Foursquare Holds the Aces in Social Networking

I remember a famous line from a blockbuster Hollywood movie of the 90’s. If someone asks you for a help or a favor, always ask that person, “What is in it for me?” We have always been the barter society, working on the lines of give and take since God known when! Quid-pro-quo has been the way the world works, materialistically or emotionally. What has changed though is the way in which this crudeness is presented by the marketers and businessmen in-front of the people. The business strategies have become more and more subtle in the ways they approach people with their offerings. But this always has a consistent fake undertone that says – There isn’t anything for me in it! But that still is the basic philosophy of business. To give and Take.

Stepping into the 21st century, a mind boggling number of ways exist in which brands are marketing and selling themselves. Social networking websites are slowly but surely becoming the alpha male, something which Televsion was for radio at one time. Mainstream advertising, though still a huge industry, is surely feeling the heat of the unlimited opportunities that the web provides for marketing and advertising. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have already been talked about at length at almost every available web space. According to a survey by Regus, more than half of companies worldwide now use various social networks and about 40 percent of companies say they’ve had success in finding new customers using social networks.

Another Player

Innovation has always been the key to online success. Following the same footsteps, FourSquare, a location-based mobile application is breaking new grounds in innovative business activity. The social-networking tool encourages people to check in at places they visit all around their vicinity, whether it’s a local grocery store or bar. This tool also facilitates keeping one’s friends updated about where one is or where one is spending most of his/her time as every time a person checks in at a location a message goes out to their friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook telling them of the person’s location.

What’s the Hype?

Apart from being a great way to explore the city, this social networking tool also rewards you for visiting a new place or revisiting an old place. In-case the place you visit happens to be a business center or a shop then the perks are a little more materialistic!

A boon for small businesses you can say. These small businesses are encouraged to give special discounts and offers for people who become repeat visitors. The person who checks in the most is named “The Mayor” of that place and gets even better perks or offers from the same place. Such repeat visiting behavior is reverberated to all the friends of the individual through the mobile application or the website. This obviously leads to an increase in the number of customer visits for the shop or the business center and adds to the overall popularity of the place. A great example would be Starbucks. The coffee giant has seen the number of Foursquare check-ins at its US outlets jump by 50% since launching a promotion recently to give Mayors $1 off Frappuccinos. A win-win situation for the website, the companies and the consumers!

The perks

The website is a great way to promote one’s brand or shop. But that’s not all. This tool provides a lot more to the companies in the form of analytical information about who is using the site, such as when people check in, whether they make a return visit and the demographics of who is checking in.

Another success story comes in the form of Dominos. The Pizza giant recently posted a surge of 29% in pre-tax profits to £17.5 million and all this owing to a super-fans programs and the development of a link up with Foursquare.

Jumping the Gun?

FourSquare has limitless potential in the real world business activities. But when it comes to an Internet-based business though, the opportunities can be harder to envision as location isn’t a useful piece of information for an e-commerce website. Considering that Foursquare’s still very young, therefore it would not be a smart move to start planning a full budget blowout on this tool. It still has a long way to go before breaking a considerable ground in the online marketing space.

Surfing Lessons — Learn to Ride the Waves

Want to learn to surf but don’t know where to start? Surfing lessons are all about taking your surfing to the next level regardless of how much experience — or lack thereof — you may have. It’s all about conquering fear, learning water safety, expanding your ocean and wave knowledge, and returning to the true essence of surfing — fun and relaxation!

You’re never too old to learn to surf. People of all ages are drawn to the majesty of our beautiful oceans. If you feel the call of the sun and surf pumping through your veins, it’s time to find an instructor!

Learning to Surf — Finding an Instructor

The internet is a great place to find instructors and research their backgrounds and qualifications. Regardless of your reason for seeking out a surfing instructor there are a few things that you should consider mandatory: A long history of surfing (preferably professionally to some extent), up-to-date first aid certification, proven (preferably certified) surf rescue experience, and a thorough knowledge of wave, weather and wind conditions (which should be commensurate with the instructor’s experience, i.e. The more time that they’ve been spent in the water, the greater their understanding of the ocean and weather conditions).

There are many excellent surfing instructors throughout the world. Many have been involved in competitive surfing of some description or have at least spent enough time in the water to have a sound knowledge of the demands of the sport.

If you’re on holidays at the seaside and just want to experience surfing as a holiday activity then you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a local surfer or local surf school that can give you a quick rundown of the basics and give you a quick ride or two on a board. In some of the more renowned surfing spots you’ll likely even be able to find a pro surfer to guide you to your first wave.

If you’re a little more serious about your surfing, or want the complete surfing experience in the hands of a true professional, there are many professional/ex-professional surfers who can guide your development as a surfer and help you to get the most out of your surfing experience.

Surfing greats such as Nancy Emerson, Corky Carroll and Frieda Zamba offer surfing lessons at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Whether you’re a beginner and very wet behind the ears, or a professional surfer in your own right, these experienced professionals can help you hone your skills and develop your style, giving you more confidence in the water and in your ability to navigate waves and the surf zone.

Depending on how serious you are about the sport, you’ll be able to choose from surfing lessons of a couple of hours at a time to surfing clinics and camps for more intensive training. You can learn to stand on a board and catch a small wave in a day, or work on form, style and ocean awareness with surfing legends over the space of several days to a week or more.

Going It Alone?

You may be fired up and ready to surf, but don’t jump the gun. It might be tempting — especially in a beachside location or if you have friends that surf — to just grab a surfboard and go for it.

This is a bad idea for two reasons: One, it’s much easier to learn the right way to do things initially than to rectify bad habits and, two, you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on surfing gear (and, in particular, on a surfboard) before you’ve had some training and experience, because you won’t know what board best suits your style of surfing.

Many surf schools will provide equipment for you to learn with. If you come across one that doesn’t then it’s usually possible to hire the necessary equipment from a surf shop. Have a couple of lessons first, maybe try a few different surfboards of various shapes and sizes (on hire from the surf shops), and then think a little more about what board is best for you. Your instructor should also be happy to give you some advice about where to start.

Another good reason to not go it alone initially is because surfing, like any sport, can be dangerous for the uninitiated. The awesome power of the ocean doesn’t discriminate according to experience and even small breaks can have dangerous rips and currents. It’s far safer at all times to only swim and surf in the company of fellow beach goers. That warning stands for both new and experienced surfers — an unknown break is always potentially dangerous.

Any surf instructor worth their salt will make sure that you only surf in conditions that are safe for your level of experience. Aside from the possibility that a serious spill might put you off surfing for good, big water surfing without the necessary experience is irresponsible at best, suicidal at worst — never surf in conditions you aren’t ready for, and only experiment under the watchful eye of a professional surfer or an experienced buddy!

Most surfers will tell you that surfing is more than just a sport; it’s an existential experience, the ultimate rush, and it can be addictive. So get yourself an instructor, suit up, grab a board and hit the beach!

Plastic Cap Guns VS Metal Cap Guns

Many questions arise when trying to purchase any type of toy gun, whether it be a Cap, AirSoft or BB gun. Should I get a metal or plastic cap gun? What the difference besides price? Does a plastic cap gun mean cheap? These are all great questions, so we asked our experts to find the pros and cons of each side. And guess what? You’ll have to keep reading to hear the differences between a toy gun made of plastic and one made of metal.

We always hear the common misconception that anything made of metal is always better. This isn’t necessarily true when it comes to cap guns. Plastic cap guns are actually the most popular and SAFEST type of toy guns on the market right now. Originally, cap guns were made of zinc alloy and cast iron but through the years manufacturers have turned to plastic material. Why plastic? It’s affordable and child friendly. And when I say affordable, I mean incredibly inexpensive by standard toy prices. Plastic is perfect for kids, teens and adults alike, because of their handheld entertainment, nostalgic memories and guaranteed safety for a reasonable price. The main disadvantage of going with plastic is how vulnerable it can be. Dropping it onto a hard surface can cause it to chip, crack or break which could end up ruining the gun. Unless you’re jumping out of speeding cars at 35 mph you should be fine playing around with a plastic cap gun.

When it comes to metal toy guns, the positives outweigh the negatives by far. Toy guns made of metal look and feel more realistic. Metal guns tend to fire caps louder than plastic cap guns, as well as reload easier. The biggest positive about buying a metal gun is the endurance and strength. Most toy guns get damaged or break due to being dropped, tossed, or thrown around, but with metal, you can literally let hyenas grab a hold of it without it breaking. The only major drawback from buying a metal toy gun is the price. Choosing a metal gun can range in prices from $20-$200.

Whether it be an Airsoft, cap gun or bb gun, finding the right one can be hard. People should compare prices and look at different shipping prices with online websites. A lot of times, shops will advertise their products at very cheap, low costs but hijack the shipping rate. Don’t be a fool.