Thanks very much for inviting me. I know we’re competing with the Rangers first game of the season this afternoon. So thanks for being here.I’m a Blue Jays fan. So it’s nice to be somewhere with a team that has an actual chance of winning a championship.
Study looked a very specific thing done by a small number of editors in North America:Tying editorial content to location using the social network FoursquarePeople at a location “check in” to a place & can read tips left by others. They indicate that they have “Done” a tip or add the tip to their “To-Do” listNews organizations are using it to distribute their editorial content as tips on locations, which Foursquare calls venues.If you follow a user, they will also see their tips pop up when you are nearby the place where they left the tipsNews organizations using this to distribute restaurant reviews — and other types of content
Interviews with editors using FoursquareI chose Postmedia because it’s one of the most active news organizations using FoursquareIt’s clear that news organizations are putting only a fraction of their content into Foursquare.I was interested — what was it about these articles?And also about the process of getting them into Foursquare. Who is doing it? And how.I looked at it through the framework of gatekeeping – the function of editors deciding what gets published/distributed.
Asked the participants about content they put in Foursquare that they considered “successful”I left it up to them to judge what was successful -- Generally ones that received a lot of reactionNatPost: Dropped a series of tips at Toronto Film Festival locations. Reviews and guides to the festivalEdmonton Journal: Took a series of opinion pieces about light rapid transit use. Left at them LRT stations in the cityVancouver Sun: Left reviews of a couple of downtown restaurants that were popular
One key question asked: What content were the editors choosing for this location-based service?Rarely about anything that took place at a certain time – partially due to workload, they tried putting band profiles at a club venue before a concert – but few saw it. Has to have some longevity.“Evergreen” quality – useful for a long whileOpinion – something that got an emotional reaction from people. “I agree!”Few instances of news – “just jarring” to know someone had been beaten where you are.
What was the nature of this editorial content?Content that provided a recommendation: a guide, a travelogue, a review Framed to promote user action — to click “Done” on a tip or start a conversation on Twitter or Facebook – something that could be measured – yes, but most said it was to promote engagementTimeless – but also about events, IF they lasted a few daysAbout a specific location like an actual restaurant – but also about activities done at a narrow type of location: About things that people do at airports or about issues of interest to people who shop at Apple stores.Not about solitary places. Eg: “birthplace of a famous person”. Instead about places where people gather in groups socially – at music and theatre festivals, sports events, transportation hubs & educational classes. Places where people feel inclined to interact.
Mobile devices will be a huge distribution channel for news in the near future – many indications of that – and a user’s location will be important ( hyper-local)Just one channel: Editors said “It’s important to be present where people are” a) physically (GPS) b) where people connect socially in networksAbout going out, having a good time, exploring — and sharing online. Limited research that suggests people share less when they are upset. Affects content.Lots more in the paper. Thanks.
Tim CurrieAssistant ProfessorSchool of JournalismUniversity of King’s CollegeHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Experiments in Location-Based Content:A Case Study of Postmedia’s Use of Foursquare
Foursquare Social network 6.5 million users Smartphone app tied to GPS Users leave tips at a location Users can indicate they have “done” tips Game-like experience 2/7
The Study Interviews with editors placing editorial content as tips 3 Postmedia newspapers: National Post, Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Sun RQ1: What criteria have editors used to select content for Foursquare? RQ2: How have the editors produced this content? Theory: Gatekeeping 3/7
Uses Q: What content was successful? Film festival guide Restaurant review Opinion piece 4/7
Findings Q: How would you characterize the editorial contentyou place in Foursquare? “Not hard-core news” “Evergreen” “Useful to people over a longer period of time” “Opinion” “Feature-y” 5/7
Findings Newspaper content placed in Foursquare was: An opinion, review, guide or first-person account Described with the goal of inspiring action Timeless — or about an event of 2+ days About a specific location or an activity done at a specific type of location Placed at a location where people gather socially 6/7
Implications News on mobile devices is the future Foursquare is just one of many distribution channels Content tied to social nature of the tool 7/7