New Balance is using an iPhone app to literally "run" a promotional campaign for their New York flagship store. By downloading the “Urban Dash” app, runners (or anyone with a smartphone) can participate in the search for virtual batons all over the city and exchange them for a free pair of shoes if they make it to the store in time. And just in case that’s not motivating enough, they also get a chance to win a 14 karat gold baton valued at $20,000. No wonder other app users are given the opportunity to virtually steal the baton from each other if they get close enough. Take the money and run!
But social media is not all about promotion. Facebook and others are already being used effectively after disasters, for social good or to fight crime. Now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is updating the technology powering the 911 emergency response system to be more social. Thanks to the Next Generation 9-1-1 Initiative (NG9-1-1), in the foreseeable future the system will be able to process text messages, voice calls, videos and photos, with automatic location information. This way, individuals will have more options to report an emergency, and emergency responders will receive more information faster.