TOMS Next Chapter: From Shoes to Eyewear

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For several months now, TOMS has been building anticipation about their upcoming #NextChapter in the TOMS company. After several years of successfully executing their well known One-for-One model with cute, comfy shoes,  the company has decided to branch out into uncharted territory. They put mystery boxes in locations worldwide which will be opened today to reveal the next chapter in TOMS One-For-One program.

The event takes front and center on their website , inspired a nice spread on their Facebook page, and has been the talk for weeks via their Twitter account (see below).

They created videos for YouTube to incite anticipation among the avid TOMS fans (such as the one below) as well as encouraging people to check-in via Gowalla at the opening events for TOMS Mystery Boxes.

Today is the day for the unveiling and fans are eagerly anticipating #TOMSNextChapter!   The unveiling takes place at 10:30 a.m. PST … That’s about 1:30 for us East Coast dwellers!  I’m excited to see what the #NextChapter is that Blake Mycoskie will be sharing with us! If you want to know more about TOMS, read my April blog post here

Note: After the release, I will update this post with the exciting news! Check back to find out what the new chapter is!!!!

And the Next Chapter is . . .*drumroll* . . .

TOMS  EYEWEAR!!!!

 

 

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Checking-In (part 2): So Many Sites, So Little Time

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One of the things I learned quickly while trying to research geolocation and check-in applications is that there are way too many of them to keep track of easily. I am by nature an experiential learner and learn best by actually doing things and trying out new technologies for myself. I downloaded the first couple of applications I found out about- CauseWorld and Foursquare- and enjoyed checking-in at various locations. After adding GetGlue and ShopKick and completely depleting the storage space and battery power of my phone trying to download Foodspotting, Gowalla, and others, I realized there was no way anyone could have a presence on all of these applications, So, I came up with a plan. (For me, at least.) There is really only the need to have 2-3 applications to effectively participate in the check-in trend that is taking place. Here is what I suggest as a way to limit the applications you use.

1. Choose one basic application for geolocation

Choices in this category would be applications such as Foursquare, Gowalla or BrightKite. They will allow you to check-in to your location and learn more about your town, while maybe even getting some sweet deals from local businesses.

My Choice: Foursquare

Reasons: It is simple to use and actually is being used by several businesses in Knoxville to offer deals. I like being able to get a free drink at Hard Knox Pizza (every check-in), a free milkshake at Chick-fil-a (with 3 check-ins) or 20% off at Sweet CeCe’s (for the Mayor). Foursquare also recently unveiled new business analytics pages for it’s service.

2. Choose one gaming application

Choices in this category could include Geocaching, SCVNGR, Tourality, and others

My Choice: SCVNGR

Reasons: Although I haven’t been able to use it yet, I became interested in SCVNGR because it is used by Buffalo Wild Wings here in Knoxville. I am a competitive person by nature and love the idea of getting to complete challenges while waiting for my food.

3. Pick a wild card

Everyone has different tastes, preferences, etc. This applies to social media just as it would any other aspect of your life. For your optional third application, I strongly suggest you choose an application that appeals to your personal interests and hobbies. If you are crazy about food, you might try Foodspotting. Often accused of being a shopaholic? Then you should try out ShopKick for great deals delivered to you as you walk in the door of you favorite stores. There are many other applications out there, and I’m sure you can find one you will love.

My Choice: GetGlue

Reasons: I am a total entertainment addict. I love interacting with other fans about books, movies, music, and celebrities. I also enjoy earning new badges for check-in at box office openings and events such as the Oscars.

Overall, I think one of the most important things is to remember to post responsibly to any of these sites you choose to use. I would strongly suggest that you do not share your personal information (i.e. phone number, date of birth, etc.) with these applications because we know that EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE can see what you are posting. If you can narrow down your applications and post responsible, you will have a long happy relationship with checking-in. To find our more about the wide array of applications and their uses in the professional world check out the short video below.

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Checking-In (part 1): What we’re looking for in our apps

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There’s been a lot of buzz lately about FourSquare, Facebook Places, Google latitude and other check-in applications; however, a recent report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that only 4% of online adults use location-based services. This causes us to wonder who is using these applications, what they are using and how they are choosing which applications to use.

In a recent study by uTest, which surveyed 300 participant in 35 countries, researchers challanged participants to compare BrightKite, FourSquare and Gowalla. These first generation check-in apps have the same basic purposes, and the study allowed users to compare the three services across several important factors.

The results showed that overall, FourSquare is still king of the check-in, followed closely by Gowalla. The study also looked at which of these areas that users found most important when choosing which applications they would use. This can help application developers know what decisions to make about constructing applications to best suit their audience.

The need for ease-of-use was definitely the most important to geolocation application users. This is where Facebook rises to the top of the ladder. They are ranked the highest on ease-of-use which is the most important to application users, which gives them the edge over Gowalla and BrightKite. As geolocation applications undergo changes and begin to incorporate augmented reality and other technologies, it will be interesting to see if ease-of-use still stays at the top of the needs hierarchy.

To find out more about geolocation applications, check out the cool links I found by scanning the QR code below.