Location, location, location

11/12/2011 //

I just removed the Foursquare app from my phone. I’ve had it installed for almost two years and to date, I’ve used it a grand total of 33(!) times. And I can’t quite figure out why I would want to use it more either.

I’m not putting the scores of happy Foursquare users out there down in any way. But it’s definitely a solution to a problem I personally don’t have. I try to keep up the up and coming services as best I can; being part of the next thing is still fun, as is being ahead of the curve, and lastly, I’m generally curious.

Still: I barely have friends on the service to begin with. I know four of the people on my friend list. The other seven are random mutual Twitterers (Twits?) who I assume used the Find Friends function, only one of whom I’ve had actual communications with.

Facebook, on the other hand, infamously added location services in a blatant “me too” push to keep up. Recently they bought Foursquare’s competitor Gowalla, another service I also signed up for and promptly lost interest in. (Gowalla was better designed and seemed generally more fun than Foursquare, but never managed to overtake them in popularity.)

For all of Facebook’s disadvantages, including its cluttered interface, the privacy issues and the deluge of ads1, the fact remains that it’s the social network where most of my friends actually are, making it my second best social network. (The first? My address book, which contains pretty much all the people I interact with in real life and also doesn’t spam me with ads or FarmVille invitations.) So if, for some reason, I’m overcome with the urge to share my location, it’s the natural place for it.

I suppose an argument can be made that I don’t use Foursquare correctly. That’s fine, but I’ve found no compelling arguments that incline me to learn either. I’m old enough to have had a regular watering hole for quite a while, and as for pursuing mayorships, well, suffice it to say that I’ve never been tempted by a career in politics.

I sort of burned out on Twitter last year, and I realized that, as caught up as I had been, I was simply shouting into the void. It changed the way I use Twitter; nowadays it’s more of an information aggregator, with the odd vacation humblebrag thrown in for good measure.

Perhaps I’ll end up up doing something similar with Foursquare too. I can certainly see a use for the discovery aspects when I’m traveling, but currently, it’s simply of no use for me.

1 Yes, I know it’s a free service and that you have to accept (if not like) these things.