Foursquare is an emerging mobile network that connects people and places through mobile phones. While it isn’t the only player in the space, Foursquare does appear to be the game to beat. The 800 pound gorilla is Facebook Places but other geo-location nicheworks are also growing including Loopt and Gowalla. Each equally bring together the real and virtual worlds, unlocking the world around consumers through checkins and supporting gaming mechanics and social effects integrated into the experience. Foursquare has blazed the trail and as a result, it’s rewarded with escalating consumer adoption and engagement.
Last year at SXSW, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley joined Frank Eliason (previously @comcastcares), Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang and me on stage to discuss the shifting landscape of social engagement. While I focused on the sociology of engagement and the impact it is having on culture and society, I also sought to balance the conversation by demonstrating the impact of digital actions and interaction between people and businesses.
In part six of a series of conversations that explore the state and future of social media, Chris Beck, founder of 26dottwo (@26dottwo), and I check-in with FourSquare and other geo-location networks. We review how these location-based networks open new channels and dynamics for online and offline connections. We also examine the nuances of “checking-in” as a form of social currency and implied endorsement. Essentially, there are cultural and economical aspects with tying your “personal brand” to the locales you visit. You lend your reputation and audience and over time, you will be increasingly rewarded for doing so. More on that subject here, “FourSquare Means Business: Have You Check-In Yet?”
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.