An Interesting Take on Location Based App Check-Ins…


I took a break yesterday morning, poured through my Twitter stream and stumbled on a tweet with a different take on checking in using location-based apps.  I figured it looked interesting enough and clicked over. Ah the beauty that is Twitter strikes again!  This could not have come at a better time for me. The entire post is over on Hi, I’m Shane Mac and titled Life Is About Reflection & Why The Reason I “Check-In” Isn’t What You Think. Sounds interesting right?! What do I think that I’m wrong about? Marketing, learning more about customer habits, etc?  I had no idea but went on to read his post to find out, you should too.

Brief Synopsis: Shane spent four days at a music event in Memphis, TN and decided to check in everywhere he went. His motivation for doing this was for “reflection” not earning points or bragging or any of the other many reasons people enjoy checking in.  Reflecting on his trip struck a chord with me as I am heading out west to ski for a week in Colorado on Saturday. My last vacation was two years ago in Jackson Hole, WY. I realized if you asked me the name of anywhere or anything we visited there, I wouldn’t know. I can’t even remember the name of the hotel we stayed at. The only thing I remember is that we snowmobiled in the Gros Ventre wilderness and the only reason I remember it is because my pal Steve kept calling it the “Gross Ventray”.

Foursquare is my location app of choice. I don’t often remember or choose to check-in at a lot of the places I go. Who cares that I’m at the gas station, liquor store or grocery store? Pretty much no one. When I go to someplace I think is different, exciting or cool then I’ll try my best to check-in.   What Shane says in his post is absolutely correct – that check-ins create an on-line diary of your experiences in life.  They can be made even richer by adding pictures and text as you can see in the screen shot below (which in looking at it now is a pretty boring check-in).  The posts can be pushed to your Facebook friend and Twitter followers.

If I’m diligent on checking in and taking pictures and writing some good notes I’ll have a permanent log of where I went and saw on my ski adventure. I LOVE this idea and I’m totally looking forward to creating it.  If I am successful then I’m going to check out weeplaces.com where the check-ins are visualized on a map as another way of seeing them. **Update: Be sure to check out the comment left by Pete on plotting your Foursquare check-ins on Google Maps. How cool is that?!!

While I’m away, I’ve actually scheduled a post on Foursquare and our offer with your first check-in at Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank.  Be sure to stop back in next week to find out what it is.

Are you using a location-based smart phone app like Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places?  Would you use it to chronicle a trip or event or use something else?  Leave me your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love hear from you.

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15 thoughts on “An Interesting Take on Location Based App Check-Ins…

  1. To be honest, I’ve never even thought about Foursquare this way! You bring up a great point about keeping a diary of places you’ve been and I love that idea! I’m a Foursquare advocate, and like you, usually leave my check-ins to fun, different places.. places that I want to share and that I want other people to visit. I think keeping a “virtual diary” of places you’ve been is really cool and being able to look back and remember those places (especially after a fun vacay in Colorado) is one of the many advantages of the tech-savvy/social world we live in today!

    • I hadn’t either and it makes me like it so much more. I’m already tossing ideas around in my head on how to create a slide show with them when I get back. Gotta love social media!

  2. That’s brilliant! As you know, I spent last summer and fall checking in all over the place on foursquare. Got a few freebies and became mayor of my local library but it got boring really quickly. However, this approach to foursquare use makes so much sense! Nobody cares if I’m dining at the Friday’s in Freehold, but a vegan chowing down at Love and War in Texas (Dallas location)? That’s news, some serious conversation, and a wonderful family memory!

    • Exactly Laura! I’m so glad I’m not the only one that appreciates a new way of looking at Foursquare. All I have to say is you better check-in with pics when you go to Love and War in Texas – that’s something we all have to see to believe!

  3. Another cool thing you can do is plot your check ins on google map, see http://aboutfoursquare.com/display-your-foursquare-checkins-on-google-maps-the-easy-way/ for 3 easy steps. I am a life long Jersey Shore native and Sprinsteen fan, last summer after dropping my son at guitar lessons in Freehold I finally did a walking tour of all locations of interest for Springsteen fans and checked in on FourSquare. Went home played with parameters on the link & google maps and before you knew it, I had a map of the locations with comments. Doing same touring college visits with son.

  4. No way Pete, that is beyond awesome!! I can’t believe I didn’t know that – I LOVE Google Maps. I think I may have even written a few posts about my crush on Google Maps. I’m going to try to link to your comment in the post. The Springsteen Walking Tour sounds like another great post topic. Do you mind if I contact you in future (when I have time to write it) for more info?
    Thank you so much for sharing and commenting !

      • A little update:
        I found a cool site, tripline that maps out trips you have take. It imports from FourSquare and other apps so I trialed it with my “Lombardi Weekend.” results > http://bit.ly/egIr5N

        I went back to see if I could get my Springsteen in Freehold check-ins but could not go back that far. Recreating that little trip would be fun during the warmer weather and I probably will.

  5. I have to say this gives me a whole new perspective on foursquare. I use it on and off but the thought never even crossed my mind to be able to look back at my own journey’s.. I’m planning a few small trips this year and definitely will start using it more regularly now. Thanks for another great post!

  6. It’s a great concept … creating a diary to reflect on the past. When Mitzy and I travel we use foursquare to find places to visit near by or if we are looking for a particular place … simply type in the name (IHOP for example) and it not only finds it for you but will plot it on a map. The only downside I see to apps like this is it makes you vulnerable to those who want to take advantage of knowing where you are to do less desirable things. If these apps had a time delay option so you could enter the checkin or post as it happens but not go viral until the time you have it set for. This way you could already be home before it posts – so if your house was being cased and someone wanted to rob your home and know you just checked into a restaurant they know how much time they have. Like everything else associated with being viral … use common sense and realize you are advertising where you are and someone can check your history and predermine your behavior.

    • I agree Cliff, a lot of the time when I “check in” somewhere it is actually when I’m leaving. I’m also careful to only friend people I know. There’s also the option to not share your location with friends when you check in. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it! 🙂

  7. Pingback: How to Leverage Mobile for Customer Engagement: Part 1: Check-Ins | Bacon on the Go

  8. Pingback: How to Leverage Mobile for Customer Engagement: Part 1: Check-Ins | Bacon On The Go

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