Bowery Mural

Can you cheat at FourSquare?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Well can you? I think you can. FourSquare in case you didn't know is an app for iPhone and Android? that you can use to 'check-in' to places. Might seem like nothing but if you're following a few people then it turns into a game, sort of. I say sort of because i honestly believe it's not utilised properly here in the UK just now. You hardly hear of nor see any offers for people 'checking-in'. Here's what FourSquare say:...
Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues.

There are pros and cons of being a FourSquare user. One of the biggest cons (drawbacks) being that people know exactly where you are at any given time. Well they do if you check into every single place you go and you broadcast it via a social network, Twitter, Facebook etc. I for one don't share my every move publicly, only to people I am 'friends' with on FourSquare, most of whom I've got to know over a period of time and therefore have passed the 'not a stalker' test with flying colours.

Anyway once you get over that quite big con the pros are pretty good. People check in to all manner of places and can leave tips, recommend food, heck they can even tell you the price of petrol at a petrol station (although you might not want to take it as word, the tip could be months old!). You check in, accumulate points, you can even earn nifty little badges and beat your friends that way. But there doesn't seem to be an end to this game nor a prize! Is there? Has anyone gotten a prize for being highest on their weekly leaderboard? You can become Mayor of places. Mayor of a pub, a cinema, a restaurant, your toilet! Some venues have prizes in the form of offers for the Mayor. That's pretty nifty i suppose.

I digress. Back to the point of this post. The question in the title. Can you cheat at FourSquare? I think you can and here's how. I've recently become 'friends' with a few more people on FourSquare and there are people who check in, earn points and rise up the board. All very normal. But there are people who don't appear to be checking in but yet are still rising up the board. I call these the sneaky undercover checker-inners. You see you can check in 'off the grid' which I think means you can check in, earn points and still climb up the leader board without anyone knowing where you are. Which for me kinda takes the whole point away from it. Doesn't it? I mean that's fine every now and again if you really don't want anyone to know where you are but still play the game. So, there are one or two sneaky peeps on my game that never appear to check in but rise up that leader board like am autumnal spider climbing up the curtains. But that's ok. I'm not competitive. No way. No siree... *plots revenge!* :)

Another way you can 'cheat' is (and i'd never really thought of doing this) is that you can almost just pass by the front door of a venue, not actually go in, and check in. I know! Crayzee eh! I hadn't thought of that. I don't think I would. No, I definitely wouldn't. This is where it may get a bit tricksy for a business giving FourSquare deals or offers for Mayors. You could in effect check into your local cafe, earn the Mayorship and get free coffee for life without ever having entered the establishment. I'm sure none the 'friends' i so carefully vetted on FourSqaure would ever think of doing that, would you? WOULD YOU?...

So the point of this post? nothing really. I just wanted to say a few things about FourSquare. It's funny, about a year ago people were totally against it. Totally knocking it. Hating on it something rotten. Hating the tweets that are pushed when you check in. And now these people are on it! Go figure. They probably hate the new Facebook. Me? I love it. I can't get enough of social networks. I love the connections made. The real friends i've made.  The ones I talk to a lot more than my friends i've known since i was a kid. I love the tweets, status updates, new Instagram pictures, check ins, Mayorships gained and lost, being added to peoples Circles and the funky new timeline that easily shows me i joined Facebook in July 2007! Phew.

In summary, Internet, I loVe yOu!

yours, The Mayor of The Peak,
Angela x


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