I'm meeting with a friend who, like me, is a cyclist, but is also a personal trainer. How this meeting came to be is completely a social media story about bagels, Twitter and Foursquare.
As you may know, Foursquare is an application that uses the GPS in a smartphone to allow you to "check in" to a location. Your friends can then see where you are. You sometimes can earn savings (I got free french fries once) and earn badges for different achievements. If you check in to a venue more than anyone else, you become the "mayor." It has some features similar to Yelp in that you can leave tips and comments on venues. Foursquare will also send out a tweet onto Twitter for each check in.
One day about six months ago I checked in on Foursquare at the car wash. I looked at my friend's activity and saw that my friend Randy had checked in at an Einstein bagels with the comment "Buying bagels for my office staff."
Before I go further, you need to understand I have two very firm rules on bagels. Namely, there are two categories of bagels in this world:
Category 1: Jewish bagels
Category 2: Bagels that wish they were Jewish bagels
Jewish bagels are boiled prior to baking and a have a hard crust. Unfortunately, places like Dunkin' Donuts, Panera, Tim Horton's and especially Einstein don't do that; their "bagels" are soft and are almost like a doughnut. I generally refuse to eat category 2 bagels. Especially Einstein bagels.
So I find Randy's tweet that he was at Einstein, hit reply and say something like "Buying bagels for your office at Einstein? Don't you like your office staff?"
From there, it kind of snowballed. About 30 minutes later, our mutual friend Howard sees my tweet and replies "Yeah Randy, really bad." Then our mutual friend Brad chimes in. Before I know it, two woman I don't know chime in on this whole conversation.
Have you heard of a "tweet up"? It's where a bunch of Twitter users get together somewhere to meet face to face (I admit I've never been to one). We had a "bagel up" so we could all meet. A few other people not part of this initial exchange want to come to the next "bagel up" where we only serve category 1 bagels.
One of the two women on the initial bagel conversation is the personal trainer I'm meeting with tomorrow morning. All because Randy bought bad bagels and I called him on it.
I tell you, this social media thing is a good thing.