End User social networking

Man flings bling in farewell to 4sq – renounces location based networking

I, Trefor Davies, being of sound mind and disposition, hereby declare that I have deleted the Foursquare app from my Samsung Galaxy S2 and intend to take no further active role with said location based social media platform.

This act, performed arguably whilst I was on a roll – ranking 4th amongst my contemporaries and rising in the 4sq table, is done to save my sanity and that of my children and to free up a significant portion of my weekend, recently dedicated to “checking in” at every location I thought I could get away with without being blamed for “rapid fire checkins”.

There are a number of reasons for this highly public (visible to everyone on the planet with an internet connection) position statement.

  • Firstly I found myself stopping the car outside places just in order to be able to check in. This even extended to taking detours to places that I had not previously checked in to in order to get bonus points for new locations.
  • Secondly I found myself more and more regularly checking in to places only to find messages telling me I was lying (your phone doesn’t think it is anywhere near said place). This happened a few times over the weekend including Sunday afternoon when I was sat in the snug of The Strugglers pub on Westgate in Lincoln (I am mayor of The Strugglers – not as difficult a feat as it might sound as you only need to have visited somewhere twice to achieve this status). My efforts to “play” were being undermined by the unreliability of either the 4sq platform or its relationship with the mobile networks.
  • Thirdly my kids were starting to get annoyed & were playing the neglectful parent card, the little rascals.

I started the 4sq journey to see where it would take me. My conclusion is that it is too oriented in favour of the venue. There is nothing , beyond the dubious kudos of being mayor, provided in return for checking in. I see some venues offering a free desert, or half price coffee etc for the mayor. Achieving mayoral status in many places means going there every day – the competition is the daily commuter stopping at a coffee shop to pick up his or her caffeine fix. It is not for the faint hearted.

As the market mature and (if) usage increases this may change but for me for now it ain’t working.

So days out with the kids are now restored to being days out with the kids. I am returning my mayoral trappings (ie bling) and reveal that the following places are up for grabs:

Lincoln Rugby Club, Lincoln Cathedral (probably the hardest one to let go – what a catch), The Bailgate Methodist Church (check-ins whilst picking up from scouts), Whisby Nature Reserve, The Morning Star, Fenella Beach, Peel Breakwater, The Grove (all 3 done whilst on holiday in the Isle of Man), The Strugglers, Newark Beacon, Timico, Super Hand Car Wash, Activities Away and The Eastgate Tennis Club.

I was on the verge of a few more mayorships after last weekend but someone else can have them too. Farewell Foursquare, farewell.

End User mobile connectivity social networking

Location – Foursquare, the Isle of Man and Apple #deappg

harbour lights in Douglas IoM

Last week as the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry approached Douglas harbour I “checked in” on Foursquare to a location called the “Sea Terminal”. I also uploaded a lovely picture of the watery reflections of the multicolour harbour lights. Beautiful it was.

Then as I got into the car to drive off the ferry I received a text message telling me I had just run up £17.02 (ex VAT) on data roaming charges. Ooo! That was before I had even set foot on the Isle of Man. The notion that I might leave data roaming switched on for the week was out of the question.

I was fortunate in having free WiFi where I was staying. I did however occasionally switch on roaming in order to check in at various Foursquare locations and am now proud to announce that I am Mayor of Peel Breakwater, Fenella Beach and The Grove.

Uhuh! So what do I hear?