To the Batcave

To the Batcave published on 47 Comments on To the Batcave

To the Bat Cave, Robin!
Robin?  Robin? Where are you boy wond……  Oh, for f*@ks sake! get off facebook so we can go and fight crime!!
(That is how I imagine a pretty typical Dynamic Duo conversation would go these days.)

There are millions of Batman fans out there on the internet. Many of them will have smart phones, and may be using any number of a vast array of  geo-location applications.
And I will bet each of them thought they were really cool, ironic and unique when they added “The Bat Cave” as a spot on the map, so they could check-in to it.

Go to pretty much any city, in any geo-location site (such as Gowalla, foursquare or Facebook Places) and you will find multiple entries for “Bat Cave”.
The same holds true for the “Fortress of Solitude”, Hogwarts and Castle Greyskull.

But I could not find anything for the Arrowcave (Green Arrow) or Sanctum Sanctorum (Dr Strange)

Geo-location applications have really taken off in the recent past, but at present they seem to suffer from a major problem.
That problem is letting the general public add your data for you.
When you do that it is a great way to get free data-entry done, but you never know what you will get.
You will need to be happy to have incorrect data, duplicate entries and millions of joke entries.

Although, if I were the kind of person with a secret lair, then right now would be a great time to add it multiple times on geo-location sites. Add it in so many different  locations that the bad-guys will have no idea which is the real location.
Oh, yeah – and I probably would not add in the actual location, just to be on the safe side.

Ousted as mayor

Ousted as mayor published on 6 Comments on Ousted as mayor

An example of how cheating in Foursquare can really suck!

People cheat on Foursquare.

There – I said it.And let’s no longer pretend that “it wasn’t me!”
We have all logged in somewhere that we were not physically at, either to keep a mayorship, to get points or just out of curiosity.

But why would we stoop so low?
Because Foursquare is a game and the people who are active on it (ie: playing it) WANT TO WIN.
They want to have the most points & be Mayor of a location.
But not everyone goes out 5 nights a week and swans about visiting coffee shops and stores all day. So, they compensate.

In every game, people will find ways to cheat. It is inevitable.
We publicly post the cheats to computer games and proudly claim that we found them, so why should Foursquare, Gowalla or Loopt be any different? They are kind of like a computer game after all.

Users are getting so upset, that they have even created a Foursquare Etiquette guide.
There is even a site created already, to shame foursquare cheaters.

But perhaps Foursquare and the other geo-location apps have left the cheating options available so that the very studious among us can find them?
Thereby, increasing activity and cleverly promoting a growth in both the user base numbers, as well as the amount of place listings added to the database.
If so, this would be a very smart move, in my opinion.

As well, letting cheats exploit the system for a little while also allows these applications to easily identify and close the holes once they deem it necessary. Again, a smart move.

So, next time you see a way to cheat, why not share it? Make it public and help the service grow.

They we can focus on the real issue with these applications – Stupid users who add their own house as a location and then complain when strangers check in there and know what their address is.
(Small tip to those users – If you don’t want strangers knowing your address, don’t put it online)

Foursquare Mayor

Foursquare Mayor published on 10 Comments on Foursquare Mayor

Foursquare may ruin your life!!

It can create obsessive behaviour and the desire to constantly check your phone for updates.
– just like twitter.

You will be searching for friend to make and follow.
– just like twitter.

Secret tips and local info will be yours to exploit and use.
– just like twitter.

In fact, Foursquare has already been touted as the next big thing after twitter, by many blog & press sites
Foursquare : Why it may be the next twitter (a pretty good summary of Foursquare)
Next Year’s Twitter? It’s Foursquare

This service has a narcissistic appeal and draws you in via simple things we all love :

  • Easy Rewards – Foursquare allows you to easily gain points and badges, to prove how good you are.
  • Bragging rights – You can also become the Mayor of a location, which means you (virtually) rule the roost for that spot.
  • Friendly Competition – Others can take the Mayor title from you if they check in there more, so if you want to keep the title, you may have to fight for it.

The social element of this service is what gives it extra appeal to the current pundits. Not to mention that, unlike Twitter, Foursquare is actually creating it’s own revenue stream.

It is smart, as it works in with Twitter, allowing it to easily capture the interest of those users & creating a promotional machine via their tweet streams.

I am also using another similar service called Gowalla. This service also offers points and rewards for visiting locations.
The interface of Gowalla is much more appealing visually, in my opinion.
Through this service, you can find items at different location, left there by previous visitors. These can be collected and disbursed later, when ever you choose to.

Gowalla is great, but the lack of a competition element like the ability to become a Mayor via foursquare, may let it down in the long run, I feel.
Also, I have managed to find ways to cheat in Foursquare. Gowalla doesn’t have the same loopholes.

So for someone who likes to have a little bit of glory as soon as possible, my pick is definitely Foursquare.
But time will tell……

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment below.