While Playful turned out to be less my scene than I’d hoped I did enjoy the talks I stayed around for. The session before lunch was a bit of a jokey set of talks where people tried to get some agreement on the etiquette for using Foursquare. Four people made proposals to the audience and a ‘Roundaround’ style voting mechanism was implemented.
The four proposals were (I think)
1) No checking in at home
2) Checking in on public transport is OK
3) Disconnect Foursquare from Twitter
4) Stop with the ‘drive-by’ checkins (this one by Bristols own Dan W)
As it happens I agree with all these suggestions to some extent. I never check-in at home or the office for that matter. I have been thinking about checking in on certain buses – given the amount of time and money I spend on FirstBus I reckon being Mayor of the 75 bus is the least I deserve. I disconnected the check-in portion from Twitter early on but at the moment it still announces when I become Mayor or get a new Badge – maybe it is time to rethink this. As for drive-by check-ins – I just can’t see the point – I check-in when I am sat somewhere, usually after buying my first drink.
I think it is fair to say that my Foursquare use is pretty one-dimensional. I check-in to bars and pubs almost exclusively. I have a habit of being the first person out – have been for as long as I have been drinking – and doing a quick Foursquare check-in, tweet etc has replaced plugging money in the fruities as my time killing tactic of choice. I seriously can’t see the point of checking in to your local Tesco etc but then again there isn’t much point in any of it!
I don’t know enough other people who use it for it to be of any real use to me at the moment and the geo-data aspect of the app is less than reliable but Twitter was useless for ages as well and I’m glad I stuck with that so I’m sticking with it.
There is also the question of why choose Foursquare of Gowalla? It seems it is a bit of a Betamax vs VHS situation – most people I know seem to think Gowalla is the better service but Foursquare has the numbers and the momentum. To be honest I downloaded them both at the same time and the Gowalla one didn’t work on my phone thus decision made.
I have to admit if someone created a mashup between Foursquare and Beerspotr then that would be perfect for my usage – I’m sure some helpful ale drinking geek is on the case already!