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Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive

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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)
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Agent Genius is not affiliated with Plancast, Gowalla, Foursquare or Twitter.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  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… https://bit.ly/6Z0Ey6

  4. Arjan Muthert

    December 2, 2009 at 9:06 am

    @agentgenius Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive https://bit.ly/5H1F2z

  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 ...you'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.

    -Tyler

  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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Reactions to Twitter Blue from real subscribers, p.s. its not worth it

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, gives more control over tweets and custom UI, but subscriber reception has been lukewarm.

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Twitter Blue Sign Up Page

Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that gives users increased control over their tweets and the appearance of their interfaces, launched this summer. Subscriber reception has been lukewarm, foreshadowing some resistance to shifts away from advertising-based revenue models for social media platforms.

The allure of Twitter Blue isn’t immediately apparent; beyond a relatively low price tag and increased exclusivity on a platform that emphasizes individuality, the service doesn’t offer much to alter the Twitter experience. Twitter Blue’s main selling point – the ability to preview and alter tweets before sending them – may not be enough to convince users to shell out the requisite three dollars per month.

Other features include the option to change the theme color and icon appearances. Twitter Blue subscribers can also read some ad-supported news articles without having to view ads courtesy of Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, a company that provides ad-free news browsing.

But even with this variety of small customization options and the promise of more to come, users are skeptical. Android Central’s Shruti Shekar is one such user, beginning her review with, “Right off the bat, this feature isn’t worth the money you’d be spending on it every month.”

Shekar posits that the majority of the features are wasted on long-term users. “I think a lot of my opinions come from a place of using Twitter for so long in a certain way that I’ve gotten used to it, and now I find it challenging to adapt to something that would theoretically make my life easier,” she explains.

One of those adaptations centers on Twitter Blue’s “Undo Tweet” feature – something that belies the notion of proofreading and using common sense before sending thoughts into the nether.

“For me, 95% of the time, I really do pay attention to my tweets before I send them out,” says Shekar.

Twitter Blue checking Tweets before sending.

Shekar does praise Twitter Blue’s “Reader Mode” feature that allows users to view threads as uninterrupted columns but argues that the feature would probably end up being underutilized despite being a cool concept.

The aforementioned color and theme customization was of little interest to Shekar. “I actually found it a bit challenging to get used to the other colors, not because they’re ugly, but again because I am just so used to the classic blue,” she says.

One problem here is that the options to change link and theme colors and put threads in reader mode seem more like accessibility features than premium content. Twitter might do well to make these available to all users, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism about locking quality of life updates behind a subscription paywall.

Shekar’s criticism hits on a crucial point for any social media company looking to emulate Twitter Blue’s subscription model: Even if the subscription price is low, companies have to be prepared to make actual meaningful changes to the user experience if they want satisfied subscribers. That includes building in options that don’t fundamentally alter the basic aspects (or appearance) of the platform.

For more on Twitter Blue, check out their blog post on it here.

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Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Social Media

Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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