I’m at McDonalds on Main Avenue.
I’m at the Rental Car Center at LAX.
I used to be one of them. That was until a colleague said to me one day, “you’re crazy for letting everyone know where you are, what if someone…” that’s when I stopped her. I didn’t want to hear how the sentence finished, but I got the point.
I used BrightKite on my iPhone to “check-in” at different locations and my “check-in” would then be plastered on my Twitter and Facebook pages. The purpose was to alert others in my circle of friends where I was in an attempt to meet up or meet new friends. After all, this is what the “social” in social media is all about, right?
Jeff Stolarcyk, a member of the Solid Cactus Internet Marketing team did a blog post about a relative newcomer on the social media scene, foursquare.com. Foursquare is one of these “check-in” type sites which bills itself as “a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things.” Quite a concept if you understand it, right?
In a nut-shell, you load foursquare on your phone, you check-in at these various locations, meet friends and fellow foursquare-ers, and climb the social media ladder in foursquare as you visit new places or return to ones previously visited. An interesting and fun concept. If you’re a business owner, you can offer incentives for foursquare users to visit your location and capitalize on this new and emerging market segment.
While those of us who are into this kind of stuff become more and more connected, privacy becomes an issue. If you don’t mind letting people know that you’re at Mel’s Diner five nights a week for dinner, go for it. If you’re somewhat hesitant about sharing your location with your friends, you can always either not “check-in” or do so in “stealth mode.” Then if you’re completely freaked out by the openness of social media, this stuff just isn’t for you.
It’s interesting to see just how transparent people are willing to let their lives become. I can see some things happening that could prove to be interesting:
Diane: Hey Jack, what did you do last night?
Jack: Oh, nothing. I sat at home and watched “Dancing with the Stars”.
Diane: Really? Then why did your Facebook page say you were at the night club?
Jack: Um, yeah, well. Gotta go!
Social media is changing the way we go about our lives, we’re becoming more interactive. Whether that’s good or bad is yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure, as we open our every move to more and more eyes, we have to be more and more cautious about our surroundings.