that channel rather than through _yyc_. People who are interested and invested in City Council spend much of their time following this hash tag. *They are the people you want to reach*.

Casual voters also follow it too, so seeing an involved presence in that area of the Calgary Twitter community will be a good first step.

Interact, Don’t Broadcast

It might seem simple, but you need to interact with the online communities in the City. *Don’t just broadcast your message, as it may quickly comeback to haunt you*.

Facebook and Twitter are engaging tools; in the months leading up to October people will have many questions and concerns. They will be looking for your ideas. You will need to be able to answer them through these networks. Social networks, especially Twitter, have levelled the communications playing field for everyone. Citizens are now able to directly and publicly connect with your campaign. There could be a discussion brewing about your platform that you might not even know about, so it’s best to get involved and get involved early.

Know Your Audience

Nobody likes to admit this, but there is a unwritten hierarchy within these social media circles that you may not get a chance to learn about before you dive in. Treat all responders with respect and try not to air your dirty grievances in public. You may involuntarily aggravate a local political maven, who has more clout and influence within the local community than you think. So be careful in how you engage on these sites. *Treat everyone with respect and dignity*.

Don’t Use Foursquare

Although, it would be incredibly cheeky and witty, declaring yourself Mayor of City hall on “Foursquare”: before November rolls around, is probably going to look bad on you.

Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to scare you off of using these Networks. In all honestly, this is an exciting time for municipal politics and these growing social media networks have the power to make these elections the most interactive and exciting elections we’ve seen in a long time. We just want to give you some free advice, as we’ve seen “companies miss opportunities”: before and we’d hate to see a great candidate get sandbagged by a small slip up.

So to all those would be city councilors and mayors, best of luck in October 2010.