Location-Based Social Networking: What’s the Point?

May 17, 2011

by Kim Taylor

Last summer, after hearing friends and followers rejoice over badges and mayorships they’d earned, I joined the “check-in” craze to see what all the fuss was about.  After adding a few friends to my Foursquare account, I began checking into various locations.  Soon enough I was rewarded with a few of my own badges—and several months in I actually earned my first mayorship … probably because nobody else was ever checking into the Orlando Rowing Club at 6 a.m.

Beyond the badges, there have also been a few cool things along the way.  Once, after checking into a bar in town, I noticed an online friend I’d never met in real life was also there.  A few tweets later and we had our first in-person interaction.  Then, last month while vacationing out-of-state, I used Foursquare’s “nearby” feature to see where the locals were hanging out.

But lately I’ve noticed something.  The badges have stopped, and beyond the actual check-in, there’s little reason to participate.  The check-in rewards that businesses are supposed to be using to market themselves are few and far between.

So, if you’re using Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp or some other location-based social network, do you find it useful or do you find yourself asking, “What’s the point?”

Foursquare … Do you Care?

January 27, 2010

by Kim Taylor

Until recently, Four Square conjured up images of my brother and sisters throwing a rubber ball around on our parents’ driveway. 

Of course, if you’re in the social media realm (and, who isn’t these days?), you know foursquare is the latest (and greatest?) way to tell anyone and everyone where you are.

People can use foursquare to “check in” at locations all over their city, which then updates their friends with their location.  Every check-in earns points, and interesting check-ins will earn you badges.  Check in at a location more than any other foursquare user and you become the Mayor of that location. 

So, what’s the point of all this checking in?  Here are my takeaways:

  • If you have enough foursquare friends, you can learn about cool and interesting places around your city that you may not have known about pre-check in.
  • You can take advantage of businesses that are ‘in the know’ … many are offering specials like Free Drinks for the Mayor (no, not that Mayor … sorry, Buddy)
  • You can find out who has the best burger or who gives the best manicure by reading your friends’ Top 12 list of things To Do.

I’m a foursquare newbie.  I’m still trying to find my way around, while also reconciling whether the pros (deals & info) outweigh the cons (telling people where I am at every moment).  But, I certainly see the appeal for businesses seeking to market to their most loyal fans.

Now that you know the basics, tell me, do you care?  Will you foursquare?

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