February 23, 2010 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

Foursquare is a location based service (LBS) that is being used by people as a new social network app on cellular phones.  If you go to the app’s website at, you can view a short “howcast” that informs you how to use foursquare and reap all of its benefits.

The howcast says all you will need is a foursquare, a cell phone, and a passion for exploration!  All you need to do is connect with your friends via Facebook or Twitter and log in when you arrive at various locations throughout your day.  Once you arrive at your location, Foursquare will recognize where you are based on your GPS location.  Don’t worry if the place you are at isn’t on Foursquare, you can add it in later.  The purpose of Foursquare is to “check in” so that you can gain points at a location and earn badges and maybe one day become “mayor” of that location.  In addition, you can see what others are saying about the places around you, and if they are enjoying that place or if it is one you should avoid.

Foursquare is a great tool for businesses because they can offer rewards to serious customers.  Business owners can place advertisements on Foursquare that are available only to Foursquare customers.  Also, once you have received enough “badges” or become mayor of a location, the business often thanks you by giving you free merchandise for being such a loyal consumer.

There have been some problems with LBS however.  Whenever you have an app that advertises where you are (and it is away from home) trouble is sure to follow.  There was a site launched recently called “PleaseRobMe”.   The site showed many people’s Foursquare “posts” and Twitter users “tweets” and started a public outrage.  The website currently says “Raising awareness about over-sharing”.  They argue that they were not promoting threats or violence, they were showing how easy it was to see when people were away from their homes.

Perhaps it is not wise to be telling a large audience when you are “checking in” somewhere other than your home address.  People may be watching you do so, because the people at “PleaseRobMe” were!


Entry filed under: Social Media and PRCA 3030- Section C, Topic of The Week- PRCA 3030. Tags: , , .

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