Foursquare is another location-based service, but it’s also a game that encourages you to check-in when you go places to earn badges and the coveted mayorship of a location.
The geo-geek in me likes the location bits, and the latent gamer likes the game mechanics. We’ve put a lot of thought into reputation and its game mechanics as applied to work networks over the last month. We even code-named the effort 1up. I <3 that name, but it’ll never fly.
So, Foursquare is right up my alley: shiny object, geolocation, gaming.
But I’m having issues getting into it.
This was the way Twitter went for me too, so maybe that’s fine. I think the biggest reason right now is that foursquare puts in stark black and white how dull my life really is.
Foursquare comes from the mind of one the guys who started Dodgeball years ago and sold it to Google, Dennis Crowley, and like Dodgeball before it, has its roots in NYC. It caters to people who co-work in coffee houses by day and club by night, moving all around the city, making connections with a large circle of friends.
Sounds like the life of a 20-something in NYC. Portland actually has a similar population, maybe with less clubbing and more coding, but similar enough.
I am not the target demographic for this service. In stark contrast, I work from home and spend very few hours of the week checked-in at other places. Therefore, even if I could remember to check-in with Foursquare, my list of check-ins would be so tiny that I could never win any badges. Although, I would be the mayor of AppsLab Portland.
I hear you though. This should be an opportunity to get out and see stuff, which is true. I still have trouble remembering to check-in, but here comes a cool twist.
Foursquare has a program for businesses to list their foursquare-related deals. Program is a bit grand. Right now, it’s a list, but this represents a pretty big step for geo-services, bridging the online activity with meat life rewards, e.g. mayor deals.
Some businesses have taken advantage already, and as foursquare grows, expect more.
Competition is coming soon too from Twitter, which is set to launch its own location-aware features. Location is probably a year or so away from mainstream adoption, if it ever gets there, but I expect to see some cool stuff emerge quickly based on Twitter’s location features, no doubt including foursquare, which already uses Twitter’s API for announcing check-ins.
I’ll be watching intently, even if I’m not participating because as with many things, I see potential for location services within the enterprise. Greater potential than for consumer services because of that layer of trust.
So, is foursquare in your town? If so, have you tried it? Do you care? Any general thoughts on location services you’d like to share? Anything at all.
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