Photo: Danny Sullivan
I’ve been using Foursquare for about three months, and I’ve grown addicted. It nicely fills that gap when I’m out and about between checking my email and checking Twitter: a Foursquare sandwich.Some thoughts about mayorships, badges, checking in as a search action and about the service in general >
I'll start with the whole mayor thing. It's dumb, but it's fun. I get a little rush if I become mayor of something. In fact, for a glorious 12 hours yesterday, I was even the mayor of Stonehenge. Hey, I used to live right next to the darn thing. For several years, I even lived in the house where the last guy who owned it before donating it -- Sir Cecil Chubb -- was born. I've written a guide, Tour Stonehenge The Right Way -- Private Access, about visiting it. So I was a pretty chuffed that my trip back to Britain last week allowed me to check in and gain the mayorship.
Oh well, no worries. I'm still mayor of other places that are more dear to me, like the Balboa Boardwalk. Of course, that was made difficult by the fact that the boardwalk is three miles long. Foursquare is really about being major of one specific pinpoint rather than a broader area. So want tips about the Balboa Boardwalk? If you're at the south end, you probably won't see the boardwalk even appear in Foursquare despite being on it. That's because when I made it, I picked the north end for its Foursquare coordinates.
I'd like to see Foursquare better deal with issues like this, perhaps by allowing a line of coordinates -- a route -- etc. all become a Foursquare location.
Also frustrating is the difficulty in finding a general location. Coming through LAX, I could find plenty of Foursquare locations for the Starbucks there, various gates, security but for checking in to LAX in general? I had to search. And this is always the case at any airport I go to. I want to check in to the airport in general, then into more specific areas.
Back to adding venues, while I was in Britain, I used my Nexus One and a UK SIM card rather than my iPhone. That meant using the Foursquare Android app which feels suckier than the iPhone one in many ways -- but then again, the Android app allowed me to add venues and categorize them properly, which the iPhone app doesn't allow. Consistency, please!
And back to mayorships, some advice I recently tweeted:
FYI, unless you're the mayor of something super awesome & interesting, that's never something I want to see tweeted
By default, if you've linked Foursquare to your Twitter account, it's going to try and tweet things for you. Don't be that person. Disable it. You can always selectively choose to tweet, should you want to. I think you should be selective. But that's me.
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