The Power of FourSquare – Three amazing examples
I’m a FourSquare user. Either you are thrilled about that, you have no idea what I’m talking about or you hate me because you use Gowalla. Whatever your opinion of FourSquare or location based applications, I have three distinct examples of how FourSquare has impacted my life.
1. I’m a celebrity?
Some days I work from a Coffee shop in uptown Westerville (Ohio), called Java Central. It’s quiet, comfortable, has free WiFi, great coffee and an attentive staff. Besides, for some reason ever since college, I’ve been able to concentrate really well in coffee shops. In fact, until yesterday, I was the “Mayor” of Java Central. I just got publically ousted from this position by @ajlattimore!
Anyway, about a month ago, I “checked in” to Java Central on FourSquare and went about my business, face in my computer, headphones in. About 2 minutes later a young woman I had never met before walks up to me and says “Aren’t you Tom Williams?” Quite surprised…and feeling a bit like a celebrity, I said yes I am. It turns out that it was Hannah DeMilta, a graduating senior from Otterbein college who had been following me on twitter. She had seen me “check in” on FourSquare which I normally have replicate through to my twitter account. We had a brief conversation about how cool FourSquare was and then resumed our separate lives. A few days later, I checked in at Java Central again. Hannah saw it and invited me via twitter to come to a mixer (students and agencies) down the street. I gladly accepted. Not only did I have a wonderful time meeting some very high quality students and prospective employees but I made two business connections that may turn into sales.
2. The future is now
I had a meeting with Ryan Squire at OSU Medical Center a few months ago. Ryan instructed me to call his cell when I arrived at the building so that he could come down and get me since the building is secured. I pulled into my parking space and checked into the building on FourSquare. After buying my meter ticket and placing it on my windshield I began walking towards the building. I did NOT take out my iPhone. I did NOT call Ryan. I knew he would be waiting for me because he would see that I checked in on FourSquare and come down automatically. He did. The entire process happened so quickly and so smoothly it startled me. Ambient Awareness folks. It’s real.
3. O’Hare Airport
Recently I flew into Chicago’s O’Hare airport from London. Of course, I checked into O’Hare on FourSquare! I had a 5 hour layover so I found a small desk with a plug and got to work. About 90 minutes before my connecting flight was to leave for Columbus I saw on my iPhone that my friend and colleague, Mike Whaling, from 30Lines had just checked into my Terminal from California. I didn’t have Mike’s phone number so I just navigated his profile on FourSquare and called him directly through the application. When he answered, he already knew I was there because he checked out who had checked in on FourSquare and saw me. We quickly realized that we were on the same Columbus-bound flight, met up at the gate and had an enjoyable conversation. The outcome of that conversation was some possible business that Mike may be able to throw my way.
I know that some people are afraid to give away their physical location on FourSquare, Gowalla or Twitter. But for me… the risk is well worth the reward.