2010年11月14日 星期日

Check-in is a wrong way to location based social networking

(typing Chinese is painful in iPhone. So I decided to write this in English)

After trying Facebook place for few days, I finally remember why I abandoned four square.

Place is something similar to 4sq. It's too similar. The difference is that there is no Mayer. And you could tag your friends. Besides these, all you have is "check-in".

4sq claims that check-in is fun. Indeed it's fun at the beginning. Especially when competing with your friends for the Mayer.

One guy at twitter once told me that 4sq is nothing more than a game. I agree. And it's no more fun after you're tired with check-in. It's meaningless being a Mayer of one place especially for those places where nobody else will never checkin. For example, your home.

And how about Facebook place? I'm thinking what could I do when check in one place and tag my friends with me. But I don't get the answer yet. Maybe I could get special deal after I checked in somewhere. But that is not an ordinary thing that would happen everywhere and everyday. And it might be an annoyed thing to my friends if there are too many check-ins appeared on his stream.

Location based social networking is cool. And I think it's also the future for social network services. If social network goes mobile, location should be the most important to be integrated. However, in my opinion, check-in based service is a wrong way. Maybe also a dead end too. People are not so interested in sharing where I am or where I was. They won't care all their friends are. Maybe they care about who's nearby. However check-ins are not so accurate. A person checking in somewhere doesn't mean that he is still around hours after.

There are many things other than sharing where I am. And these may receive more attention than check in. People may like to know more what do you think about one place than how many times you have been there. People may like to know where you plan to go other than where you have been today.

It's more important to share places but not check-in. and also time factor or events is also important too. It doesn't matter where you are. Why you're there, what you do there, or what you see there makes the whole story. Check-ins won't tell you stories. Social networking is trying to tell your story. So it doesn't make any sense that check-in based service will work.