The perfect way to let #mom know you got there ok.

I can’t wait until the next time I travel or decide to let mom know where I am. Even if she reads about this awesome service called hashtagmom.com here first, the first call will undoubtedly result in lots of giggles and sighs of relief, followed by confusion and reasoning, followed by a call to my Grammy to relay the crazy phone call she just received. Let’s just say: #predictable.

If any of you readers sign up too, please share how it goes!

Foursquare: Check-in distribution by day in the last month.

Conclusions: bored more often earlier in week. Or, more coffee breaks resulting from easing back into the work week. Or, boring on weekends*.

*this post was written on a Saturday night at 9pm.

Foursquare – A Month in Review

When I started using foursquare one month ago, I was curious, cynical, and feeling left out of a new cool thing. Here’s what happened:

  • I’ve used it every day. 
  • I check in when I’m at 1) a place I enjoy, 2) a place where I’ve purchased a food or drink item, 3) a place where lots of other people typically check in, and 4) work.
  • I do not check in at Duane Reade, clothing stores, public transit, or my apartment. 
  • I am peeved by how often the app crashes, feeling like I have to write witty check-in comments and failing more often than not, the quick decrease in excitement after the first few badges come so quickly, and why there are points at all.
  • I have learned about a handful of new places. 
  • I do not follow @foursquare, and therefore missed out on getting the #4sqDay2010 badge, which was pretty sad. 
  • I enjoy trying to find other people in the same location in real life who have checked in recently, sharing cool places I go with other friends, and being mayor of Tax Court Manhattan despite the rather pathetic competition.
  • I take no pleasure in being the mayor of my parent’s house, but I kept checking in anyway. 
  • I am not surprised by how almost everyone who doesn’t use foursquare thinks it’s absurd. 
  • I’m still confused by the unwritten rules of checking in somewhere, why we love over-sharing, and why people link foursquare check-ins to facebook and/or twitter.
  • I don’t know why I haven’t gotten the Playa Please badge – almost every check-in at Summit Bar has been with at least three men – or the BFF badge.
  • I haven’t cheated, at least as far as I know.

At the beginning of my month, I made a prediction:

“I will have major qualms, but remain a casual user after the month because I’ll be so close to some crazy badge or something and want to reach that benchmark, and then another…”

Damn I’m good. It’s true. I can’t quit it, but I also don’t care so much about checking in everywhere anymore. I do want one of those cool random badges like Photogenic or Socialite or Trainspotter, whatever that is. I would secretly be thrilled to be mayor of one of the places that I often grab a bagel before work. I would be irritated if another coworker were to oust me as mayor of our office.

You got me, foursquare. With these stats, I’m not going anywhere.

Foursquare – Week 1 in review

Forgot to check in a lot of places…but maybe that’s fine? Should you check in where you do volunteer work, like the work is just part of a game? I thought volunteer work is selfless? Would it make me a bad person?

No really, I just forgot. But I didn’t check in multiple times a day at the office, or at the place where I picked up a bagel but didn’t stay, or at the pretty concourse where I ate my lunch because it’s not really an institution…how far is this going to go?! Do people need to say that they’re the mayor of everything that could have a name?! the 2 train? the LIRR concourse? A square of sidewalk? I don’t quite get it.

The competition’s heating up. I know foursquare’s not solely a competition, but there was little joy in my first two mayorships, my office and Tax Court, simply because there was no competition. Foursquare is in a very specific market (I’d be curious to see those stats, but I’m guessing ages 15-35 smartphone owners in urban areas who like feeling “with it”), and my workplace and most of my friends are not that market. But, one of my coworkers wasn’t happy with me being a mayor of either place, so she joined, and now we have this silly motivation to not let the other have mayorship in our humble work setting. It’s absurd, but also easy enough to check in, so we do.

I’m too nosy about where my friends are when really, I don’t care or would otherwise know. My foursquare friends are either people who I generally know where they are anyway (either through real-life conversations, or twitter, or text, or some other means), or people who I follow in hopes that I learn about somewhere new and interesting (nothing yet). I refresh my friend list without thinking almost as often as I check twitter, but just because it’s something to do. I don’t really care, but I do it anyway. It’s like brushing my teeth, but less healthy and unexplainable to people who aren’t on foursquare.

Lingering Questions: Why is the Shout feature in existence? What’s the line of when to check in and when not to, and when to share it and when not to? Who is the mayor of the indian restaurant I go to for lunch all the time, because there’s never anyone under 50 there? How come I feel like a less-than-productive girlscout every time I get a badge (count = 5)?

Something funny: At the foursquare party last night, I almost forgot to check in, and then had issues finding the venue. They really should have kicked me out.

On a final note, a friend interviewed me for a paper about foursquare. My one week perspective (likely better articulated orally) is overall mixed, but full of continued intrigue. I told her that. If you have insight on the use of foursquare in your life, tell her.

Foursquare – a one month adventure

Beginning tomorrow, i will begin a one month foursquare adventure. If I like it, maybe I’ll stay; if not, I’ll quit and never do it again.

Motivation: I made fun of Twitter for being just plain silly, said I’d try it if ever I had a weird urge to tweet twice in one day, had that urge and tried it, love it and haven’t looked back. Parallel here – I wanted to check in at Tompkins Square Park today because it was so beautiful out and I have an evil desire to be the mayor, and wanted to check in at Lil Frankies because it’s so darn good and Pat did it. So, now I joined, and will give it a shot starting tomorrow.

Major Questions: How can I ever be a competitor for a mayor or a badge or points by getting in so late in the game? Will I have evidence of my here-there-everywhere life? Will I remember to check in? Will I attempt to cheat and check in falsely or after the fact? Am I going to get annoyed by it? Will I actually learn about new places on it? Will I end up being “one of those people” who connects my checkins with either facebook or twitter or (worse!) both?

Redeeming Qualities: Everybody’s doing it. Potential to learn about new places. Potential to be a mayor. Ability to know even more about the lives of people I already know too much about via internet sources. 

Prediction: I will have major qualms, but remain a casual user after the month because I’ll be so close to some crazy badge or something and want to reach that benchmark, and then another…

Please give me tips if there are any to be had, and either way, enjoy watching me self-destruct this month during this crazy venture.