Is foursquare For Me?

Is foursquare the new “it” social networking thing?  Or just geeky?  I don’t quite get it, but I’ve been seeing a lot about foursquare recently.  Why not give it a spin to get the first hand experience.

The commitment: try foursquare for one month, then re-evaluate.

I logged onto the site and was underwhelmed by the interface.  I didn’t really understand how it worked, and the web page didn’t help me.  For example, Facebook asks “what’s on your mind?” and Twitter asks “what’s happening?”  Foursquare more assumes you already know why you’re there and what to do.  It tells you that:

We’ll help you meet up with your friends and let you earn points and unlock badges for discovering new places, doing new things and meeting new people.

But how?

Best way to learn is by doing – I signed up.  Now it asked if I want to see which of my Twitter followers are on foursquare – sure, as long as they don’t know they’re being searched, right?  Do I want to link foursquare to Twitter?  No.  My followers don’t need to know I’m at the Starbucks on M Street, do they?  Seems kinda creepy.  I clicked on the Facebook link to see which of my friends are on FourSquare, but then I got a dialogue box that looked like a Facebook app — ah, no.  Not ready for that – maybe not ever.

Now what?  Turns out only 5 people I know are on FourSquare — or were when I signed up.  Two early adopters, two colleagues who work in the social media sphere and are early-ish adopters and one other person.  Perhaps this would be more fun if more people were on?  Or just more voyeuristic?

Next, I downloaded the iPhone app and started to check in from different locations, inconsistently, occasionally:

  • Meeting a friend at a bar (or restaurant) and got there first – yes, pull out iPhone and check in
  • No line at Starbucks or CVS – no time to check in, gotta check out before a line forms!
  • Waiting for a boring conference call to start – yes, office not on list of locations, so entered it in the “search” box then checked in

Two weeks in and …

Here’s what I like:  kinda fun to see where my friends have checked in.

Here’s what I’m waiting for:  To become “mayor” somewhere and see if I get something.  For example, Veritas, a great wine bar in my neighborhood, posted this on Twitter (yes, this was part of the motivation for joining foursquare):

A friendly reminder that tomorrow the mayor of Veritas on foursquare gets a bottle of wine on us.

What else do I like?  I guess I like that my page isn’t so bare anymore.  I’ve unlocked some badges.  Of course, this also give it a 10 year old kind of feel.  You know, I would have really loved my badges back when I was collecting stickers

What’s lacking:  Wish more friends were on, and I only kinda get it …

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