I used to think that location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and all of their clones represented the next big thing in mobile. The reality, however, is that even though all of these companies are still growing (or at least say they are), I just can’t figure out why I should continue to check in when I arrive at a restaurant or bar. As of now, I am getting absolutely zero value out of checking in.
Maybe it doesn’t help that not a single one of my friends outside of the tech blogosphere bubble uses any of these services (they don’t use Twitter either, by the way). But even then, what value would I get out of seeing that they are at a certain restaurant or bar nearby right now? It’s not like I’ll go there and ruin their romantic evening by sitting at their table. ?
And don’t get me started about the “game mechanics” (which – at least for location-based services is really just code for “badges“). If the only value I get out of checking in is some idiotic badge, then taking the phone out of my pocket to check in is clearly not worth the calories I burn in the process. Also, at least here in Portland, the promise of coupons for mayors hasn’t quite materialized yet (or at least not at the places I frequent). Even if it did – I’m not a regular anywhere, so becoming the mayor of anywhere but my own house is out of the question anyway.
So for the time being, I’m checking out of Foursquare.
tl;dr: there is no value in checking in, so I’ll stop doing it?
We saw an interesting phenomenon on ReadWriteWeb today. My colleague Mike Melanson wrote a post about Facebook Connect, which now shows up as the #1 search results on Google News and also as a new result on Google’s main search engine.
That – by itself – wouldn’t be something out of the ordinary, but here is what happened: suddenly we got an influx of tens of thousands of confused Facebook users who thought that ReadWriteWeb was Facebook. These people actually thought that somebody had either bought or redesigned their precious Facebook and now Facebook got so hard to use that they couldn’t get to Farmville. There are now over 200 comments from confused Facebook users on this post.
Just image the thought process somebody would have to go through to think that RWW is Facebook:
“Oh – lets use the Google to check Facebook… let’s type in ‘facebook login’ here in this thing that shows me the Internet… oh look… there it says Facebook, let’s click on that… [opens up Mike’s Facebook posts – confusion sets it] Hmm… that looks red… weird… there is a lot of text… don’t want to read – too hard… just log in to Facebook… where’s my Facebook? They took my Facebook!!! [dazed and confused now, but scrolls down and sees Facebook Connect button we use for comments – feels more relaxed – clicks on Facebook Connect link, pop-up comes up and puts in credentials that are written on post-it next to screen] Damn… now I’m back on this page – what the f&ck? There is all this text here… can’t comprehend… they really took my Facebook… where is Farmville? Petville? It’s all gone. They f*&(ing redesigned Facebook again…
Just look at comments like this:
This is such a mess I can’t do a thing on my facebook .The changes you have made are ridiculous,I can’t even login!!!!!I am very upset!!!
Can we log into face book? This is crazy I want to get all my info off and be done with this. I recently moved from MN to SC Myrtle Beach and facebook was a great way to keep in touch with family and friends but this is getting to be to difficult.
I don’t like the new facebook. Why fix something that isn’t broken. this really sucks..
I LOVE FACE BOOK CONNECTED W/PEOPLE I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL W/ESPECIALY ONE CLOSE FRIEND.KNOW LET ME LOG IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT THE HELL IS GOIN ON WITH THIS FACEBOOK.. FIRST YOU WANNA CHARGE NA YOU WANNA NOT LET US LOG IN….. UGH STOP CHANGIN IT I LIKE THE OLD FB…. IF YOU ARE THE NEW OWNER YOU SUCK AND I WISH YOU WOULD CREATE UR OWN SHTY AND LEAVE FB ALONE LOSER………
I hate all this changing. Just looking for a way to log in.This is very frustrating!! This is ridiculous. Are you looking for people to get disgusted and use another site
And here is the kicker – some people actually liked the “new” Facebook…
Reminder: If you are Reading this, You Live in a Bubble
It just boggles my mind how dumb and illiterate (and I’m not saying this lightly) these people would have to be to think that ReadWriteWeb is Facebook. We even put up a disclaimer on the site explaining how RWW is not Facebook.
It’s sad to see how many people are this illiterate, but the same time, this is also a good example how those of us that roam the Internet every day are not representative of the majority of people online.
Just look at those comments – some of these people complain that they just learned how to use Facebook. If you are reading this, you probably sign up for a new service every day and know exactly what Facebook Connect does… but compared to these people, that makes you a digital savant – a giant among man who walks tall among the Farmville users on Facebook.
Given that all of these people logged into Facebook, I managed to check out quite a few of their profiles. These are normal people – often with a basic college education – they could be your neighbors. But for them, the Internet is magic and while might consider Facebook as little more than training wheels for the Internet, for these people it’s just magic – and Facebook is the David Copperfield of the Internet that connects them to their old high-school friends and Petville.
I write quite a lot every day and being able to handle constant distractions is part of my job description. But sometimes, it’s just nice to be able to focus on your text without having anything else come in your way.
From Appfrica: “People often only see Africa from one perspective, here’s another. The above infographic details some of the happenings over the past few years in regards to infrastructure improvement and capacity building in Africa, paritcularly in the area of the internet and cost. The sources are various reports from the International Monetary Fund, InternetWorldStats, the Millennium Development Goals, research papers, various websites, executive market research and more; compiling some fascinating facts about the continent’s ‘infostate’ (trends in information technology and communication).
Although the text is hard to read in it’s reduced size, you can download high-res image from Flickr.”
I've always been fascinated by how the dirty underground world of paid blog posts works. Over time, I've signed up for a few services to see what they offered. This is what I saw in my mailbox today:
Hi there Frederic,
Do you blog? Would you like to earn $8 real fast for blogging an article?
Here's the lowdown:
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Review WebPoint and post an article and you'll earn yourself a cool $8 for your post. Your affiliate link may be used and will earn you commissions on all free trials that result from your article!
Don't have time to write? I've included a zip fle with example blog articles you could use and repost, but feel free to write your own if you prefer.
How to Earn your Blogger Bucks
1. Either repost one of our articles or write your own.
2. Submit your review for approval at: http://www.blogkits.com/review/submit.php (blogkits is part of offerforge so you're in safe hands and we promise you're not giving away your info)
3. Don't forget to enter your OfferForge Affiliate ID US9173
4. We'll review your entry and the first 100 entries that meet our editorial guideline will be credited with R50 each.
5. The best blog review as judged by WebPoint will get a bonus of $30!
Editorial Guidelines: Blogs must have a PageRank of 1 or better, english language, at least 20 blog entries & an archive of at least 3 months. Only one entry per blog allowed. Independently written articles must be 50 words or longer. Blog may not contain warez / cracks / adult material or any other objectionable content as defined by OfferForge.
Earnings will be credited by 30 November 2009.
Just got this in my mailbox. Standard 419 stuff, but this one is actually somewhat targeted:
my name is tineke am from U SA and i am a journalist i work for newspapers and magazines and some T V i am in Nigeria for some new and information we like sell some information that is very important for you about what is happen here in Nigeria i have some good new that you can have interest in that it we be good for your newspapers,magazines and T V i we like to work with you to give you some information with me i we like you to tell me if you we like me to sell the new with me for you and to work for you to bring you any information you need here for more information you can contact me
tineke <yahoo email address>