Tom Garrity

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Power Kiosks!

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

There are power lunches, power ties and now… power parking meter kiosks!

Parking my truck curbside at the Gold Street Café, in downtown Albuquerque, I grabbed some change for the parking kiosk (you know the rectangular structures that are replacing the classic Duncan Parking Meters).

Walking towards the kiosk I recognize the person who appears to be getting a fight from the machine.  “It won’t read my card, we are looking for change,” he says. Adjacent to kiosk is an SUV with an unidentified person leaning into the vehicle appearing to be looking for change (you know the stance with both feet on the curb).

The person I know looks to me and asks “you got a nickel?” I said “sure thing.”  About that time, the unidentified person looking for change emerges from the passenger side.  It is none other than Richard Berry, the Mayor of Albuquerque!

I’ve been a fan of Mayor Berry since his days as a State Representative.  Today, he reinforced his already high standing.  After all, how many Mayors will spend time looking for spare change to feed their own city parking kiosk?

Yahoo “Free” Popcorn

In Life on June 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Anyone who follows me on Foursquare knows I enjoy free, or almost free, offers from stores, restaurants, shows… heck anything that is within reason.

Case and point, on a recent trip to New York City I was able to get free stuff from the Hershey Chocolate Store in Times Square and at the Broadway Show Billy Elliott. 

To “unlock” those free deals, I used a free social media program called Foursquare.  The process is very simple: You check-in via the Foursquare App, the check-in unlocks the offer, show your phone to cashier and voila!  One click, it is simple.

This weekend, I went to check out Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (a fun movie).  While I passed by and didn’t notice the Yahoo Sign in the lobby, my brother-in-law was not as fortunate.  Lured by the QR Code and the promise of free popcorn, he was hooked.

However, getting the popcorn was not a simple process.  First you scan the QR Code, that sends you to a special webpage.  After you sign-in via Facebook and give them the right to post things on your wall, you then have to “like” the Yahoo Free Popcorn fan page on Facebook, then check-in at Regal Cinema.  At that point, you need to find a knowledgeable popcorn clerk (good luck) who can then grant you the prize.

Based on the cool reception my brother-in-law received, coupled with a rather clueless response from the popcorn clerk and manager, it is clear that not a lot of people have taken advantage of this “free” offer.

The winner in this Free Popcorn offer is clearly “Yahoo”, they get the real estate for promoting their name.  The loser is the customer who gets frustrated and by-passes the expensive artery clogging product… so I guess that makes the loser the winner!?!

Moral of the story: one-click.  Make it simple.