Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite… Check.In Fatigue

Location based services. They aren’t new. Back 5-6 years ago I was at Sprint PCS (Northern PCS) and dorking around with LBS from MIcrosoft and Cell phones. The stuff has just matured.

So, ok. You use the LBS apps. Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, Yelp, Loopt… whatever. Personally there is so much fragmentation it is ridiculous. No single “places” db. Some venues have mayorship deals, some don’t care about anything but one app, etc.

The best thing I have seen so far is Check.In (web app) on my iPhone, which will do all 3 major services (more coming) at once. The thing is, you have to be on network. Problem is, most places I go to , there is no wifi, or cell coverage. So you just can’t even check in.

The other thing that comes up often is “check in fatigue”. Which is what you get after you go to a ton of different places and you spend more time checking in or trying to check in rather than enjoying the venue.

In the little town I am living in, there is once place with deals for mayorship – a coffee shop. And guess who is mayor? An employee. Forget it. Why even have any deals?

I am seriously thinking of just jumping out of the LBS app game, when you get down to it, just not enough time in the day to worry about “checking in” and really not getting much out of it. I would rather see it that if i am walking by a place, they txt me with a deal or do something to catch my attention, then me fight for some check in deal that I would never get.

Mobile/LBS apps will grow and mature and it is exciting to see where the space will go. Mainstream? not for a while, if ever. Trying to keep with my “appless” mode, I haven’t installed any LBS apps on my phone yet this week. (I have installed 4 other apps, but it is minimal :))

Mayorship really gets you nothing but bragging rights (and who really cares?) and not much else. I would rather spend my time reading or learning or hanging out with my babby 🙂

Foursquare in Your Business

I don’t own a business. So let’s just get that out of the way. But as a Foursquare user, and someone who frequents many businesses.. how could you use Foursquare as a business owner?

First, above all, you can know what the heck foursquare is… check it out.. http://www.foursquare.com .. ok, did you find your business on there?

Anyways, some places give discounts for mayors.. awesome. 15% at the local coffee shop for me, yet an employee is the mayor. Against the rules for places that give deals.

What else can you do? Well, you can know who is coming to your place. You can say “shout blahhhhhh” for a cool new badge

You can do other cool deals, like, the 100th checkin gets this, or the 10th checkin today gets this. Sky is the limit.

Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, etc. If you own your local business, you should be on there and know WTF is going on. Facebook – you should already be there. If not, for shame. It is 2010.

Engage your customers. Give them something, even if it is recognition, if they are utilizing these location based social apps with your business.

Your patrons will thank you and spread the word for you. Through twitter/facebook, or just word of mouth, for you.