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Do You Want to Know Where I Am?

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Buddy Beacon

We’ve been hearing about tracking devices and GPS systems for your cell phone, but I am so glad to see these take off for very selfish reasons (can keep track of my kids and my hubby…..not that I have to) 😉

Seriously…. for all of us that do the social networking thing, it could be cool to know where we are and can see people already using systems like brightkite to “check in” – it could also be annoying, depends if you are OCD or not.



But interestingly enough, I started thinking about Real Estate Applications for Buddy Beacon that can benefit a lot of us:

  • Real Estate Teams staying connected
  • Big office applications for broker’s opens or caravans (yes a lot of office still do those)
  • When showing properties to clients
  • To see how far away a colleague is from a particular appointment

I’m sure you can come up with a lot more applications. This whole GPS thing can be a little scary and you have to be careful who you let “in” to check your location but it is all a matter of CONTROL.

Buddy Beacon is not a tracking application. Your location is only updated when you set your location. Buddy Beacon is currently available on select mobile phones

Now HERE’s where it gets interesting – uLocate (the maker of Buddy Beacon) has teamed up with Garmin (The GPS company) to make this application take off and really be a useful tool. According to our friends at Mashable,

As Garmin creates standalone GPS devices, there is some overlap between Garmin’s capabilities and those found on other devices like the iPhone, so integrating with social networking and providing ways in which people can use Garmin’sGPS devices to connect with each other offline means that Garmin is increasing its value and moving towards the support of a more inclusive ecosystem for the use of its devices.

Integration is the key, especially when using different systems that we are all into. Now to figure out how else to apply it to our real estate business to make our lives easier and more productive.

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Todd

    August 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hooray for Location Based Services ( Yes I am a huge LBS geek ). I do want to point out that you can use Fire Eagle and just the mobile phone you already have, no dedicated GPS hardware needed. Fire Eagle is free and they address your concern:

    “…This whole GPS thing can be a little scary and you have to be careful who you let “in” to check your location but it is all a matter of CONTROL..”

    I could not agree more, and the Fire Eagle folks have built some awesome user controls into the service. You can set your location in seven different levels of detail, from “none” to “zip code” all the way down to three meter resolution accuracy. Highly recommended!

    fireeagle.com

  2. Ines

    August 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Todd – looks like another interesting application – I’m guessing it’s a lot like brightkite? I’d love to know the technical differences between all these sites and what advantages some have over others.

  3. James Boyer

    August 20, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    So here is a tracking question. Why is agentgenius not allowing the search engines (Google/Yahoo/MSN) to follow the links to the commentors. After all we come to your site as trackable traffic, spend our valuable time reading your posts, and then spend even more time commenting, and then we get no-followed.

  4. Karen Goodman

    August 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I didn’t realize there was something out there like this. I can see it as being a huge plus for keeping agents safe that are showing property. If you could enter the data each time you get to the next house, and someone at the office or your home can track where you are…it could be a lifesaver if you didn’t check in when expected.

    Is anyone using one of these services along these lines?

  5. Todd

    August 21, 2008 at 7:31 am

    @Ines

    “..I’d love to know the technical differences between all these sites and what advantages some have over others..”

    That may be beyond the scope of what I can write in a blog post comment. If you or anyone else here wants a Bright Kite invitation ( I have a bunch of them ) or a crash course on Fire Eagle ( I was one of the first beta testers ) just ask. Direct Message me via Twitter or write to me directly Lani has both of those.

    And “yes” Location Based Services are inherently tied to the practice of real estate – “location, location, location!”

  6. Ines

    August 21, 2008 at 9:23 am

    James – that’s a question for Lani and Benn – no follow tags are common now in the blogosphere but I am no SEO techie, so can’t answer your question. I do believe the comment should come because you feel like being part of the conversation, not because you’re looking for a backlink though. (not implying that’s what you’re after either)

    Karen – THAT’s exactly what I was looking for, ideas for applications and SAFETY is a huge issue – especially in this industry that we find ourselves alone so often with people we don’t know. Great point!

    Todd – I’m in Bright Kite and see several people like Kristal Kraft and Jeff Turner “checking in” to different locations through Twitter – I just want to know the difference between all the systems and would love to see how Garmin is making a difference with all the pre-existing systems. (Thanks for your help)

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    August 21, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Karen, you make a great great point! This is not only great for parents with new teen drivers, but in a real estate application, this would be really helpful like you said for the office admin to be able to figure out where everyone is, kind of like central dispatch.

    Because it’s opt in/ opt out, it seems like it could also be useful for the hyperconnected meaning many people are already on Twitter announcing their whereabouts and if they chose to have their Buddy Beacon on and their selected Twit friends knew about it, it would serve as a supplement to Twitter and possibly lead to more meetups in person. This sounds crazy but it’s already happening! 🙂

  8. Paula Henry

    August 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I have mixed feeling about location devices. There are some great ideas here for their use. I just don’t want everyone knowing where I am at all times. Of course there is the safety factor having such a system in place among certain people.

    @Lani – I can see the value in meet-ups, if I want to be met. Otherwise, I don’t want people to know where I am. That’s just me.

  9. Todd

    August 22, 2008 at 7:52 am

    @Paula

    “…I just don’t want everyone knowing where I am at all times.”

    That is a common and justifiable concern. I want to stress ( software based ) Location Based Services are completely under the user’s control – just click “OFF”. When and where your mobile phone to Bright Kite or the Fire Eagle API allows you to define exactly who sees what at will, including “no one” and “nothing” – it is entirely up to you. There is also the means to delete the stored information from earlier location updates, leaving no trail at all.

    FYI

  10. Thomas Johnson

    August 22, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Mrs. Eliot Spitzer and Mrs. John Edwards are wondering where these devices were a year and a half ago. It could have added millions to their divorce settlements.

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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