What do you think about FourSquare and its future in the social media realm? For the last few years I’ve been using FourSquare – checking in at various spots as I live my daily life. I like being able to check in at a location with a photo, and post it simultaneously on Facebook. Frankly, it is the main way I handle status updates on Facebook. If it weren’t for FourSquare and Instagram, I would almost never post anything to Facebook and my friends would completely lose track of me!
I’ve found it fascinating to look at the picture of my life that FourSquare provides when I look back at my history of check-ins. There’s no hiding from the data. In a way, it is a form of ethnographic research that allows you to identify the patterns in someone’s life (mine in this case). Although the data in no way gives you a complete picture, it does give you some clear themes with which to work.
For example, here’s what FourSquare has to say about my life:
- Is it more important to be the “mayor” of your company, or president? I am currently Mayor of Starbucks, Chapel Hill Quest Center (my daughter’s martial arts studio), Jennings (my company), Philip’s House (my friend Philip White) and Dan’s Mountain Retreat.
- In the last six months, the top places I’ve checked in include: Starbucks (near my home), Starbucks (near my office), Jennings (my office), Raleigh-Durham Airport and Chapel Hill Quest Center.
- The category of businesses that I’ve visited the most include: Medical Centers, Coffee Shops, Airports, Hotels, and American Restaurants. That says a lot. There’s my professional life in a snapshot.
- Over the last 6 months I’ve checked in at 11 different airports. This shows that I’ve done a good job of curtailing my travel.
- I’ve checked-in at Raleigh-Durham International Airport 82 times overall; 22 times in the last 6 months.
- I’ve checked-in at Boston Logan Airport 43 times.
- My caffeine habit has led me to check in at the Starbucks near my home 443 times over the last 3 years.
- PF Changs is the restaurant where I have checked in the most with 121 visits since joining FourSquare. The good news is that if I am at PF Changs, it means I am with my family! I take that as a good sign. It is one of our special places for dinner – particularly on Sunday nights when the stress of a new week can start creeping in. Changs tends to help us fend off the stress.