12/30/09

Foursquare and 7 Days Ago: A Business Proposition

I played with Foursquare over the long Christmas weekend and will continue to do so through out this week. I am determined to unlock its B-2-B potential. For the uninitiated, Foursquare was started by five New Yorkers who wanted to keep tabs on their bar-hopping friends. It combines friend-finding and gaming capabilities. Launched in February on Friday 13th at SXSW, Foursquare is a way to track friends and rack up points for moving from venue to venue. By checking in through Foursquare, the site tracks your movement throughout the day. Foursquare can report this info not only to Foursquare friends but also to Twitter and Facebook. For each new venue you add to Foursquare you get points. Each time you check in at a venue you get points. When you make consecutive visits you get points, with the possibility of becoming "mayor". I happen to be the proud mayor of 2 locales--I am on my way to an Houston monopoly. When you post on consecutive days you get points. Plus you unlock badges for accruing points--a "newbie" badge, an "adventurer" badge. You get the point (HA! I made a pun :) ). Now I can see why a retailer or consumer business would want to make sure that they were listed on Foursquare. Popularity translates into sales. Unlocked badges could lead to coupons. It makes sense for venues to make sure that their businesses are listed and its employees are engaged. But for B2B, I don't think businesses want other businesses to know who has been visiting them. Especially in light of corporate intelligence and espionage. Law firms would be even more adverse to displaying this sort of information. Now what could be interesting is to have an internal version of this technology available within the firm, showing where staff and attorneys are at any given time. But then it all begins to get a bit "big brother"-ish. But, then, this app is that way anyways. I am beginning to think that these "kids" have no sense of what privacy means. Of course, these are the kids that grew up with "Girls Gone Wild" and "Facebook". What was I thinking?

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2 comments:

Jon Lin said...

I've also been playing around with the Foursquare app and the purpose of broadcasting your whereabouts to your friends is a similar the original use case when Twitter first started, minus the points thing of course. We all know what Twitter has evolved into so it'll be interesting to see what Foursquare ends up becoming.

Greg Lambert said...

Alright, Lisa... you talked me into trying Foursquare. Now, I need you to show me how to use it!!!

 

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