The Trouble With Foursquare

I recently discovered a bold, fearless, some would call crazy, marketing blogger named Jill Kennedy. Jill’s aggressive style in the face of “everything’s wonderful in marketing land”, inspired me to jump on a topic that I’ve been avoiding for some time: FOURSQUARE. Yes, I know that for many of you Foursquare is your darling. I see it in your tweets. You tell me and thousands of your “closest friends” that you’re at Best Buy, the Pizza place, and any number of other exciting locations! I read it in your blog posts. Steffan Antonas wrote an interesting post in March about the coveted “swarm badge.” And now I hear Foursquare and Groupon are contemplating a distribution deal, how convenient. Honestly, there is something that just isn’t right about broadcasting your every move, I don’t care how many points it earns you.

The Trouble I see with Foursquare:

First, is it wise to let thousands of casual acquaintances know exactly where you are at any given time? Especially when you are the same people who like to add your home address and other personal details on Linkedin or other social media platforms? I know, I hear you, “I don’t have anything they would want.” “No one would bother me.” “I’m open.”

Second, do we as your follows, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. benefit from knowing that you are at Best Buy? Unless you’re picking up something for me, or I work for Best Buy, probably not.

Third, so who really benefits from all of this? The retailer, restaurant or other establishment that you just promoted of course. If you want to promote them, write a review on Yelp, write a great post, do something more meaningful. Don’t just tell me you’re there. I know, Foursquare is a game too, I get that (or at least I try to).

Finally, let me leave you with this thought. Today we’re allowing ourselves to be tracked, whether through marketing games like Foursquare, website cookies, the decal on our car that says we belong in the “express lane,” our online profiles and even our passport that gives us the green light for our trip abroad. Are we just becoming conditioned to being tracked, numbered and analyzed so we never notice the transition when our every move is monitored? Do we really want to contribute to the loss of our privacy? Maybe I’m missing something, but to me my privacy is worth more than a game.

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.