Understanding location-based media: Foursquare

Salam. In this entry, I want to share about Foursquare, a location-based media in connecting people and places.

Sometimes, people will update their status either in Facebook or Twitter their whereabouts. “I’m at Midvalley” or “I’m Home” so that their friends may know where he or she is at the moment.

The geo-location and geo-tagging technology

Soon after the advent of GPS and when internet has developed the geolocation and tracking system via smartphone revolution, it is easier for developers to come up with a tracking someone. I’m not sure how does it works but that’s the main idea that I’ve understand. Oh by the way, Feedjit is one way to track where you came from.

What is Foursquare?

If people connects via Facebook profiles & Twitters, brands and companies have Facebook pages and Twitters, then how about places and locations? It is Foursquare that connects between the people and places in real life! You may ‘Like’ some brand but if you’ve been at one of their premises or branches, then the connection for me is better.

How to use Foursquare?

Simple! Just create your account and download the apps for your iPhone, Blackberry or any Android phone. Then you can link your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Actually, I don’t own any of these smart phones yet. So I’ll just log into their mobile version to check-in.

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Check-in means that you want to update your status that right now, you’re here! Every check-ins will be rewarded with points and badges. I think this is where Foursquare is addictive for some users.

However, according to the FAQ, you have to be at there physically. Not just passing by. I can see that some mayors and badges collectors will check-in despite they are just passing by.

Earning badges

The screenshot below shows the badges that I’ve collected and venues with my mayorship. If you’re not logged in using Foursquare account, you won’t see the list of mayorship.

Why I use Foursquare?

I use Foursquare just for my own personal need. I usually will not inform my location to Facebook and Twitter. There’s some serious issue with this. Besides that, by checking in to these places, I can have my own personal record on where I’ve been.

Its easy for me to write on my diary. If you feel you just want to check in without letting your friends know, you can opt for ‘Hide My Location’.

Why I become mayor?

Basically Mayorship will be rewarded for people who check in most number of the day. For a new venue, you have to check in at least twice to get the mayorship.

Basically, I want to become a mayor because I want to edit the venue details such as the address and other contact details. In addition, I want to add more mosque as the places in Foursquare.

So far, its easy for me to become mayor at the mosques within my area. You also can try it too. By introducing the mosque and check-ins two times in a week, you can become a mayor as well.

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Foursquare is competing with another location-based media including Gowalla, Google Latitude to name a few. Based on a study, it is only 1% people using it. So, its not really a good marketing approach at the moment. [via]

Besides that, there are multiple names of a certain venue. I wonder why people simply add the venue to the directory without searching for the listed option first? For instance in the list of mosques, there are three venues for Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan, two venues for Masjid Mu’adz Bin Jabal Setiawangsa and two for Masjid As-Sobirin.

This is just a few example of duplicated venue. Foursquare should have attend to this matter to make it fair & square.


Well, that’s it for this week. There are many advantages and disadvantages in using Foursquare and other social media and location based media nowadays. Another interesting article that you should read is How I became a Foursquare cyberstalker. After giving it a thought, I know I have to be more careful in sharing information on the internet.

Recommended reading:
Credit image – DigitalOrchard
Alternative web apps for multiple check-ins – check.in

P/S – one of my longest entry in 2010!

4 thoughts on “Understanding location-based media: Foursquare”

  1. Pingback: Visualize your Foursquare check-ins with Weeplaces | AdlanKhalidi.com

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