Foursquare, Loopt and Google’s Latitude have been on my IPhone getting minimal usage for the past year. January 2010 was the month I decided to jump in. I upped my activity on Forsquare and started to watch if my frequent check-ins added value into my daily life.
The game aspects:
1) Trying to be the mayor of an establishment was not motivating enough to remember to check-in as I moved around.
2) I like the idea of symbols/badges that represent progress, but i am not motivated by this aspect of the application either. I would prefer a progress bar that showed me how close I was to achieving the reward and what I needed to do if I really wanted to get a specific badge.
This leaves serendipitous rewards associated with checkin-ins, which has not happened frequently enough to justify the labor of actually checking-in. I wonder how many friends it takes to get this type of reward on a regular basis? Twitter for example took about 200 friends before the data was rich enough to justify the effort of looking into the stream on a regular basis.
The social network squared problem (friends and they are actively online) becomes even more complicated when you add the dimension of proximity. I am excited to share my location and I do believe at some point in the future the technology will be automated and integrated with my existing social networks, but until then my checkins will be infrequent.
Thanks for playing, http://foursquare.com/user/menro.