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What Sucks About Foursquare Today


Published on

my rant about what I want to fix in foursquare

Published in: Technology
  • Maybe if you only had to log in the first time you went to a venue and then all subsequent visits are logged automatically. You could then decide which venues to manually log into and which ones you would prefer to be automatic. For the 30th floor business Wi-Fi could be used as an alternative location tool.
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  • Arnaud,

    I'm not sure whether you comment on Jess3's presentation or what I wrote, but anyway...

    Yes, absolutely. It only works in very tight communities, yet e.g. sales people and service personnel in the same company could gain a lot from knowing where the others are, especially if they share regions. Tight friend communities that often meet could also gain from this. Tweeting positions in an open Twitter stream would on the other hand be pretty reckless. And of course company competitors should not be able to see where you are.

    It's very much a matter of trust and being able to filter both who gets to see locations and what locations. E.g. I wouldn't want colleagues to be able to see where I'm at on my spare time. Neither would I want to manually configure this, so it might end with choosing a low granularity, like showing others what city or place (e.g. airport) I'm in at the moment, not the exact address.

    Just ignoring this won't help though. The market will experiment with autonomous check-ins sooner or later, and there are already providers of such autonomous location for companies, and often in the cloud.
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  • '...scans your phone ...without you knowing........'

    [Edit - after having cooled off a bit]

    I godda say, reading this stuff did made me go right in the red, so let me re-write.

    My only point here is privacy issues. Where do you draw the line? How can you avoid abuse when you think that's its totally cool to be geolocated pretty much anytime anywhere? There has been the Buzz issue, there's the ongoing FB issue... If you let venues identify you without you knowing (assuming you've set your phone to allow that), still how can you prevent anyone to trace you?
    For me this is bound to open doors for abuse of privacy, as much as geolocation can be a great thing for certain services, I cannot see something good when it's coupled with this 'social' frenzy where ppl just wanna exhibit ALL the details of their (non-)life to the whole world...
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  • I've concluded the same core things: Positive criticism: You could have put these points across in less than 10 slides. Feel free to check out my own material at
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  • I believe most of the check-in services will actually lose out to Facebook. Before that though a lot of dollars will change hands.

    You make a comparison between Facebook and Twitter, but they are really two completely different beasts in how they handle membership and how they are used. Most likely you know your Facebook friends. You will not know most of your Twitter followers, which is part of the appeal: To be able to eavesdrop on anyone’s communication. Hence more like an open Facebook group. I’ve also noted that it makes more sense to have multiple accounts on Twitter for different things. I have like 10.
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What Sucks About Foursquare Today

  1. 1. What SUCKS About Foursquare Today by
  2. 2. 10 years ago, Seth Godin made famous the idea of permission vs interruption marketing. Seth highlighted the intersection of frequent flyer-style points programs, video game achievement levels, and quid pro quo relationships between customers and companies. He declared the impending demise of “interruption marketing.” Seth asserted the future of marketing was about membership, exclusivity, recognition, and personal connection between companies and their constituents.
  3. 3. Stopping whatever you are doing to check in while you are somewhere cool is lame!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. 4. We want a Passive Geosocial Experience
  5. 5. When I go to San Francisco, visiting from Washington DC for a couple of weeks, I change my “current city” on Facebook to reflect that.
  6. 6. One problem I found was people asked me: Did you move to San Francisco? Ben Blumenfeld, I’m looking at you :)
  7. 7. That could be fixed if one’s profile had a “Locations” tab that kept track of these changes, and allowed for trip-planning (like Dopplr).
  8. 8. This new Locations tab could would connect with their Fan Page ecosystem. (This would also work for MySpace.)
  9. 9. If I check in to a concert, the artist has a Fan Page, the venue does too, and the opening artists might as well.
  10. 10. When I check into an Eminem concert and that is pushed to my Wall, I’d like to include a music preview for my friends to hear.
  11. 11. This would complement the Events system in Facebook.
  12. 12. Check-ins for a business would show up on the business’ Fb fan page, so who needs Foursquare? But then again, I said the same thing about not needing Twitter because I have Facebook’s status updates.
  13. 13. I think Foursquare is on the front lines of this battle. The real geosocial war is between Google and Facebook.
  14. 14. I hope Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, BrightKite, Yellow Pages and Yelp can find a way to keep themselves relevant once the big boys start duking it out.
  15. 15. We made this flyer for SXSWi this year. :)
  16. 16. Facebook has a killer iPhone strategy, and Facebook Connect rocks. Facebook Connect + Passive Check-In = Opportunity
  17. 17. PEOPLE ARE LAZY (at least, we Americans are)
  18. 18. The current GPS technology certainly knows when I’m in a particular neighborhood or district.
  19. 19. But if you own a business on the 30th floor of a 200-story building, how do your customers check in using current GPS technology?
  20. 20. Current GPS technology knows that I’m at Yankee Stadium because there is nothing above to confuse it.
  21. 21. It seems the natural solution is a more accurate next-gen GPS system that passively checks me in. But that allows for tiered permissions (like Facebook).
  22. 22. If I want to go OnGrid, then I turn the app on.
  23. 23. If I’m somewhere for 15 minutes or more: I’m there. I am checked in.
  24. 24. Or as Alexey said: “If I’m somewhere for 15+ minutes, ask me: ‘Should I check you in at XYZ?’” (Via something like Android's notification system)
  25. 25. If I want to go OffGrid, then I turn the app off.
  26. 26. Imagine if everyone with a cell phone used this service?
  27. 27. Imagine if everyone in your cell phone address book used this service?
  28. 28. Your address book wants to come alive. OpenID has blessed us with the ability to connect people with their corresponding data. Genius right? Use it!
  29. 29. Swarming makes more sense if you don't have to stop to announce it. When I’m at a happy hour, I’m usually too busy doing whatever I am supposed to be doing to check in.
  30. 30. You can still push a notification to your Twitter/Facebook feed that says “I checked into The White House.”
  31. 31. Or as BrooklynGeek said: What is even more tiring than playing this game like it's a job is the frustration you get when you can’t check in someplace, worse if you've been there before but you get Server Errors. It's like they forgot they have storage on the phone. Every time I check somewhere, I’d like to keep a local copy of Nearby places. If no Internet connection is available or the server is down, you can at least use the application when you had the initiative to do so. Next time, sure, update with the latest info about the places and send my delayed check-in to the server.
  32. 32. Mayorship becomes to hard to obtain. Why is that the only measure of rank? We also want a “regular” status. Why just pamper a single customer when you could encourage more people to come back to your business?
  33. 33. “Regulars”? that sounds like Facebook Fans, or Twitter Followers. Regulars become a separate type of fan.
  34. 34. And we don’t want any cheating. Your phone is like your IP address. Figure out smart ways to stop cheating.
  35. 35. Cheating on Foursquare is a “Quality-of-life crime”.
  36. 36. Per Wikipedia, American sociologist James Q. Wilson encapsulated this argument as the Broken Window Theory, which asserts that relatively minor problems left unattended (such as public urination by homeless individuals, open alcohol containers and public alcohol consumption) send a subliminal message that disorder in general is being tolerated and, as a result, more serious crimes will end up being committed (the analogy being that a broken window left unrepaired shows an image of general dilapidation).
  37. 37. Rewards and prizes for loyalty become that much more relevant.
  38. 38. I want help finding my friends, just like Google Latitude promised!
  39. 39. Let’s say you’re at the mall, meeting a group of friends for a movie, and you are wondering, where is that straggler friend who’s holding you up? If you could pull out your phone and see that he was at his apartment or en route. that would save you time and effort.
  40. 40. I want something like Dopplr to work passively on phones. (Nokia bought Dopplr last year)
  41. 41. Routes vs Locations
  42. 42. When you passively share your location, over time your route becomes the new check-in.
  43. 43. It’s all about the map.
  44. 44. Google will be a key player in this.
  45. 45. Facebook would use Bing maps in their location play. Or would they build a map API from scratch?
  46. 46. These social networks don’t have map technology in- house.
  47. 47. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo were smart to invest in map technology.
  48. 48. It’s also about the reviews.
  49. 49. Good opportunities for Yelp and Zagat to stay in the game. But Google already thought of this, and doesn’t need direct partnerships, because they have Google Local.
  50. 50. Imagine if every business had a system at the door that scans your Open Facebook Connect ID?
  51. 51. You walk in the door and it scans your phone without you pointing the phone at it, or even knowing it happened.
  52. 52. Or maybe some kind of digital blueprint? Like how the zoning on Google maps works.
  53. 53. Or as Bill said One should be able able to create a location blacklist. I don't want to check in to McDonalds, or a strip club, even though I make the occasional visit.
  54. 54. After a night on the town, if you realize your wife wouldn’t approve of your “route” :) then you could groom your data like you do a Facebook Wall.
  55. 55. The phone is the ground on which the geosocial war is waged.
  56. 56. My status right now would be a green light with the text explanation: “Writing”.
  57. 57. My parents are sleeping right now, so their status might be a red light with no explanation.
  58. 58. Our friends in Japan are awake; Yoko might have a green light with the text “Out to Lunch with Jerry Maguire.”
  59. 59. Sound familiar? AIM got this right. Which, of course, is inspired by traffic light color coding.
  60. 60. I want an AIM-like status on my entire address book. And I want to know where the people who share their location with me are.
  61. 61. @jess3 on twitter