Stalking people? No it is just Foursquare

Have you ever walked into a new restaurant hoping that it will be delicious, but you did not know what to expect? Or, have you ever gone to a concert and thought, “I wonder if I will run into anyone I know here?” With Foursquare you can unlock the world around you, and find happiness just around the corner. You just need to log into the website, Foursquare.com, have your cell phone ready and be ready to explore the world around you. Download the Foursquare app to your cell phone and instantly link to your address book, Facebook and Twitter account to discover where your friends are, by reading where they recently checked in. Tell your friends where you are by checking in at one of the thousands of places Foursquare automatically lists based on your GPS location. If it is not listed on Foursquare you can add it. Leave and check tips from other users on places around the area. There are also various specials offered to Foursquare users. If you use Foursquare wherever you go, in airports, museums, the light rail, you never know where you might come across a little planned serendipity.

Foursquare launched March 13, 2009 and is not slowing down. It currently has 725,000 users and recently grew by nearly 100,000 in 10 days. Foursquare also revealed there have been over 22 million check-ins by users. There has even been a 15-year-old user who was the first to check in at the North Pole! It is not as huge as Twitter’s 50 million tweets per day, but it is an extremely impressive number for a website that is barely a year old. “We really like Foursquare’s fresh approach to location-based social networking,” Mashable.com said. With the Internet growing and people turning to social networking for advice on activities and locations, this is a convenient move towards the future.  Kassi Bluma, an active Foursquare user and reporter for a small NY paper, said, “I am obsessed with it! I work in NYC so I will check into a location and see clients, co-workers, or potential people I could interview for a story I am working on. I also love getting advice for different restaurants and museums around NY. It is an exciting and great way to network with people around the community.”

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9 Responses to Stalking people? No it is just Foursquare

  1. hmick says:

    I actually JUST learned the ins-and-outs of Four Square in my JMC 417 class on Tuesday. I initially thought this was a bit much, being able to know when and where people are, but then came to realize the benefits of using this website. I think that Four Square is a benefit for people who live in big cities and who may actually run into a client at a local coffee shop, but for people who live in small towns, this already happens on a daily basis and I think it probably won’t become as popular there. I am excited to start using the application on my phone to look up local restaurants and meet up with friends who may be in the area. But it makes me think, do you ever think there will be a lawsuit against someone who is stalking someone on Four Square?!

  2. alevy says:

    I also just learned about the logistics of Foursquare in my PR campaigns class this past Tuesday. The one question that first came to mind about this application, was what about safety? I have heard multiple stories about people breaking into houses because they noticed that people’s Twitter status’s read that they were out of their homes. I do think this a good concept for keeping people connected with their friends and stay up to date with new and good places to go around town, but I think there needs to be some kind of security mechanism when accepting Foursquare friends or someway to block people from seeing your location. Since this is a fairly recent application, I am sure there are aspects that will change over time as it quickly becomes widespread among new users and can potentially benefit the professional realm making it easier to meet with clients and check each others whereabouts. I also agree with Hadley that Foursquare is probably more beneficial for people that live in big cities because there are always new areas to explore and try out and what better way to do that through location-based media?

  3. dolson says:

    A Web savviness will go a long way with an app like Foursquare. Be conservative in who you accept as friends, and think twice before checking in at every opportunity. It’s best to befriend only people you know personally, rather than strangers you know only from the Web. And check in to a location when you are physically leaving it. Stalkers will be one step behind that way. Keeping your check-ins off of Twitter and Facebook is a smart move to avoid your online “friends” from deciding to rob you while you are at that concert or new restaurant. Learn this lesson the easy way, rather than the hard way, like the poor souls in the “I was robbed after saying I was away on Facebook” news stories.

  4. dsmith says:

    I was a little hesitant about Foursquare at first, because I too was worried about the issue of safety and stalkers. Not that I think of myself as someone who would have a stalker, but you never know! After using it for the past few days, I must say I think it’s a creative idea. I also like how it’s user friendly and easy to use, although it’s quite likely new features will be added as it becomes more established in the social media realm. I don’t think I could say the same for Twitter, which I’m still learning the ins and outs of and I’ve been on it for about a year now. Another thing I like about Foursquare is that it provides another medium for organizations to view how others are receiving them through the ‘tip’ feature.

  5. ddarnell says:

    I thought Foursquare was a little much when I first saw it. Now I’m hooked. My friends are always calling me and asking me, where are you? what are you doing tonight? Now all they have to do is check my Foursquare account too see where I’m at. It makes things a lot easier and decreases my cell phone bill. Don’t get me wrong, I see the negative side of Foursquare. I wouldn’t want my ex-girlfriend to know where I’m at 24-7 because she would definitely show up unannounced to see me. Crazy!

  6. a_hundza says:

    I also thought FourSquare was a bit of a stretch and very “in your face” so to speak when I learned about it, but since I’ve been using it for JMC 417 I have come to appreciate it.

    At first, it was simply checking in and nothing really came out of it, but last night I actually needed it to help my boyfriend find people at the same event we were at. I couldn’t help but laugh a little to myself because I never thought I’d like FourSquare. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be adding everyone I know to this site, but I can see the benefits for professional purposes more than friends stalking each other.

  7. srugeris says:

    There have been a few of these geolocation based programs starting up in the past year or two. Technological advancements like recent GPS technology in smartphones has opened up a new door to the uses of social media. When the Iphone was first released, I used the program Loopt, to see where many of my facebook friends were on a map location in comparison to mine. This program fizzled out because there were no perks or advantages to checking in like the little rewards and badges given in Foursquare. The trend has become acceptable to many because of the ease of use with new GPS location capabilities of smartphones. My two year prediction is that either foursquare becomes the leader in geolocation based social networking programs or it fizzles out and is replaced by one with greater rewards to active users. I am thankful that Dr. Gilpin encouraged us sign up for an account because if the program keeps getting picked up and used by mainstream media like twitter and facebook did, then we will have already built up some social assets.

  8. cwilusz says:

    I has to say that Foursquare creeps me out and I was definitely be deleting my account when I am done with JMC 417. i understand our professor’s attempt to try and get up more versed in the social media world, but Foursquare really? There is no need for people to NEED to know where i am on a given basis, nor do I want them to. I hate that I had to sign up for it for my class so i have only been checking into places such as the Cronkite school or starbucks. I know you can accept whomever you want so that can track you but this concept still seems a little creepy to me. What happened to just picking up the phone and calling a friend and asking where they are?

  9. kwashburn says:

    I am also new to the world of Foursquare as well. At first I thought it seemed a little strange…the fact that you are telling the whole world where you are at any given time. The more I thought about it though, the more it seemed to be a positive social media tool. These days, networking has become so necessary and Foursquare enables people to connect, not just through chatting via the Web but also physically meeting up. It also offers great advice regarding restaurant reviews, tips on interesting events and places and it lets you input your opinions and feedback as well. I think this is a great tool that has not been offered with Twitter or Facebook before. I hope it spreads and grows as big as Twitter has become.

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