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Foursquare Day and the Press Conference with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn

4sqday press conference(click to watch video)

I can certainly say that it is has been a remarkable journey. If you are not familiar, Foursquare Day started a little over a year ago when I was trying to find a way to have a fun event for Bright Eyes using foursquare and, to my surprise, the idea was very popular. In three weeks, it went global. You can read about happened in 2010 here and the recent story in the Tampa Tribune here.

This year, thanks to volunteers in Tampa and around the world, it was an event greater success. Foursquare Day was officially proclaimed by 19 mayors around the world, including Michael Bloomberg of New York City, and Tampa’s newly elected Bob Buckhorn. Over 1000 parties were held all over the world and money was raised for many great causes such as the Humane Society, Red Cross, food banks, and Japanese disaster relief.

April 16th was a busy one for me. After a few hours of sleep in Houston, TX, where I had spoken the day before to eye docs about Facebook, I flew back to Tampa early. I rushed for an interview for Bay News 9, did some blogging for 4sqday.com and then participated in a press conference with Mayor Buckhorn. It was very cool to spend time with the mayor talking about social media in a relaxed setting, outside by the Sail Pavilion. Then Mayor Buckhorn and I spoke at the podium about the importance of social media and business development, before Mayor Buckhorn proclaimed Jason Cyr the “Foursquare Mayor of Tampa.”

Until next year!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Foursquare Day Sale at Bright Eyes!

banner 4SQday

It is that time of year again….. yes, my friends, April 15th, tax day. Yay!

But even better, the day after that is FOURSQUARE DAY! And here at Bright Eyes that means SALE! That’s right, we are pulling out all the stops and doing something we almost never do – for a very limited time.

BUY ONE,

GET ONE FREE

SALE

Seriously, all you have to do is show up and check in at Bright Eyes on foursquare. You’ll get an entire pair of glasses and lenses of equal or lesser value. (Please note – this sale is so awesome that it cannot be combined with insurance or other discounts. Patients must check in prior to ordering the glasses. If you have questions, please ask us.)

If you don’t know what Foursquare Day is, it is a day to celebrate social media, and foursquare, the geolocation application. Because 4^2 equals 16, April 16 is the day! And you may not know that Foursquare Day started right here at Bright Eyes last year. You can read more about that on our blog here and TampaBay.com here.

And don’t forget to support the local foursquare scene by RSVP’ing here!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

What I Learned at Barcamp…a Social Media Internet Marketing Grass Roots Organization

This is a guest post from Rae Catanese. I first met her at the American Optometrist Association meeting in Orlando. She was doing an excellent job providing social media exposure for an optical equipment supplier. Since then I have seen her several times at Tampa social media events, including BarCamp Tampa Bay. When she offered to write a guest post about BarCamp, I jumped at the chance! Enjoy! – Dr. Nate

What is Barcamp?

Barcamp Tampa started 3 years ago and has evolved into a community in itself. Barcamp isn’t what it sounds like. No beer, at least not until after the conference. Barcamp is a grass roots movement created to change the way the world interacts with people. It’s a like-minded community of social media, savvy internet marketing professionals and geeks, coming together to share information. This isn’t your typical conference, it’s an “unconference,” which means that there are presentations throughout the day but they are done by willing attendees instead of invited speakers.

How one idea spread throughout the World using Foursquare…

What is Foursquare? Foursquare is a location based application used as a check-in tool at businesses utilizing GPS technology on your cell phone.

One of most recognized Optometrists in Tampa Bay, Nathan Bonilla-Warford, or just “Dr. Nate” as we call him, founded Foursquare Day. Dr. Nate was joined by several other savvy internet marketing colleagues, who didn’t know when they started the effort that it would have such an explosive impact viral marketing effect..

Foursquare Day was an idea to encourage the use of the application and to also promote local businesses. What happened in Tampa Bay didn’t stay in Tampa Bay. The grass roots effort spread virally throughout the world to 35 countries using social media tools like Facebook and twitter. McDonald’s caught on and joined the effort; the company reported that the Foursquare Day Campaign brought in 33% more foot traffic.

Dr. Nate is truly a pioneer in the eye care industry for strategic social media marketing and branding. He uses the technology in his own practice to increase awareness and promote sales events. If you don’t know what Foursquare is you can check out the application here http://foursquare.com/. It’s a great viral word of mouth marketing tool for restaurants and retail establishments.

Read more about how Foursquare Day got started http://blog.4sqday.com/about/. You can also follow Nate on his Facebook Page if you’d like.

By Rae Catanese
Social Media Marketing Strategist

http://Twitter.com/realtyrae
http://facebook.com/tamparealestateinsider

We love guest posts that are relevant to our audience. If you are interested, please let us know!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

You Now Can Check In at Bright Eyes Tampa with Facebook Places and Save Money!

You love Bright Eyes, right? And you may be one of the half a billion (yes, with a “B”) people who have a Facebook account. So now that Facebook Places is up and running, you can combine Bright Eyes and Facebook by checking in at the NEW Bright Eyes Facebook Place Page!

BEFBP

So…. If you are thinking, “What the heck is he talking about?” Here is a quick primer:

In the social media world, location-based services are hot! Location based services (LBSs) are applications that work on your smartphone, like an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry. Because these apps know where you are via GPS, it allows you to interact with other people in specific ways: location friends, see who’s in the area, and other game-like activities.

For the last year, foursquare has been my favorite, because it is the most fun. Gowalla, Yelp and other LBS applications have been competing for interest. All of these apps let you “check in” somewhere. This usually let’s friends know that you are at that location, but also gets you discounts at certain businesses. For example, showing your check in to Bright Eyes on any of the services gets you a discount on purchased items and services.

But the big game changer was that Facebook rolled out is own LBS, totally integrated with all other aspects of Facebook. So now, even if you didn’t have a foursquare or Gowalla account, you can still check in at Bright Eyes for your discount with Facebook. You can check in two ways: the iPhone Facebook app, or using http://touch.facebook.com. (Feel free to use one of the computers if you want to check in!)

So next time you stop by Bright Eyes for an exam, to pick up contacts, or just to say “Hi”, be sure to check in!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Foursquare Day at South by Southwest? Yes!

[youtube]rfoXqcZMZh4[/youtube]

(Click here to see the Thank You video in YouTube.)

You may remember the hoopla around April 16th, otherwise known as Foursquare Day. Well, the excitement continues, but this time it will be in Austin, TX in March, 2011.

My friend Walter Elly has proposed that Foursquare Day be a topic of discussion at the great South by Southwest festival. The panel is under consideration, but part of the decision is with the people and we need people to vote. So if you have a free moment – vote for me! See Walter’s post here on the details and how-tos.

Thanks!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Donna wins FREE Linea Roma sunglasses!

[youtube]2Ri_5sUoEvU[/youtube]

Donna, the winner of the summer sunglass contest, came in and picked out some fabulous, FREE Linea Roma sunglasses today!

She was also our 100th foursquare check-in! And she won a gift certificate last year from the Tiffany & Co. contest. What a big winner she is! And it couldn’t happen to a nicer person! She’s been one of our biggest fans for a long time!

Stay tuned for your chance to win our next big contest! And in the meantime, don’t forget the sunglass sale we have going on: 20% to 40% on all sunglasses!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Foursquare Day: The First Global Social Media Holiday

Note to regular Bright Eyes News readers: I know that the subject of social media and Foursquare Day is a significant departure from the usual topics of eye care news and vision therapy. However, this last week has been such an interesting experience and started at Bright Eyes and I hope you don’t mind another post…. -Dr. Nate.

I have had the most amazing week! I have been meeting amazing people, working like crazy, and this morning am reading an article in the St. Pete Times about me. It is quite surreal, I must say.

Why all the excitement? Well, it appears that I had an idea that has lead, through a chain of events involving a lot of hard work by Tampa Bay people, to the creation of Foursquare Day: the first global social media holiday.

I won’t use this space to explain the background in detail. You can read the story as it evolved here, here, and here.

But now that Foursquare Day is getting attention beyond the social media crowd (the Twitteratti, as I call them), I am getting a lot of people saying some variation of, “Hey Dr. Nate, Foursquare Day sounds really cool. I just don’t think I understand it.” So the point of this post is to explain my take on this new phenomenon.

Foursquare Day began as a fun way to recognize the company foursquare on April 16 each year. Foursquare is a very fun application that has the potential to enrich the life of both users and local businesses like mine. To participate, all you have to do is go to any place on April 16 where people can gather and let the world know you are there via foursquare. It is that simple.

However, as the Foursquare Day project grew, I began to think about what I was experiencing. Although I have blogged here and elsewhere for years, used Twitter and Facebook very successfully to promote Bright Eyes and create actual, real-life relationships with people, I have never experienced the raw power that social media has to literally change the world, until now. And that has become what Foursquare Day means to me.

To the best of my knowledge, and I am certain that someone will correct me if I am wrong, Foursquare Day is the first globally recognized grass-roots celebration of the power of social media as a positive force within the community.

Let’s take a look at some of the pieces of that statement:

“first” – I think. A Google search showed lots of great Geek Holidays, but none specifically about social media, and just how social media influenced holiday shopping. Again, please tell me if I am wrong.

“globally recognized” – From the Foursquare Day Swarm HQ, from the Hyatt in downtown Tampa, we will be video conferencing with people celebrating social media from every continent, except Antarctica. (If someone can swing that, I’ll buy you lunch!)

“Grass-roots” – It is important to note that foursquare did not start this movement, nor did they buy it. It started in Tampa and has only succeeded through the very hard work of too many people to name here. Like much of the social media activity, this is being done by people purely because it is cool for them.

“power of social media” – The ability to not just chat on Facebook and Twitter (which is important), but to use wikis, Skype and other communication tools is unparalleled to any time in human history. Not only can we do these things, but we can do them ANYWHERE – coffee shops, our bed, a park. (But not while driving, for our own safety).

“Positive affect on the community” – Like any tool, social media can be used for good or evil. But I am convinced that the overwhelming use of social media is for the betterment of individuals and communities. Not only can we develop strong, permanent relationships with people both locally and globally as well as support local, independent businesses and non-profits, we can use social media to support wonderful causes. One issue that I am passionate about is the development of children’s vision to help them reach their potential. Two social media examples that help people understand what I do is the COVD blog and this grass-roots Facebook page.

So Tampa and everyone else, even if you don’t use foursquare, please come down to the Hyatt to swarm with us for Foursquare Day on April 16 in celebration of social media. Bright Eyes is the primary sponsor, and it will be the biggest party we’ve EVER held!

And, of course, I wouldn’t be a businessman if I didn’t mention that you can check in at Bright Eyes on April 16 and save 50% (yes, half), on all glasses and sunglasses. Read more here and tell every one you know. You will never see a deal like this again. I am certain of it. 🙂

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Celebrate Foursquare Day on April 16!

UPDATE!

After some good work by @redheadjessica: #4sqday is official!

 

Official Tweet

~~~~~~~~

Foursquare has gotten some good press recently, thanks in part to SXSW. I want to help, by turning April 16 into Foursquare Day!

Background: I’ve been a fan of foursquare since before I could even use it. While it was incubating in New York, I was reading about foursquare on Mashable, but since Tampa wasn’t yet an open city, I couldn’t do much. Immediately after Tampa was unlocked I blogged and tried to get the word out to friends and fellow business owners. Although I used the mobile site, it wasn’t until I could download the Blackberry app, that I really began to see it as a game that also challenges me to try new venues in my neighborhood!

More background: I’ve always been a fan of geeky holidays. My birthday, October 23rd, falls on Mole Day (10^23). And of course March 14, (3.14) is Pi day. And May the 4th (May the force… with a lisp) is a great day for a Star Wars Day party! So why not Foursquare Day? Let’s get out there and frequent some local venues on Friday, April 16. Why then? Because it is the 4th month, and the 4-squared day!foursquare_logo-300x300

To participate, all you have to do is check in somewhere on April 16, and use the #4sqday hashtag! Then party down! It is that easy!

But if you want to help us get the word out here are some other ideas:

For Users:

Share this blog post with everyone!

Tweet about it. Use the one-click tweet if you want to!

Vote the idea up on the official Foursquare Get Satisfaction page.

Join the Foursquare Day facebook page!

Tell your friends and use the #4sqday hashtag when making your plans!

For businesses:

Make sure your venue is up to date with correct info, tags, categories, etc. For example, here is Bright Eyes venue page.

Offer a special or discount on Foursquare Day! Tell everyone, put it on your webpage, blog about it, tweet about it. Stay tuned for our #4sqday discount!

I don’t think it is an improper use of tips to add a tip for your venue that you are celebrating Foursquare Day with a special of some sort, but others may disagree on that point.

It has been suggested that anyone who gets 4 check-ins on Foursquare Day get a Foursquare Day badge. I am all for this! If anyone knows how to bring this badge closer to reality, let me know!

So what am I missing? What else should we do to get the word out? What are you planning on doing to celebrate Foursquare Day? And don’t forget to friend me!

If you’d like to be a part of the #4sqday planning group let me know!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

 

Foursquare Fans, Check In at Bright Eyes !

I have been waiting for this day for some time. And I am so excited, I’m going to use a large heading:

FOURSQUARE HAS COME TO TAMPA!

Don’t know what foursquare is? It is an online system to track the places that you go and finding out where you friends are. Sound goofy? Check out this CNN article, and see why it might be a big deal.

I have already checked in to to several places in Westchase today. It is fun because there isn’t much action in Tampa, yet. You get to be first.

Bright Eyes is now a foursquare venue, so while you are here for an exam or getting glasses or contacts, why not check in? To encourage people to check in, we’ll even give a discount to whoever is the current mayor of Bright Eyes. Just let us know when you make your purchase.

Have fun out there, TPA!
Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

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