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What Are You Doing on Foursquare?

28 Mar, 2012 McKell Naegle

I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but I am now the mayor at my office on Foursquare. It took me nearly three months to achieve this status (9 checkins actually…). As the new mayor of the office, I have been thinking a lot about the extent of my power. Surprisingly, the more I think about it, the more I realize how empty I feel. Have I really accomplished anything? Oh my… maybe foursquare isn’t cool anymore.

There hasn’t been a lot of forward progression in the realm to location-based services in the last year. Facebook for instance scaled back their places feature and created a check-in button that goes nearly unnoticed on posts, and research has shown that people aren’t using their smart phones for location-based applications. “In November (2011), Pew released survey results showing just 4% of online adults use location-based services and only 1% uses these services on a given day.” The location trend isn’t catching on as a daily activity.

Because lists are so popular in blogs, and because I couldn’t think of anything better, I decided to create a list of things that location-based platform offer the average consumer. Maybe this will help us understand why these media aren’t taking hold of the masses.

  1. Location based platforms give users the ability to share information about a specific location with their social network.
  2. Businesses can offer exclusive on site deals.
  3. Location sourcing can geo-targeted advertising to people in a certain area (Personally this could become very annoying).

Maybe there is more to these applications then this, but I can’t see any of these services being more convenient than searching Google or, heaven forbid, calling a friend. It might be my inner hermit that says these platforms are just trendy ways to be a neighbor, but putting all that aside, I can’t disregard the fact that I am still the mayor of my office. No other platform has made me the mayor before, and if being the mayor isn’t cool, then what will become of my location-based power?

Whether or not platforms like Foursquare and Gowalla are just passing fads, the technology that powers them isn’t. My next post will be looking at what companies like Redbox have done with location-based services that is revolutionizing the way people are finding products.

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