For the last year or so, I’ve been religiously “checking in” to all venues on my business travels (not personal ones though) to try and get a handle on Foursquare. This and Farmville (long since forgotten) were part of a quest to understand two of the examples of gamification that were often quoted (back when gamification was the current buzzword).
Well, I have to admit, I don’t really see the advantage. Not to me at least.
- I’ve been the mayor of a few places (I was even the mayor of Fujitsu’s UK HQ for a while, although I suspect the CEO may have a different view) but no-one has ever offered me a discount.
- Not once have I been alerted to the fact that one of my friends was also at the same venue as me.
- I frequently forget to check in at the station on the way home – Foursquare doesn’t let you edit your timeline.
- Even as the mayor of a location I was unable to do anything about the “tip spam” – and Foursquare didn’t respond to my requests to remove the offending items either.
Meanwhile I have given Foursquare plenty of information about my travel patterns and the offices I visit. That information might be useful in a broader context but, as with every other “free” social platform, I am the product – not the customer – and I’m simply providing data for potential analysis and even sale. Foursquare, along with Google Latitude and Facebook Places, holds no interest for me any more (especially since Foursquare awarded me the “trainspotter” badge!)
So, in the words of the famous BBC “dragons”, I’m sorry, but “I’m out“.
[Updated 21:42 – added point about “tip spam”]