Foursquare: A Social Media Playground for Internet Addicts. An Optimistic Look From Someone Who Has Barely Scratched the Surface
So a new game has emerged online called Foursquare. Well, it's not really new and it's not really a game, but nonetheless, it's here and it's creating quite the buzz around the internet amongst addicts like myself. What is it? Look no further than the developers description:
"Think: 50% friend-finder, 30% social cityguide, 20% nightlife game. We wanted to build something that not only helps you keep up with your friends, but exposes you to new things in and challenges you to explore cities in different ways."
Alright, time to do some translating. Foursquare is a social media platform that uses your mobile phone as a human GPS device. You check in at various locations around St. Louis, and earn points with each checkin. It not only tells your friends where you are, but allows you to compete against them to become the "king of the streets."
For some of you, this might be a tough sell. But I've come prepared with examples. Everyday, I go to Club Fitness off Manchester Rd. Each time I go, I check in on foursquare through my iPhone. This tells everyone where I am at and gives me a point for leaving the house. Later on, I may go to Starbucks or Bread Co off Brentwood. When I check in there, I get more points for hitting another location, and it once again tells my friends where I'm at.
What's the point of this? Well, there's multiple theories. For starters, this is an application that allows your friends to know where you are at all times. It also rewards you for getting up and getting out of the house. What else? It allows you a greater opportunity to get out and explore the area you live.
Deep down, foursquare isn't about telling people where you are. That's one of the perks, but it's not the main point. Another component to foursquare is adding venues and writing your own "tips." For example, I added Plaza Frontenac Cinema as a venue and gave the tip, "Head to Plaza Frontenac Theater, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy a limited release film with your girlfriend." This is then forwarded to everyone in the St. Louis area. Someone can see this, and add it to their "to do list." For example, I looked at the "tip list" and someone said, "Go to Maggianos Little Italy and enjoy the huge pasta plate." I added it to my to do list, and when I actually check in at Maggianos and complete the task, I'll get points. A really interesting premise.
I could go on and on about the potentials of foursquare. You really have to experience it for yourself to truly understand it. It's one of those platforms, even more obscure than Twitter, that tends to be a hard sell for individuals who aren't deeply rooted in social networking.
i will give you this - if you join foursquare, you will find out a lot about what people are doing and what places you should visit in your area. You're getting tips from the very people who go to these places. You're not getting reviews, your getting objectives. The possibilities are endless. I'm now going to run over to Blueberry Hill, order a cheeseburger, and borrow Scrabble from the bartender while I enjoy the delicious meal. Then I'm going to go to Ted Drews and get a concrete. I'm going to ask them to flip the cup upside down before they serve it. Why am I going to do all this? Don't ask me, just trust the users on foursquare.
Visit the site here.