anyone else tired of check-ins…

I can’t help but think I’m seeing a pattern here amongst the multitude of articles about check-in fatigue. Om Malik has one here – Dennis Crowley puts up a brave front. I mean I am also genuinely curious to see what foursquare comes up with next – but as Om says in the article

“From personal experience, my daily usage of Foursquare has dropped down to a handful of check-ins every day.”

Well that’s not surprising really. How often is it relevant for me to see in my Facebook or on my Twitter yet another message saying:

“Joey has checked in at the Waffle House.”

I can tell you how often. Almost f***ing never.

The endless feeds of broadcast vanity information have decreased the signal to noise ratio on foursquare so much it genuinely risks jumping the proverbial shark. (yes I know it’s a mixed media metaphor but I thought it rather appropriate in this case)

This is another of many articles decrying Foursquare.

Now – whether or not Foursquare genuinely suffers in the next six months is kind of immaterial.

The fact is that Foursquare is offering precious little value to the bulk of the population as a social tool. As I have stated in this blog before – check-in services only have significant value to YOU if all your friends obsessively check-in. Which is great if you make a yearly pilgrimage to SXSW Interactive and BBT is your favorite TV show. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what the acronym stands for – you’re safe).
Oh – they have plenty of value to others – e.g. the venues people frequent – since the venues can promote themselves and tweak their offerings. (much like they can via Yelp and its ilk)

I wouldn’t be surprised if one of things that Dennis embraces even further is the venue aspect his service clearly relies on.

Sounds positive in the business sense because it will generate the short term revenue Foursquare needs – but unfortunately it then becomes a kind of opt-in global location sensitive banner ad…you check in – and you get spammed with ads (masquerading as coupons) for whatever business you are near.

Exactly how many times do you think Om Malik will be checking in then ?

That (in addition with the privacy concerns with broadcasting your location) is why I’ve always maintained that the focus should be on finding your friends – not telling everybody (or even any network/system) where you are.

Oh wait…is that what we’ve built….oh well that’ll be why 😉


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