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Foursquare Burgled or Brilliant?

Studied art and fashion design at Manchester then Westminster University. In the past 15 years Colin has been part of the buying team at Burberry, an Angel Investor, corporate film and TV producer, and for the last 6 years has run his own digital agency. An online social adoptee from 2005. He’s an exhibited artist.

There can be no doubt that “foursquare” is dividing the online social community – if you’ve never come across it, check it out and form your own opinion. In brief it is a smart phone application that allows its user to confirm their location whilst also encouraging you to leave a tip or message in relation to that location. You have 140 characters in which to leave the message and then the opportunity to share it on Twitter and Facebook (Foursquare automatically shares it with your friends – on foursquare).

Ok so there are those that say – “Hold on, if I publicise where I am, people are going to know I’m not at home…”; hence the opportunist Burglar that is tech savvy; – you get the drift.

Then there is the other camp – generally the businesses, like GAP, Costa Coffee, David Lloyd Clubs… are delighted that someone – obviously a fan – checks in because their shop or business premises is then put on the map and circulated around (potentially) thousands of people. (See the GAP story here)

Then there is the game element – there is a loose game element associated with the application which allows those participants to collect badges and “Mayor – ships” which creates an element of competition amongst those that favour a particular destination.

What about the real world element – I remembering discussing this part with Mike McGrail, the idea that Bus Drivers – or rather buses use the automated facility so that when it pases a particular stop an update is automatically made to its feed allowing those of you standing at a bus stop to check to see where your bus was – handy or stupid? I’m not a big user of buses but quite handy I would of thought.

Already there have been retailers in the States using it for incentives and voucher giveaways – I haven’t seen the stats but the PR surrounding the campaigns has been very positive.

So what do we think?

Are you fed up getting updates in your Twitter or Facebook stream from friends that insist on telling you they’re at Asda or the BP Garage at 3am; or are you going to live with it because you see an opportunity for your business or client?

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