Where Are You? Your Friends Want To Know.
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Yes, that was the name of a edutainment computer game in the mid-80's. A few years later, in the early to mid-90's there was also a children's television game show by the same name. Who cares, right? Let me explain why we all care.
Recently I was discussing the various social media platforms and their implications on marketing, advertising and culture with a good friend. We also discussed the future of social media. Twitter and Facebook are the 'hot' platforms today. Is Twitter a 'fad' or something more? Recent headlines certainly make it sound like Twitters growth may be slowing.
What is tomorrows hot platform? Predicting the future of technology is not easy, at least not if you try to be too specific. If you look at the bigger picture and at major trends, it is much easier to see what is coming.
One social media trend to watch is 'location awareness'. I have been experimenting with platforms such as Foursquare. This service allows users to:
" ... 'check-in', which is a way of telling us your whereabouts. When you check-in someplace, we'll tell your friends where they can find you and recommend places to go & things to do nearby. People check-in at all kind of places - cafes, bars, restaurants, parks, homes, offices.
You'll find that as your friends use foursquare to check-in, you'll start learning more about the places they frequent. Not only is it a great way to meet up with nearby friends, but you'll also start to learn about their favorite spots and the new places they discover which Other popular platforms are adding simular capabilities. (More about Foursquare)
Other services are following adding like service. For example, Yelp now added a 'check-in' as an extension to the already popular service. Twitter added geotags this past fall and is now launching location-based trending topics.
If you think about it, adding location awareness makes great sense. Let me give an example that may make my point. This weekend, I listened to a radio show that originated in Pittsburgh (The American Entrepreneur via podcast). The host, Ron Morris, shared his experience from a recently meet-up with a group of followers (on-line followers that participate in the show via TalkShoe). I have seen this many times - groups that meet on-line tend to become a 'community' and a 'live' meeting usually occurs at some point. We are social creatures and we don't just want to know what you are doing, we want to know where you are and if you are close.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Of course, you also have to think about the applications of this technology for advertising. It may seem intrusive, but it certainly is intriguing.