Naveen Selvadurai & Foursquare

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A little over a year ago, my social networking life was all but nonexistent. Like everyone else my age, I had a Facebook page left over from college. Other than the occasional stalk-in, er login, however, I rarely used my account. But overnight (it seems) everyone and their aunty joined Facebook. Before I knew it, I had second cousins from Pakistan who I’d never met trying to friend me and my mother calling me every morning to discuss my status. (“You were sick and you didn’t call me?”) Now Facebook is the first site I visit each morning. And after Facebook comes Twitter. (My name is ____________ and yes I do have an Interwebz addiction.) And now, I’m afraid I may just join Foursquare, a new social media site which has my friends abuzz. What is Foursquare you ask? Ever sat by yourself in a coffee shop? Wished a friend was close by and wanted to hang out? Didn’t feel like texting everyone in your phonebook? If you’d logged in to Foursquare, which was co-founded by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai this past March, you would’ve known immediately who was around.

Before you start crying “stalker,” read this article from the New York Times.

…for many urbanites in their 20s and 30s, two other questions are just as important: Where are you, and can I come join you? For them, a fast-growing social networking service called Foursquare is becoming the tool of choice. A combination of friend-finder, city guide and competitive bar game, Foursquare lets users “check in” with a cellphone at a bar, restaurant or art gallery. That alerts their friends to their current location so they can drop by and say hello.

Other companies… are also offering services aimed at helping friends find each other on the go. But Foursquare has attracted more attention than the others, in part because it incorporates elements of gaming and social competition.

The system awards points and virtual badges to players depending on how often they go out and which places they visit. Users who frequent a particular place enough times are crowned “mayor” of that particular location.

[Link.]

Whaddya guys think? Next Facebook? Or is just another fad? Are you a Foursquare user? Should I add yet another task to my list of web addictions?

Alrighty, full disclosure, my interest in Foursquare was piqued after a friend Tweeted this picture.

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Hmmmm. Methinks it’s time to get that “I heart geeks” T-shirt back from the dry cleaners and get some badges.

12 thoughts on “Naveen Selvadurai & Foursquare

  1. Actually, this could be pretty useful to set up last-minute after-work happy-hour type stuff without having to resort to mass e-mails or text-messages. If this had a bonus feature to say “I’m going to be doing ___ at ___ after work today, y’all should come” I would be sold.

  2. @Yoga Fire – It does have that, in a way. You can always just post a “shout” to all your foursquare friends, instead of just checking in somewhere. Good idea for usage of that feature.

    @phillygrrl – I too, was worried that I didn’t have the time for yet another “Marshmallow Tuscan Sandwic,” but in fact, it’s not so bad. Lots of fun, actually. ;) (h/t @drew: http://twitter.com/phillydesign/status/5097880957)

  3. I loooooove Foursquare. It’s changed the way I explore my neighborhood and this city. Accumulating points and unlocking badges is addictive because it’s ridiculously fun.

    I now go days without checking Facebook but I don’t go a single night without 4sq. :) And thanks to my devotion to it (read: my dutiful tagging of venues, correcting addresses and reporting bugs), I’m a Superuser level two (I can merge venues! w00t!). Useful, entertaining and simple: Foursquare’s perfect.

  4. I am confused on what this is, but it sounds like the GPS for friends that they have on phones. You just open up the city map application and a icon comes up to show you where your friends are.

    On a more personal note, doesnt anyone like not being available 24 hours a day to anyone in the world? I dont want a guy, who I talked to once at a party to know where I am 24 hours a day.

  5. These types of systems are elective – you don’t have to broadcast your location if you don’t want to – and you can choose who can see your or not. I think it’s a great social tool – as long as you can select your network.