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Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive



A shot in the dark vs. a planned get together

Rather than simply telling everyone, “I’m at Uncle Billy’s BBQ” in a tweet and hoping others are within the area and can show up at the drop of a dime, the new kid on the block is Plancast which allows you to tell your social networks what you plan on doing in the future so others can join in. It’s less of an event planning site and more of an informal tool like Foursquare that allows people to “check in.” Plancast is so new that it doesn’t have its iPhone or mobile apps developed out but word is that they’re working on that.

For me personally, this tool is fantastic because I’m not much of a “drop what I’m doing and go see people” type, I’m more of the “I’ve scheduled out my entire week down to the minute” type, making Plancast conducive and more effective for me and others like me. So if you’re planning on spending Thursday working at Austin Java and wouldn’t mind if others worked with you on their own projects, tell Plancast. If you’re going hiking and would love others to join you on Saturday, tell Plancast. You get the idea, it’s a great way to invite your social network contacts into your offline social life.

Take a look:

Instead of me raving about it, I’ll take you on a photo tour. Enjoy! (…and click any image to enlarge)
Agent Genius is not affiliated with Plancast, Gowalla, Foursquare or Twitter.

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  1. Eric Hempler

    December 2, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Why not just setup an event on your Facebook and invite everyone?

  2. Lani Rosales

    December 2, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Less steps AND easier to populate Twitter with. Also, you can see other peoples’ events rather than just your own making it easy for me to browse and say “omg, Brandie’s coming to a conference in Austin, we should get together” and reach out personally without her having to spam me with a blanket, probably untargeted invitation.

  3. Real Estate Feeds

    December 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive: A shot in the dark vs. a planned get together
    Rather tha…

  4. Arjan Muthert

    December 2, 2009 at 9:06 am

    @agentgenius Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive

  5. Fred Romano

    December 2, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Sounds way to geeky for the avg joe to use. You really plan every minute? I don’t know any agent that does that.

  6. Lani Rosales

    December 2, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Fred, IF you think of it this way…

    untech savvy realtor is least geeky < tech savvy realtor is a little geeky < tech savvy realtor on twitter is more geeky < tech savvy realtor on plancast/foursquare/gowalla is most geeky're probably right. However, I challenge you to think of it as an open invitation to your social network (which should be your pipeline)- I don't plan on using it for every tiny thing I do, but if I want locals to join us, I gently pull them instead of spamming them. So, if I do coffee every Wednesday with my coworking group (freelancers that bring their laptops to a coffee house, work on their own projects but do it in a group), I would put that on Plancast with the implication I'm inviting others.

  7. Portland Condo Auctions

    December 2, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Its like reverse stalking. I dont like people knowing where I am or where I am going to be all the time, so this is not my sort of tool I guess.


  8. Karen Goodman

    December 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    There just seems to be a safety issue to me with both of these sites. I am all for connecting with my social networks, but the idea of advertising where I will am (or will be) to total strangers just seems like an open invitation for trouble.

    Instead, turning an event into a tweetup when you know at least one other person you are comfortable with will join you just seems safer.

    • Lani Rosales

      December 3, 2009 at 1:05 am

      Karen, this is why more people will make their Twitter accounts private (not wanting to broadcast publicly where you are or where you are going). Plancast is public however, so I personally won’t be using it to announce family vacation plans or anything rather publicly noting events I’m going to that are open to others or events I am hosting (which is frequent).

      Plancast, Foursquare and Gowalla are no more or less safe than having a public Twitter account.

      • Karen Goodman

        December 3, 2009 at 8:58 am

        I have do disagree with you on the point that these GPS sites that advertise your present location are just as safe as Twitter.

        Twitter doesn’t tell people where I am or will be at any given time. I occasionally chose to announce where I’m having lunch, but otherwise the only times tweet where I am is when I am attending a large group event or will be someplace where a lot of people know me (like my office).

        I know that there is a lot of information out in the cloud about all of us know, but using Foursquare would be like strapping a GPS device to my ankle and announcing it to the world. Using social media tools are great, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use some common sense in regards to safety.

        • Benn Rosales

          December 3, 2009 at 9:59 am

          “Twitter doesn’t tell people where I am or will be at any given time. I occasionally chose to announce where I’m having lunch, but otherwise the only times tweet where I am is when I am attending a large group event or will be someplace where a lot of people know me (like my office).”

          This is exactly what’s been said here, controlling what you put out there, inviting people to where you want to invite them, we do this everyday with Twitvite and other meeting tools, this one is just more personal and strategic to/for you.

          If you say on your public twitter account that you’re at work, I would imagine a smart someone by using the power of search or just watching you for long periods could deduce exactly where you work, has your picture, could follow you whereever you went… (I wont go any further cuz it’s just creepy) is the point she’s making, all of it is “out there” for the world to see- it’s in public, unless you’re private. At least then you have some reasonable right to privacy.

  9. Jason Sandquist

    December 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    since joining the other day, already found a few groups/events throughout the city I had no idea that existed that *peaked* my interest that I intend on showing face to ie: start-up groups, general networking groups, wordpress, the list goes on.

  10. Chris

    December 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Plancast is evidence that the Internet has moved into another bubble similar to 10 years prior. This is a redundant service that any of the top social services could implement in months. We will see if they survive after the first round of the current buzz for the product

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Social Media

This non-judgmental app can help you switch to a plant-based diet

(SOCIAL MEDIA) There are many reasons people choose plant-based diets. If you’re looking to try it out, this app helps you stay on track.



No Meat Today, a judgement-free plant-based diet tracking app.

The interest in plant-based proteins continues to grow. Healthline suggests that Americans are shifting toward plant-based meat substitutes because of shortages in the grocery store due to the pandemic, but there are many reasons to make the switch.

Plant-based proteins are considered more sustainable than traditional meat. Nutritionally, plant-based meat alternatives are often healthier. Regardless of the reason, if you’re one of the many Americans who are changing your diet, there’s a new app that can help you stay on track without making you feel judged if or when you do eat meat.

Your companion to eating less meat

No Meat Today is an app available in the App Store. You can get on a waitlist in Google Play. It’s a fun app that asks you, “Did you eat meat today?” You can even define what meat means to you, red meat, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs and/or dairy. As you eat less meat, your “planet” attracts cows. The design is simple, “don’t eat meat, get a cow.” If you eat too much meat, your cows go away. There’s no judgement if you lose a cow.

The creator, Arnaud Joubay says, “I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do, only to offer a friendly app to those who want to do the same.” It’s recommended to look back at your history to decide whether you want to eat meat or not.


The app was just released earlier this year. Most of its features are free, but you can pay $4.99 for all the features for one year. There have been some very cute cows released for special days. In the App Store, reviews are positive, but the caveat is that the creator asks you to contact him first if you if your review isn’t 5-stars. It’s a cute app that can motivate you to eat less meat.

Here’s the link to the product page.

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Social Media

Twitter insights to engage more customers this holiday season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter wants to help you prep your marketing for the first COVID holiday season by sharing findings on what customers care about.



Man on laptop open to Twitter, considering his holiday shopping with Christmas tree behind him.

The year 2020 has been a year like no other. None of us expected to be confined to the inside of our homes, but here we are. And now, more than ever, the holiday season is something most of us are looking forward to, even if we have to spend it apart. And social media like Twitter will be a key part of that.

So, to get a sense of what consumers expect this holiday season, Twitter UK has shared some insights to help brands better strategize on their holiday campaigns. Twitter’s official partner, Brandwatch, analyzed tweets from March to September to find out “people’s opinions and biggest concerns.” Here are Twitter’s findings.

Compared to previous years, people have already started asking for and have begun giving gift ideas and recommendations to each other. According to the data, mentions of Christmas started to increase in March. Between March 1 and September 30, there was a 10% increase in mentions compared to last year. So, brands should definitely start kicking off their marketing campaigns sooner than later.

The pandemic has undoubtedly influenced how we spend our money and has altered how we are able to have family time. According to the Brandwatch Twitter data, 59k people are discussing how family gatherings will be impacted by it. So, brands should be mindful of this, and incorporate messaging that reaches out to everyone. Messaging that makes family and friends feel connected, even if they are spending the holidays alone.

Another thing to consider is combining your efforts with local businesses. Making purchases from small and independent businesses is something that has been heavily highlighted since the beginning of the pandemic. With Christmas drawing near, this couldn’t be more important in people’s minds. Twitter has seen a substantial jump in people saying they will be holiday shopping locally. By partnering with a local business, both small and large companies can benefit from sales.

Also, health and safety were and still are at the top of everyone’s minds. A lot of people on Twitter are saying they will do all their shopping early. This will help them avoid the large crowds of last-minute shoppers.

As a result, companies should start preparing themselves to receive early shoppers. Part of preparing is making sure all health and safety measures are in place. Brands should follow all CDC guidelines and make sure they continue to be transparent with customers. Sending out a simple safety message through social media or email will go a long way.

These insights from Twitter are specific to the UK, but should still be considered. No one knew we’d still be where we are now. However, the holiday season is still something people are excited about. And, brands can take these insights to help maximize sales.

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Social Media

10 Snapchat Ad tips to increase engagement for holiday shopping season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As holiday shopping draws near, Snapchat offers helpful tips to help business owners make use of their advertising and branding tools.



Woman holding phone open to Snapchat chat window, casually dressed with journal and coffee nearby.

The holidays are basically here, and Snapchat wants to make sure you get the most out of your Snap promotions. The company recently released its “Snapchat Ads Best Practices: 10 Tips to Help Increase Ad Engagement” post. With these pointers and advertising best practices, Snap hopes to help companies “build visually appealing ads that drive quality engagement and high return on investment for your business.”

So, let’s get into the tips!

1. Choose the right ad format for your goals
With a lot of advertising options, Snap says you need to select the right ad type that will better align with and help you meet your business goals.

2. Showcase your product front and center in your ad creative
Displaying a fullscreen video or image of your product will encourage a viewer to want to engage more. As a result, it is good to include a ‘hero’ message at the beginning that has all relevant information, such as offers and specials.

For eCommerce purposes, products should be featured “front and center to drive purchase intent.” For apps and games, include the app’s UI, features, and benefits in the ad. Meanwhile, local businesses should highlight the services or products their business specializes in.

And, always remember to make sure your creative meets Snapchat’s ad specs so your ad can be displayed flawlessly.

3. Make your ads feel native to Snapchat
No one likes intrusive ads that scream at your face telling you to buy a certain product or service. To prevent this from happening, Snap says your ads should “mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps” already on the platform. These non-intrusive ads should be kept short at around 5-6 seconds. And, Snap says these more “conversational ads” get viewed more fully than polished ads do.

4. Drive urgency with relevant messaging
Don’t overcomplicate the message. This will just get people to swipe away. Instead, make sure relevant information is at the beginning and is easy to understand. Placing your messaging within the first 2 seconds is preferable.

5. Design for sound on
Despite what you might think, silence isn’t better. Snap says that about 64% of Snapchat ads have the sound turned on. And, an effective way of including sound in your creative is by using a customer testimonial. Spoken testimonials help viewers understand and better relate to the brand or product.

6. Link your ads properly
Make sure users are being directed to where you want them to go. You don’t want them clicking on a broken link. Or worse, someone else’s content. The right link is crucial for impressions and conversions. Here are Snap’s recommended “attachment types depending on advertiser goal.”

  • Drive online sales by using Web View Attachments. These pages instantly load for the user and are available in Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.
  • Drive app installs by using App Install Attachments. Snapchatters will be able to swipe and download your app. Using ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ as a CTA, Snap says you will have strong conversion rates.
  • Drive app engagement/app visits by using Deep Links. These links will bring existing users back to your app. At the same time, any new users will be directed to the app store to install the app. Deep Links can be added to Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.

7. Test ad creative and try new ad formats
Testing something is a pretty good idea when it comes to anything. Snap emphasizes this, and says testing can give you “insight into what content resonates most with your target audience.” They recommended testing your ad creative for about 2-4 weeks using different formats. After you’ve gathered enough information, you can determine the winning format that is best for you.

8. Use goal-based bidding to bid towards your desired action

  • Goal-based bidding “allows you to optimize towards a specific action that a Snapchatter is most likely to take, such as installing your app, watching a video, or completing a purchase.”
  • Snap has several bidding strategies, and it recommends using Target Cost Bidding.

9. Broaden your targeting
After you’ve been running your ads for at least a couple of weeks, Snap says to consider broadening your target audience. Snapchat has several different targeting options. Some of the categories you can expand on are geo, gender, age ranges, and languages. Expanding your audience will allow you to get more impressions.

10. Understand your audience reach to optimize
Finally, make use of Snap’s Audience Insights. These insights provide Snapchat with data like demographics, interests, locations, and devices overview. By knowing this information, you can better understand your audience and create content that is tailored to them. Content that will ultimately maximize your advertising efforts.

Overall, Snapchat understands that “mobile advertising is a key component to any digital marketing strategy.” By offering us these tips, they are reminding us of some things we already know, and telling us how they can help us achieve our advertising goals.

With the holidays around the corner, Snapchat says they can help you reach a large and engaged audience for just $5 a day with their offerings. So, what do you think of Snapchat’s tips?

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