Update February 2011
I’ve written a follow-up post called “Too many social media networks, too little time“
In 2001 I closed my first blog. This was the first time I closed an online social profile. I have not done it since… until yesterday where I closed my FourSquare account.
I closed it because I don’t use it and I don’t see a use for it… basically I don’t need a FourSquare account.
Although I do have some security concerns about broadcasting my whereabouts (and especially where I am not at a given point of time) I did not close it because I am opposed to the idea of location-based services.
I closed it because I have come to the conclusion FourSquare doesn’t offer me anything I need.
I want a richer sharing experience. I don’t just want to share my location; I want to share photos/videos/ comments as life unfolds… Adding location is a nice option but given the coice I’d rather be able to upload photos than showing where I am on a faceless map.
But what about offers from FourSquare?
Well… I live in London and in the time I have used FourSquare I have only ever received a single offer by checking into FourSquare. It was a 20% off cake offer if I was the Mayor of a nearby shop… So the offer actually only applies to a single person at a given time and since it was the first time I was even close to the shop needless to say the offer was not relevant to me and never would be since it is not a place I return to often.
And this is at the core of why I’ve abandoned FourSquare: It doesn’t actually offer me anything my other social profiles don’t.
I use FlookIt to share locations and photos of favourite restaurants. I like FlookIt not only because it let’s me upload a photo, I like it because I don’t have to share my location when I am there, I can save the card for later.
I also like FlookIt for being a much smaller network. It means people are friendlier and truth be told I don’t actually want to share my restaurant gems with too many people as I still want to be able to get a table for myself :-)
For quick snapshots of my life Twitter and its geo-tagging is sufficient for me to post photos telling the world where I am and what I am doing. And even if I want to limit it to a closer group of friends I’d use Facebook. Both networks do what FourSquare could do for me so why bother with a third profile?
I think we as users need to stop the information flow and start questioning the value we get, we need to be more precious about our online time and find out which networks work for us and which duplicate services already available to us. Maybe make a shopping list of what we need.
For me the perfect solution would be a mobile app that would allow me to create an entry on my Google map, add photos and descriptions and select whether to tweet or share it on Facebook. Create; Share; Collect and store.
Professionally I find FourSquare exciting and interesting but for me as an individual it is just not the right network.