Friday, 9 October 2009

FourSquare in London - the new thing I might annoy you with



I got really excited this morning. I arrived in the office a little early and the first thing I saw in my inbox was a message from FourSquare announcing that London was open to the service!

I had been waiting for a while to be able to experience it on this side of the Pond. It first started from the few people I follow on Twitter in the US. A few random tweets announcing they were in this bar / club / pub / venue with a link back to FourSquare. It seemed pretty intriguing and of course given I try to be all over anything catching online to make sure I stay one of the cool people in the know [read as something like, so hopelessly beyond geekness that it comes out as utterly cool on the other side of the spectrum].

In short, I'd say FourSquare is part Qype / Yelp / Tipped like reviews, part social network (and/or integrated in other social networks), part location based service and all wrapped up in a gaming / playful context. Of course, give it that last note along with some booze given the whole concept is about showing off where the party's at; and I'm all over it.

In the space of 45 minutes I had a bunch of friends signing up and over a few hours over 30. I don't know how many people are already signed up for London in total but it must be quite a few as they need a certain critical mass before starting the service in a given city.

Check it out, it's fun and you get points for going out and being at places out and about in town. All for bragging rights at the moment but as the number of users grows they intend to create other value out of those points.

Maybe think of a Top Table and the way they are now operating a stranglehold over the restaurant business - get points for booking through Top Table and more points if you post reviews afterwards. After a certain number of points, you can receive gifts. Sounds like a brilliant idea altogether though Björn, my chef brother, hates them because every restaurant has to pay to be registered on the site and moreover the site regularly almost forces restaurants to provide special deals for the site's users.

Anyhoo, I'm getting off the point. It's fun, there's no advertising, it's spreading like wildfire (in my world anyway) and I'm loving it. And now you can know everything I'm doing online with Eyebrowse, so can you know everything out there offline with FourSquare.

We'll worry about business models later; que sera, sera.

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