Posts Tagged ‘google map’

The new Instagram map has killed my desire to geotag my Instagrams

Posted on: August 23rd, 2012 by Fransgaard 1 Comment

Recently Instagram added the “Photo Map” feature to Instagram. As I have been maintaining two hobby maps for years (London Restaurants and Japan Travels) I initially liked the idea and migrated all my Instagram photos to the new Photo Map.

But then I realised two things:

  1. I’m not looking at other people’s Photo Maps.
  2. I don’t use geotagging on Instagram THAT way.

What way?

To me a map is a tool displaying items with a long-term value; for example a museum or a restaurant. If it doesn’t have long-term value the map itself becomes useless as it sends people to items that have come and gone.

For example if I have put an Olympic event on a map a person finding that on the map in a few years will gain nothing from it other that it will clutter the map with noise obscuring the items that DO still exist and have a value.

Even if I did curate my Photo Map I would just be maintaining an extra map. I’d rather I could pinpoint selected Instagrams directly to my Google Maps so all geotagged information I produce was held in the same place.

I use geotagging in Instagram rather differently

With Instagram I will geotag events rather than places, so for example I walked past a big ‘A’ being painted yesterday. Normally I would geotag this in case somebody nearby is interested in big ‘A’s. I would not put it on a map though as I suspect this ‘A’ won’t be around for long. It is relevant now as it is happening right now.

But Instagram has removed my ability to geotag

That’s when it hit me: I can no longer geotag photos on the fly on Instagram unless I put it on the Photo Map! Which I don’t want to do for the reasons above.

Suddenly Instagram has lost some of its value to me by adding a feature!

I have been worried about where Instagram would be heading after Facebook bought it. While Facebook has stated they will let instagram run separately I am sure the Instagram team feel under pressure to “evolve” (and I am using that term very loosely) as fast as Facebook changes their interface.

What do you think about the Photo Map? Are you actually using yours or visiting other people’s Photo Maps at all?


Too many social media networks, too little time

Posted on: February 13th, 2011 by Fransgaard 3 Comments

It all started last year (2010) when I realised FourSquare didn’t really offer me anything of value as a private person eventhough I find it fascinating as a digital professional. Up until that point I had done everything I could to secure any online profile with my name, but with so many profiles I had lost the overview and my FourSquare profile was the first to get culled.

With more an more emerging social networks I believe it is going to be increasingly important for all of us to look at each of our online profiles with the eyes of the Devil’s advocate and ask: What’s in it for me?

I originally intended this article to be a catalogue of my own online profiles and an evaluation of each and what value they bring me. However the list was longer than I expected and in the end I decided it wouldn’t really be of any benefit to anybody but myself. What I do hope may be of benefit is what I learned through this exersize.

Lesson No. 1: My social media fix

Some networks I can’t do without. They form part of both my social and professional life and they are:

  • Twitter – My absolute favourite personal and professional network, possibly because it is a mix of both.
  • Facebook – I still keep this purely personal and the main catch is all my friends are on it.
  • Linkedin – My professional profile and it does play a major role in my work.
  • Flickr Now this was a bit of an eye opener for me. I did not consider Flickr one of my must-have networks until I looked at it objectively and realised how much I actually use it.

Key learning: Some networks may prove to be much more indispensable than you think.

Lesson No. 2: Digital nostalgia

While going through my online profiles I realised that some profiles I keep live simply for nostalgic reasons. For me it especially applied to my Posterous account. I closed my first blog in 2001 feeling I didn’t have enough to write to maintain it.

Then Twitter sparked me into public online writing and when I ran out of characters Posterous was there to help. Only months later did I realise I suddenly had a blog. But when the time came to redesign my online portfolio I migrated from flat HTML to WordPress and suddenly had a blog environment on my site and no need for Posterous any longer.

Eventhough I no longer use my Posterous account it simply doesn’t feel right to delete it… hence I am keeping it.

Key learning: If in doubt; keep it. Loosing your online profile only to find out later you want it back is stupid especially if it also means loosing content.

Lesson No. 3: Clone Wars

The biggest problem I found going through my networks was the sheer amount of duplicated functionality.

Lesson No. 3B: Flickr vs the world

In my quest to cull I discovered a multitude of online profiles that I could easily migrate to my Flickr account. These includes PicassaWeb and YouTube, both good networks but for me personally I don’t think I need to maintain accounts for these.

Interestingly enough I would have liked to add, and to some extend to the list of networks I could replace with my Flickr account but I can’t.

Yfrog and TwitPic are integrated so smoothly with Twitter that they do server a specific purpose… if only the Flickr iPhone app had a manual “tweet now” button, then I wouldn’t need them as I’d rather manually tweet from Flickr than having to worry about additional photo accounts.

Similarly if Flickr integrated with Facebook then I wouldn’t need to upload photos twice, but the way I have divided it is that private photos go on Facebook, public photos on Flickr and it does work for me.

Key Learning: There are lots and lots of duplicated functionalities out there, but do look twice before deleting a seemingly duplicated profile, it may hold a single functionality you rely on more than you realise.

The bigger picture: What does it mean for social networks?

The social network sphere is saturated. While I think is a great idea I can’t help but feel it would be better suited to be part of or Yahoo Answers.

And with rumours flying around I wonder how can it ever be the Facebook killer people predicts it to be? Not matter how great it is it will be missing one thing, the single most important thing: My friends. All my friends are on Facebook. They are not digital professionals, they don’t get “high” on new movements in the online industry, they just want to be where their friends are… which is Facebook.

So for to ever compete with Facebook they would have to not only move my friends, but their friends as well and their friends and their friends and so on and so forth…it simply won’t happen!

Google Buzz is a great example of this. Great tool, but why? I already have Twitter and bear in mind I am a big Google fan.

I think the opportunity is in small exclusive networks. Networks specialising in a defined target group. Good examples of this are and but I am sure there are loads out there and even more trying to get started.

Why I have deleted my FourSquare profile

Posted on: December 11th, 2010 by Fransgaard 6 Comments

Update February 2011
I’ve written a follow-up post called “Too many social media networks, too little time

In 2001 I closed my first blog. This was the first time I closed an online social profile. I have not done it since… until yesterday where I closed my FourSquare account.

I closed it because I don’t use it and I don’t see a use for it… basically I don’t need a FourSquare account.

Although I do have some security concerns about broadcasting my whereabouts (and especially where I am not at a given point of time) I did not close it because I am opposed to the idea of location-based services.

I closed it because I have come to the conclusion FourSquare doesn’t offer me anything I need.

I want a richer sharing experience. I don’t just want to share my location; I want to share photos/videos/ comments as life unfolds… Adding location is a nice option but given the coice I’d rather be able to upload photos than showing where I am on a faceless map.

But what about offers from FourSquare?

Well… I live in London and in the time I have used FourSquare I have only ever received a single offer by checking into FourSquare. It was a 20% off cake offer if I was the Mayor of a nearby shop… So the offer actually only applies to a single person at a given time and since it was the first time I was even close to the shop needless to say the offer was not relevant to me  and never would be since it is not a place I return to often.

And this is at the core of why I’ve abandoned FourSquare: It doesn’t actually offer me anything my other social profiles don’t.

Update 28/12/2010: FourSquare now have photo check-in and can even be linked to your Flickr account with Flicksquare.

I use FlookIt to share locations and photos of favourite restaurants. I like FlookIt not only because it let’s me upload a photo, I like it because I don’t have to share my location when I am there, I can save the card for later.

I also like FlookIt for being a much smaller network. It means people are friendlier and truth be told I don’t actually want to share my restaurant gems with too many people as I still want to be able to get a table for myself :-)

For quick  snapshots of my life Twitter and its geo-tagging is sufficient for me to post photos telling the world where I am and what I am doing. And even if I want to limit it to a closer group of friends I’d use Facebook. Both networks do what FourSquare could do for me so why bother with a third profile?

I think we as users need to stop the information flow and start questioning the value we get, we need to be more precious about our online time and find out which networks work for us and which duplicate services already available to us. Maybe make a shopping list of what we need.

For me the perfect solution would be a mobile app that would allow me to create an entry on my Google map, add photos and descriptions and select whether to tweet or share it on Facebook. Create; Share; Collect and store.

Professionally I find FourSquare exciting and interesting but for me as an individual it is just not the right network.

Goodbye FourSquare.