I just wanted to watch some football

The FIFA World Cup is just a few days away. I'm beginning to plan my schedules, pack my fridge with a few cases of Coronas, and look ahead to some football on the telly. Except, of course, until I had to go on twitter to find out how and where I could watch it in the UAE. I'm told it's going to be broadcast here by aljazeera for a $100 one time subscription, and I could get all the info on www.aljazeerasport.net

Well I did go online and checked. Considering a huge expat population of expats in the UAE are going to watch, I'm afraid the site isn't really doing a great job in trying to get us to subscribe. I could not find (may be I'm not following the wonderful user intuitive navigation journey mapped out by them) the 'English' button. So, something's really wrong out there?

This is marketing opportunity gone weird. I haven't seen an ad, haven't found banners online, no mailers have arrived at my door, and I haven't seen any one in a mall trying to sell me a on-tv experience of the year. Huh? And, then when I seek it out (thanks to my friends on twitter), and I go to the reference portal, I get nothing.

Two things happen immediately. I am afraid that my on-tv experience will be nearly just as bad as my online experience – perhaps all the commentary will be in Arabic? Perhaps the score line will be shown in Arabic? I am already turned off, tuned off. But because I have no alternative, no choice, I will have to keep looking, trying to find a way. This is pathetic marketing.

The other thing that I will seek out will be perhaps to try and find the game online via a subscription, or a hack. I know it won't be the same as watching it on my LCD, but at least I will get what I want, when I want, and have a cool hundred left over for a few extra cases of Corona.

Here, There and Foursquare

I normally don't jump on bandwagons. I also do not like to tell the whole world where I'm hanging out or doing business. I tweet very little of my personal life – I'm no celeb and my non 9-5 is mine. No one cares what I do, or so I hope, And, no I don't like being stalked. And I wouldn't want Joe Burglar (here in Dubai on a visit visa) to track down when it's really convenient for him to break and enter. And depart. So, no, I didn't foursquare. Up until now.

Location based apps are now everywhere, and they're usually quite useful. Yelp now has a 'check in' feature, but the biggest impact comes across (and into our part of the world, hello Dubai) from foursquare. Yes, just like that, one worded and so new age. Now that foursquare is beta'd on Blackberry, I thought I'd give it a spin.

It's quite simple to use, it can be fun, and no, you don;t have to be obsessive compulsive about being mayor or collecting badges. It's cool and easy to spot what others have to say about restaurants, clubs, hang outs, whatever, in and around the location you're in. You can find friends in the area, shout out to them (if they're foursquaring as well), so it's quite fun. Yes, it does work with twitter and facebook. And, already, I've been told via twitter, that my fave shawarma place in Jumeirah also makes great zingers.

Adding your favorite places is fun, and can get compulsive. The mapping is only as accurate as you make it, so I would say, that's a bit of a bug. More annoying are the people on it who check in multiple times, to say, a bus stop or an office building, just so they can get a mayor's badge.

Foursquare isn't one of those apps that will drop down. It has got genuine functional benefits, and for marketing folks like me, I can see quite a few programs that can ride on it. Also, I see it build up a huge database one day, and that is going to be bankable. A large volume of information, tips, find this here and don't go theres will also come in handy. And businesses are jumping in with prizes and discounts of those who check in, or check in often.

No, I'm not mayor of any place just yet. Not even my home or my villa compound, which I did track down and it wasn't yet mapped in. And i'm going to keep it that way for now. Thank you very much. I may be foursquare but I'm also paranoidround.