First of all, I can’t tell you how psyched we are to see so many people passionate about foursquare – this is crazy! Second, a few quick updates that didn’t make it into our original blog post.
The post went on to clarify how the new rules worked. This was partially in response to this hilarious story of how a guy blatantly cheated at foursquare to become mayor of places like the North Pole and the Taj Mahal.
Well worth a read for its humor value alone.
Anyway, in both cases, people were surprisingly vocal, and I think foursquare should have expected the feedback they received.
You can tell how seriously people take the game by cruising around their support forums on Get Satisfaction, which I did to clarify how a few badges were earned.
I was amazed at how annoyed people were about things like earning badges and points. Many of you are probably amazed that I cared enough to look at their forums, so you’re probably in total shock by now.
This type of visceral feedback reminds of other successful services namely Twitter and Facebook.
Remember the dark summer of 2008, when the fail whale ruled?
Remember how everyone said Twitter wouldn’t scale, how any startup could replicate its functionality and how people would never use the service or take it seriously?
At Chirp last week, Biz Stone (@biz) remarked at how bad that time was for the fledgling company. Of course, today, they’re only laughing because they made it through, and Twitter is stronger than ever.
Facebook has been dealing with user uprisings since it introduced the News Feed and opened itself up to everyone. Every time they make a move, users revolt, and this week will produce more of the same during their developer conference, f8. I haven’t kept up with the announcements, but I know they will cause a stir.
Foursquare is at a growth tipping point, about to cross the one million user mark this week, signing lots of deals with media partners, rumored to be an acquisition target, etc. Right, wrong, indifferent, they’re on to something.
Maybe that’s a rule of thumb. If your users freak out when you change something, you’re doing something right. The hard part is to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong, but at least someone cares.
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