So this happened. Here's how:
We met up with Wired writer Neal Pollack in Austin during SXSW who trailed team foursquare for a few days. Neal wrote a pretty great piece which is in the July 2010 issue of Wired UK. (this cover / story won't be in the US version of Wired). You can read the whole story here:
When we got back to NYC, we ended up doing a photo shoot w/ Brett Humphreys at Larry Lawrence in Williamsburg. They insisted on Larry Lawrence because of a similar shoot they had done w/ Josh Williams and crew in Austin and wanted to pair the photos up side by side (both bars have similar looking decor). They asked us to round up 20 of our friends and head out to Brooklyn on a random weekday afternoon, so we got on the Twitter and tried our best to create a mini flashmob. The photo came out great and side-by-side they're even better. Take a look:
About a week after the shoot, the editor of Wired UK called and asked if we wanted to be on the cover. So I went over to a studio in the West Village, met up with Jill Greenberg (the photographer. she was great... and also shot Soraya's awesome Fast Company cover) and this is the end result. There was a stylist (that's not my shirt!) and a make-up person (I got a free haircut!)... and a bunch of crowns. 95% of the shots were no crown ("no way am I wearing that thing") though we did a few with in on... and I guess crown won. So be it. To be honest, I thought the crown was more of a prop for the foursquare "mayor" thing... I didn't really think it was a "King of Social Media" thing (does anyone really believe that... come'on, people!)
Anyway, not to nerd out, but this is the stuff that Little Denny College dreamed big about back in 1997 (for real)... so I'm pretty happy with it :)
Oh, some words of wisdom to anyone that finds themselves thrown into the Land of Photoshoots:
#1. I can totally see how photographers get people to do crazy things in photoshoots. Um, remember all the startups that we're featured in NYMag swinging from ropes (Lessin!), doing cartwheels (MSG!), wheeling themselves across the floor (Karp!). You're taking a bunch of photos and it's like "do this, and this, and this, and try this..." and you just go with it. Sometimes it's "okay, stand this way... now this way... hands in pocket... hood up... hood down... hood up! chin up... oh yes" and you get something like this (gangster!) Anyway, just saying that I can see how it happens.
#2. I spoke at a conference in Munich called DLD. At the end of the conference they did photoshoots with the speakers and asked us to do all sorts of weird stuff. They didn't tell us what the photos were for so we just went along with it... me and @MSG jumping in the air and flexing and just doing stupid stuff. Anyway, don't ever do that. Especially if you don't know what they're for. Turns out DLD sells those pics... and one of me mock-flexing (stoopid, stoopid Dennis) showed up in Billboard magazine in some story about foursquare. Don't take pics and sign the rights away unless you know what they're going to be used for. This is really lame of DLD too.
#3. When I told my friends about the crown they were like "oh no - you need a publicist!". I think that's overkill, but bring a friend with you that can tell you whether you are taking it a little too far. Having a friend / PR rep / etc that was like "dude, don't put the crown on" may have been helpful in retrospect :) I guess the lesson is that you don't have to do whatever the crew tells you to do. This sounds so super obvious, but like the "hood up, hood down" example, it doesn't really seem obvious at the time.
Anyway, if this saves one person from wearing a [crown, life jacket, feather boa, fake moustache] on the cover of [Wired, TV Guide, Ranger Rick, Highlights] then my work is done!
ps2: Yes, I am wearing some makeup (they made me!) but I think my luscious lips and forearms are photoshopped. @ChrisFaile thinks I have the complexion of a Ken Doll (thx) and, no @msquinn, I am not wearing lipstick. I think they may have photshopped my Disco Stu haircut to look nicer too. Thanks! :)