So a lot has happened in the world since my last blog post– Kim Kardashian is getting divorced, Captain America came out on DVD, Uncharted 3 was released for the PS3, there is a “Siri”-like app for android available now called Iris (Siri spelled backwards–which is awesome by the way. Iris and I have become good friends) and a new episode of Glee airs tonght!! Oh, and I have been working on my project. I start singing “Check into class…..ch-ch-ch-check into class!” everytime I check into Grainger or Vilas or Humanities. It’s a catchy tune. I also decided to take a look at other locative services such as SCVNGR and Gowalla, and Yelp. I am still focusing mainly on foursquare but I wanted to see what these services had to offer.
I am in love with SCVNGR in that I have gained free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings (my favorite wing place!) just by completing fun challenges. This virtual space does effect my reality because I interact with people around me through the application. You can do a “social check-in” where you bump phones with friends who have the app and you earn points. There are also challenges you complete like taking a picture of a certain item or answering a question. Then you use your points to get a free coke, free wings, $5 off your bill, etc! I think it is awesome that just interacting with a place through an app can help save you money. It is also fun and passes the time while you wait for your food.
Gowalla is pretty cool in that it tells shows a google map of where each place is incase you are just looking for a cool new spot. Sometimes is also has an interesting little blurp about the place. I haven’t really used it that much. I did say “I’m here” which is what you do on Gowalla rather than checking in at a few places but there aren’t really reviews or ways to warn points.
Yelp is pretty fun. I didn’t realize there were so many good check-in deals. At Barriques Market you can get 50% off a coffee for checking in. I have just started using this app but I might use it for for all the sweet offers it has. It is also pretty useful for the reviews it has. If you are looking for a restaurant close to you it will pull them up and you can find out if they do take-out, reservations, if it is good for kids, etc. You can also become “The Duke” for checking into places.
As far as foursquare goes, I like the competitivness of it and how intense some people get in their mayorships. I am no longer the mayor of Denny’s and I was really mad when I found out. Especially since I begged my boyfriend to go to Denny’s last night but he wanted to go to Perkin’s instead. I lied to my aunt and said somebody stole her mayorship of the Dutch Mills Sports club when she was out of the state and she was so upset. I think it is funny how seriously some people take their mayorships. My aunt always brags about all the places she is mayor of. My boyfriend has also decided that foursquare is a competition between us and he tries to check-in everywhere to beat me in points. I forgot to check-in to Perkin’s last night and he didn’t remind me because he is trying to beat me.
I have also enjoyed sharing tips with other users and I created a few places that didn’t exist in the foursquare world. I added the church my friend just got married in so I would check in in her wedding day. I left a tip about a really friendly bar tender at Dutch Mills Sports club every wednesday night and also about the great service I recieved at Jiffy Lube. I think that applications like these make reality more fun and it makes us feel more connected to the virtual world as well as the real world.
As I continue to utalize the foursquare app on my phone I have come accross some interesting information. Here is the back story (and some proof that I have gotten slightly addicted to foursquare)
I was at Denny’s on the east side with some friends and, being the Mayor, of course I wanted to check in to continue my awesome mayorship. I dug through my purse only to realize I had left my phone at home. I was super upset that I couldn’t check in (I almost wanted to go get it quick and come back just so I could check in). My boyfriend gave me his phone and we tried to figure out a way to log into my foursquare so I could check in but we had no luck. That’s when the friend sitting across from me told me about pleaserobme.com. This website talks about the dangers of over-sharing. It states that by checking in you are making it easier for the robbers to steal from you because they know you are not home. You can check it out here: http://pleaserobme.com/
In the article we all read by Alice Marwick, she discusses a “techopanic” as having these charactoristics: focusing on new media forms, pathologizing young people’s use of media, and an overall manifest of anxiety that leads to an attempt to regulate or modify young people’s behavior. I think that pleaserobme.com does show that foursquare can be considered a technopanic. Locative services are a newer thing and this website talks about how people that check in to various locations are inviting break-ins into their homes. I also think that this website is attempting to regulate behavior by talking about the dangers of over-sharing.
Personally, I do not really think that foursquare, saying where you are on Twitter, or other locative services poses a threat to anyone. I did some playing around and typed in random names of people on foursquare and it would not tell me where anyone them were at that exact moment or even when they had checked in last. In fact, I discovered that a lot of people had not checked in anywhere in the last 7 days. I have many friends who check in litterally everywhere they go, but I think this app may be dying off much like myspace as a social networking site.
Well, that was a little bit about my foursquare adventures. Time to do some grocery shopping, so I will be checking into HyVee (try not to rob me while I am gone). Search for my name if anyone wants to be my foursquare friend 🙂