Six of the best: Foursquare hit or miss edition ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Six of the best: Foursquare hit or miss edition

Photo: foursquare blackboards @ Southside Coffee in Brooklyn! by dpstyles™ on Flickr

Is Foursquare going to be this year's Twitter? I have some resistance to trying the latest thing just for the fun of it and I signed up. Should you too? And, if you are a marketer, should you already be thinking about ways to use Foursquare to grow your business? Or can you afford to wait? Here are a few posts that talk about what Foursquare is and what it might become. (For those who have absolutely no idea what Foursquare is and want to find out, start here)

1) Foursquare: Phenomenon or Fad: Mindshare
This report decides that the answer to the question about whether marketers need to start taking notice of Foursquare yet is "a resounding maybe." On the plus side, the report notes that Foursquare has become the favorite of opinion-leading blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch. It's also come up with an ingenious game-based model for getting people to play/participate in these early days before it reaches the critical mass it needs to be really useful. We are all gluttons for points.

2) Why Foursquare clowns around: Thought Gadgets
Ben Kunz explores this game angle in a bit more depth. He notes a curious trend in social media: "Most of its tools start out as perceived toys, worthy of laughter, and then gradually migrate to the mainstream" It doesn't take long either. In the early days, those using Facebook, Twitter and, now, Foursquare are laughed at. Then, just a few months later, anyone not using these tools looks like they are out-of-touch. Ben says that the game-like mechanics of these new tools may seem silly but they are actually the engines that help grow the number of users and their activity levels.

3) Are virtual worlds over? Raph Koster
The game-like mechanics that Foursquare and other social media use are just one of the things that they have co-opted from virtual worlds. They've take so much, in fact, that perhaps there's no need for virtual worlds any more? Raph explores this question his readers volunteer a lot of opinion too.

4) Foursquare, Baby, Foursquare: TechCrunch
Foursquare has around 450,000 users and just passed the one check-in/second milestone. But it's not so big that you'd expect it to already have attracted attention from the likes of Condé Nast, Marc Jacobs, the New York Times. But it has. The latest deal is even more surprising. Foursquare is now prominently featured at the Miracle Mile Shops attached to the Planet Hollywood hotel in Las Vegas in a deal worked out with the help of place-based social media site, LocaModa.

5) Foursquare – Dodgeball On Steriods – Is Going To Be Huge: Social Strategy & Design
Kudos to Karl Long. He predicted that Foursquare would be a breakout hit right from launch. His pick this year: Social calendar Plancast, "a service for sharing your upcoming plans with friends."

6) Are Modern Web Apps Killjoys? ReadWriteWeb
Is Foursquare making us enjoy life a little less? In this interview, Adam Greenfield says he doesn't like Foursquare because it made him less social. For a while, he enjoyed "checking-in" at places he visited. Then he found himself spending time on that vs. actually enjoying the place and socializing with those around him. As the post points out, all technology can be anti-social and Foursquare is not nearly as bad in this regard as a cellphone, or even a camera.

That's it! Back soon with more stories from the world of brand strategy (and vaguely related areas). More thoughts and comments also available on Twitter (@martinjbishop).


Adam Greenfield said...

That quote is not precisely accurate: I didn't say I "didn't like" Foursquare, I said I'd stopped using it. The distinction is important to me.

Say hi to Frank for me.

Martin Bishop said...

Sorry about that, Adam. Duly noted and it is an important distinction.

denise lee yohn said...

thanks for this overview, martin -- i've been avoiding foursquare because i don't think i can handle another time-sucker, but it's good to know what i've been missing and it provides some fodder for my work on retail brands.

Blog Directory - Blogged