The mostly official blog of the Hodges Partnership.
April 06, 2010 | by Jon Newman
I’m sitting outside at Stony Point Fashion Park enjoying the sudden pretty Spring weather and free WiFi. I’m writing a guest post for Jon’s blog on my MacBook Pro. Just overheard teenspeak “didjacheckin?” They are likely referring to checking in on Foursquare. Which reminds me…am I the mayor yet? Nope. Am I at least beating @TrevorDickerson on the leader board? Not even close. Darn. Oh wait, Foursquare shows that friends @SummerOfJay and @RCRover are having coffee at Ellwood Thompson’s. I’ll head over there to catch up with them. Thanks Foursquare! The experience is richer as more people use Foursquare, but there is still plenty of value in sharing location info with your other social networks. I recently checked in at a Panera Bread and my Twitter friend @kelleil saw the tweet. She stopped by and we met for the first time in real life. My friend Griff saw that same check in on Facebook, called my iPhone, and asked he could join me for lunch and Florida chat. Foursquare, therefore, can be helpful in enhancing real world social interactions. Even if you don’t choose to ever check in, Foursquare still offers you benefits. Other users post To-Dos or Tips at locations. You can view a list of nearby locations and see info left by others who have been there before you. That’s good. People are naturally competitive. Foursquare realized that. They built in game elements that are key to the whole experience. In fact, there are half a dozen other “check in” services that will simply broadcast your location. I’ve maintained for some time that Brightkite does the best job of “guessing” your location. Foursquare users like to compete for the badges, points, and mayorships. Jon has written about the sense of community those of us who sought the Swarm Badge felt. I just saw a conversation on Twitter about the ethics of checking in today because the gal forgot yesterday and really wanted her points. I’m very happy to be the mayor of the cool, newly opened @TheWineLoftRVA and was excited to have “stolen” the mayorship from @RichmondMom. Fun competition is good. What does all this social goodness and gaming cost? Just about 30 seconds of your time to complete the check in. Foursquare is free of charge or even advertising. There are apps available for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm Pre. You can use the mobile-aware website. You can even check in via plain text message. Free is good. Pros: You can enhance connections with friends in the real world. You can discover new places by reading to-dos and tips. Helpful. You can compete for badges, points, and mayorships. Fun. It’s free and accessible from multiple devices. Good.