Archive for the ‘reads’ Category

Foursquare for squares?

Monday, August 9th, 2010

So do you guys want to talk about Foursquare? I do. Now that all the concern about stalkers, house-robbers, etc has worn off, I have some comments. I have only a couple friends on Foursquare who actually use it regularly and I don’t hang out with them that much. So, I find myself, when I remember checking in when I’m out with my non-Foursquare friends (the large majority of the time) sort of hiding it. I’m embarrassed. Inevitably I’m asked “What are you doing? What’s Foursquare?” and I have to explain it to them. And they are confused and not really impressed. “What’s the point of that? It sounds dumb.” I can defend the silly thing, but not with much conviction.

Foursquare is an app you install on a smart phone that uses geotracking to allow you to “check-in” to whatever real location you are at and it lets your other foursquare friends know as well as keeping you informed of where your friends go. You can post “tips” in certain locations for others to read if they check into the same place. If you check into a location more than anyone else you can become the mayor of that place. You can also earn assorted badges for playing. For example, checking in 4 nights in a row can get you a “Bender” badge. It’s a little like location-based twitter with a bit of a game element.

What does any of this actually mean for brands and making the big bucks? I don’t know, not a whole lot to be honest. A few companies like Starbucks have had Foursquare build in coupons into the application. Starbucks offers the mayor of their specific location a dollar off their already over-priced fruity ice drinks I think at the moment. Some companies like Bravo, VH1, Zagat, New York Times have started their own Foursquare account to advertise events or their brand. A while ago, there was an article in the New York Times about Foursquare and that it’s now worth a ton of money, but it’s still a bit murky as to how this application can be harvested for real value. I haven’t done very much research, but it seems like Foursquare is not mainstream and is only being used by the geekiest geeks who want to go through the trouble of checking in. Correct me if I’m wrong.

There is a part of me that enjoys Foursquare because I like the idea of tracking where I’m going or the repetitive activity of checking in places and collecting them, or badges, or mayorships and around my town too. There’s a kind of thrill in seeing that we all go to the same places (tech enabling human connection?) and the city is actually so small. Because very few of my friends are into Foursquare, and most of my friends are types who would never be, it’s not all that social for me. In fact, I kind of wish it wasn’t attached to other people so I didn’t have to bother them with my updates or remind them that I exist, defeating perhaps the entire purpose of this SOCIAL network. I think of quitting it often, but then consider that it is a way to keep in touch with people that I like and don’t see often, it is kinda fun in some ways, and I like to participate in this stuff and see what it’s like and how people use it, even if I’m not the ideal user. Also, you never know, maybe it will really catch on and then I’ll be ahead of the game. I doubt it though, most people just can’t keep up being so intensely into themselves all the time. Just me; the amount that I’m into myself knows no bounds!

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

Monday, July 20th, 2009

I want you to watch this talk; it is beautiful:

I Love You, Man (As a Friend)

Monday, June 29th, 2009

masculinity and friendships!! Fascinating!! Masculinity is a riddle I hope to understand perhaps one day…

Relationships Between Gay and Straight Men Are Moving Beyond Stereotypes from the NY Times

More on the Soft Citizen office renos

Friday, May 15th, 2009

A story about our renos is in blogTO today. It also includes a link to more pictures of the office***. I didn’t mention last time that the Ministry of the Interior designed it. I probably should have.

Soft Citizen in blogTO

***A picture of my office is not featured.

This office is “eco-chic”…

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Just ask “one of the terminally stylish staffers”, like me. Muhaha!

Soft Citizen in Azure Magazine

Read about (some of) it in Azure Magazine:

The Toronto office of Soft Citizen – a film production company that makes music videos and commercials for the likes of Apple, ESPN and Dove – looks as if it leaped off the pages of a graphic novel.

Check out the site to see more of that, but the whole thing is in the June 2009 paper issue.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is going to be a movie SOON!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I just read this Torontoist article about the movie adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a graphic novel that many people and I think is wonderful, that is making me very excited by such associations (some speculative) as Michael Cera, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Jason Schwartzman, Quentin Tarantino, Lee’s Palace, Sneaky Dees and Dufferin Mall.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Fake beards compensate for a lot

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Check out The Perlorian Brothers interview in this month’s creativity.


Safety in Numbers

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Map of traffic accidents involving cyclists from the Star yesterday:

Bike map

Here’s an informative article from Torontoist about bike accidents here in the city:

[Bicycling safety] requires respect (from both cyclists and motorists), attention (no more drifting into the bike lane while texting), and compromise (wait just two seconds and you can make that turn safely). If we all see other drivers and cyclists as people rather than obstacles in our way as we rush from hither to thither, we’ll all be happier—and safer.

Read it here: The Accidental Cyclist from Torontoist

Find out about: Representation of Interracial Couples on Mainstream Television

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

My friend who is still in ComCult sent me this link. My heart skipped a beat. Yikes. This is terrifying to me, but definitely proof that I can write a lot of pages if I wanted to:

Representation of interracial couples on mainstream television : confining identities of race and gender in Heroes / by Sarah Lasch.

Bad Move, Team Spain

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Olympics: Spain’s eye-catching faux pas

Racist Team Spain

Spain’s Olympic basketball teams have risked upsetting their Chinese hosts by posing for a pre-Games advert making slit-eyed gestures.

What the heck were they thinking?? This is so blatantly dumb it’s almost funny. Almost?