The great thing about the Internet is that its new enough that there are few rules, and fewer experts, as we all bop along trying to figure this thing out. (And it changes so often: Google Wave! Chrome extensions! Brizzly!) Lately, I’ve been thinking about Foursquare. I’ve been derided for the dull nature of some of my mayorships, so perhaps I’m extra-sensitive.
Some Foursquare observations and questions:
- It’s reaching the mid-adopter phase where people who have never been to SXSW Interactive are using it.
- My use of the service has overlapped with my newfound status as a #nuevodad. As a result, most of the mayorships I’ve claimed are hum-drum spots within blocks of my home– the drugstore, the grocery store, the dry cleaners.
- As recently as last week, I derided a friend for checking in at his workplace. Today, I checked in at my office, and it felt OK.
- Unlike Facebook, where I’m friends with a lot of people I don’t know, and Twitter, where I follow 3x as many strangers as friends, I’ve been firm that I’ll only play Foursquare with folks I actually know. As MC Siegler pointed out, “location adds a different element…because it’s the bridge between the online social world and the real-life social world. ” After all, I don’t want to end up with my face plastered on garbage cans.
- Do you check in on public transit? At the station, or on the bus/train? If the latter, how does that map?
- Are any politicians using it?
- How might nonprofits use Foursquare? Foursquare itself announced a campaign with Pepsi to raise funds for Camp Interactive in New York. Margo Anderson and Beth Kanter have both thought about the question. I’m less interested in its utility for fundraising, and more curious about how arts organizations could use it to build audiences. (Margo sites two such examples.)