For the last half of this decade at MobileCampNY, Dennis, Naveen, Deepen Shah and others have gotten together to talk about the state of mobile technology. Most of the time, conversation revolves around what the “lowest common denominator” is. How creative can one be given current restrictions in the technology, and what will be possible when new feature x becomes standard, and how much feature x will change the world.
In 2009, Naveen and Dennis launched Foursquare, which built upon the success of every location-based application before it, and added the one-upmanship that feeds game culture with badges, née achievements. The truth in their consistent message, that Foursquare is designed to encourage physical interactions with others, is often lost in the negative PR that is a result of people’s enthusiasm for over-sharing. When given shiny buttons to press that say “share ,” users will, and will quickly get on the nerves of everyone subjected to the onslaught of check-in messages.
The value in the internet is not being on the internet. So much of what we do online is find and engage in things that are interesting to us--people we’re interested in, places we want to go, activities we want to do, things we want to buy--and then plan to take action on those things in some form or another, with an over-emphasis on planning rather than doing.
Services that try to solve the problem of bringing value to the internet in a public setting walk a fine line of success and failure. Twitter gets a lot of flack for encouraging discussion of the minutiae of life, but gets praised when people taking part in newsworthy events capture the world’s attention with an unfiltered lens into reality. Foursquare is inherently about being somewhere, but the act of… Continued, with Letters to the Editor, on Page b4 »