Sarah Booker

25/02/2010

What’s the point? – Foursquare

Filed under: Web tool review — Sarah Booker Lewis @ 10:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

For some time now I have been pondering the point of FourSquare.

I joined the sit and started checking in with gusto in December 2009. However, I found myself becoming underwhelmed rather quickly.

I was also uncomfortable broadcasting my location, especially after seeing the state of my Facebook and Twitter feeds after a shopping trip to London.

When the website Please Rob Me appeared with its constantly updating list of tweeted Foursquare updates, it didn’t surprise me.

Since December I have given it a try a couple of times, without Tweeting locations, but the game hasn’t grabbed my attention and I couldn’t see wider application for it at this stage.

Then I read Elizabeth Redman’s article on Editor’s Weblog “What does Foursquare mean for newspapers”.

Redman quite rightly points out Foursquare is a great way to link up with venues for reviews and reader offers.

The New York Times has created a badge for people who “check in” at Vancouver Winter Olympic venues.

Canadian newspaper Metro has joined with Foursquare to link editorial content to locations and send alerts out to subscribers/friends.

Reading this I can see the potential for local newspapers, linking reader offers with a Foursquare to do list. The difficulty is grabbing advertisers’ imaginations.

Something I keep reminding myself is how I didn’t “get” Twitter or Facebook in the early days.

Even now many of my colleagues can’t see the point of using social media to drive traffic to our newspapers’ websites and interact with a wider audience.

But, there is hope as the advertising sales people are starting to ask about using Twitter and Facebook. After all, these sites are our fourth and seventh biggest referrers.

Additional (March 13, 2010) : I am still playing with Foursquare and have become mayor of two locations. There is a long way to go before its potential is realised in the UK.

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3 Comments »

  1. A shift in our society has occurred the past few years. We have gone from initially fearing the security of the internet to anything/everything goes, you’re nobody unless everything about you is transparent. There is little digital hygiene that is of any concern with many of the nets younger users. This is all they have known, so it must be safe, secure, and non-problematic. I don’t know where this all nets out for privacy and society. Caution is still necessary, storage is unlimited and cheaper by the day, and everything is connected.

    Comment by nexttolastblog — 26/02/2010 @ 1:40 am | Reply

  2. I found your post by googling “point of 4quare” which is something I’ve been pondering since I heard about it a while ago. I can see the appeal of it in terms of location-aware marketing, but what about its current main use where people publish their check-ins on the various social media accounts they have. What’s the point of checking into some random place and then tweeting it to your 10,000 followers – especially if the majority of the followers aren’t even in the same country so are not familiar with the checked-in place? Anyway, just my thoughts. Would love to see what you think.

    Comment by Danny — 15/03/2011 @ 11:17 am | Reply

    • I am planning to write something about its uses. Check out BlogPreston’s Foursquare page as a good example.
      I agree there is little point in transmitting some check-ins across social media platforms, but the tips function is very useful.
      It’s a great tool for hyperlocal and niche publications.

      Comment by Sarah Booker — 09/04/2011 @ 9:33 am | Reply


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