Share

Spaces...the final frontier

Superswarm badge
Blogs

Spaces...the final frontier1

IT | 8 Nov 2010

A new social phenomenon is here. A tweet or a poke are no longer enough to satisfy the social masses - they need Spaces and Superswarms. Rob Dyson explains why your charity needs them too.

Spaces...the final frontier.

Well not exactly, but location-based social media is a growing area in which to spread awareness of our charities’ work. Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places are probably the market leaders right now; all allow you to alert your friends to your current location using your mobile phone’s signal and tag, rate and in some cases photograph things of interest for others to see.

Foursquare and Gowalla both offer in-game incentives to ‘check in’ to places, such as ‘badges’ and ‘mayorships’ for repeat visits. Increasingly, restaurateurs and bar owners are using the games to reward customers (for example, the ‘mayor’ of a bar may get discounts and free drinks).

Charities such as Action for Children, British Red Cross, and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research are all using Foursquare – the latter has been using the network in the same way as Twitter to post updates to followers. However, I’d suggest Card Aid are ahead of the pack right now; adding ‘tips’ around the City, so that when you ‘check-in’ somewhere, you are alerted to a nearby outlet where you can pop in and buy charity cards. Nice.

In the US, Republican politicians adopted a toolkit put together by Gowalla to persuade constituents to attend events. By checking in to rally venues, supporters win candidate-branded ‘passport stamps’ – thus using competitive game-play as a way of guaranteeing turnout. Foursquare rewards users for gathering fellow game-users in one place. So last month the Jewel bar in London was the first place in England to hold a special event to get over 250 people all ‘checking in’ at the same time – users were all rewarded with a ‘Superswarm’ badge. This badge is ‘worn’ on your profile, and gives you credibility among the game community. Foursquare has now created ‘Superduper Swarm’ and ‘Epic Swarm’ badges, open to unlock if you check in with 500 or 1,000 other gameplayers respectively!

The challenge to charities then, is to harness these games in creative ways to motivate and inspire our supporters. Perhaps location-media might be used to encourage people to a fundraising event, or a campaign? Perhaps, like Card Aid, you could leave ‘virtual crumbs’ around towns – or reward followers for ‘checking-in’ to charity shops, or when volunteering? These are all viral tools – and so will alert their friends (and yours) to their activity too in their newsfeeds (a bit like Facebook).

So if the world’s your oyster, where will you turn up – and who will join you? Until next time, this is Rob, ‘checking-out’ for now... 

 

Howard Lake
Director
Fundraising UK Ltd
10 Nov 2010

Thanks Rob. I liked CardAid's use of Foursquare too.

I think the value of these location-based tools is that they can be used in so many ways: they offer so much more than the 'check-in', including:

* loyalty programme (and access to that data for the venue owner)

* competitive game

* social network (of course)

* collecting (badges etc)

* supporter recruitment tool

* response device e.g. checking in to a fundraising poster

And these tools and opportunities are available now: it's not a case of keeping a watching brief on something that might develop in a year or two. 26+ million people (ie. donors, supporters, beneficiaries etc) in the UK are reminded of Places everytime they login to Facebook.

See you soon at a swarm no doubt.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Celina Ribeiro (94) Niki May Young (36) Jonathon Grapsas (30) Michael Naidu (23) Adrian Beney (20) Andrew Scadding (20) Kirsty Weakley (18) Andrew Chaggar (17) Vibeka Mair (15) Jonathan Waddingham (15)
Suzie Who (15) David Philpott (14) Robert Ashton (12) Tania Mason (11) Daniel Fletcher (9) David Burrows (8) Alistair McLean (7) Gareth Jones (6) Beth Yorath (6) Leon Ward (6) Jenna Pudelek (6) Stephen Pidgeon (5) Reuben Turner (5) Rowena Lewis (5) Tobin Aldrich (5) Mark Astarita (4) Lucy Caldicott (4) Tony Elischer (4) Joe Saxton (4) Tod Norman (4) Ian Clark (4) David Ainsworth (4) Alan Gosschalk (3) Richard Radcliffe (3) Pauline Broomhead (3) Jeremy Swain (3) Gordon Hunter (3) Ingrid Marson (3) Lisa Clavering (3) Adam Rothwell (2) Beth Breeze (2) Matthew Bowcock (2) Tris Lumley (2) John Tate (2) Garreth Spillane (2) Liz Tait (2) Chester Mojay-Sinclare (2) Allan Freeman (2) Claire Routley (2) Lindsay Boswell (1) Victoria Cook (1) David Davison (1) Bill Lewis (1) Giles Pegram (1) Jo Swinhoe (1) Derek Humphries (1) Alan Clayton (1) Cathy Pharoah (1) Stephen George (1) Gordon Michie (1) Chris Ingram (1) Martin Farrell (1) Morag Fleming (1) Matt Goody (1) Ian MacQuillin (1) Paul Farthing (1) Jackie Mendoza (1) Max Du Bois (1) Alan Hawkes (1) Ken Burnett (1) Ian Allsop (1) Martin Brookes (1) Tesse Akpeki (1) Anne Moynihan (1) Sara Llewellin (1) Rupert Tappin (1) Julia Unwin (1) Jessica Sklair (1) Scott Gray (1) Stephen Hammersley (1) Keith Collins (1) Joe Jenkins (1) Peter O'Hara (1) Debbie Attwood (1) Joanna Motion (1) Paul Marvell (1) Amanda McLean (1) Jason Suckley (1) Paul Amadi (1) Imogen Ward (1) June O'Sullivan (1) Kath Abrahams (1) Peter Lewis (1) Dan Corry (1) Douglas Rouse (1) Belinda Pratten (1) Jonathan Last (1) Jenni Cahill (1) Paul Emery (1) Marcelle Speller (1) Nick Aldridge (1) Philip Spedding (1) Tom Latchford (1) Sir David Varney (1) Liam Barrington-Bush (1) Lucy Gower (1) Jeff Brooks (1) Vicki Prout (1) Dawn Austwick (1) Dan Thompson (1) Steven George-Hilley (1) Emma-Lynn Houghton (1) Peter Horah (1) Neelam Makhijani (1) George Matafonov (1) Marcus Missen (1) Denise Lillya (1) Alice Sharman (1) Jaz Nannar (1) Ali Stunt (1) Robin Fisk (1) Gillian Claugher (1) Lynne McMahon (1) Emma Callagher (1)
Less +++ More +++

It's time for the sector to front up and prove it has nothing to hide

19 Aug 2014

The sector's representative bodies must be bolder in telling the Charity Commission what they think of...

The Big Society Network saga needs further digging

25 Jul 2014

Richard Caulfield was suspicious about the independence of Big Society Network way back in 2010.

You’ve got a (critical) friend

25 Jul 2014

The new £40m Sustainability Fund ought to allocate some money to expert intermediaries so they can help...

Too much focus on reputational risk?

28 Aug 2014

Risks must always be weighed up against potential benefits, says Dorothy Dalton.

It's time for the sector to front up and prove it has nothing to hide

19 Aug 2014

The sector's representative bodies must be bolder in telling the Charity Commission what they think of...

Film of the week: OneMinuteJr by Unicef Ukraine

15 Aug 2014

Unicef Ukraine has released a series of one minute videos created by children caught up in the conflict...

Free eNews