Discovering Value in GeoSocial
It took Twitter the better part of 2 years to conquer the “Why do I care what you had for breakfast” perception and now location based social networks (or GeoSocial) like Gowalla and Foursquare face similar refrains.
- What’s the point?
- It’s ridiculous
- I just don’t get it
Often the early life cycle of social applications are dominated by critics who are quick to dismiss the technology so let’s step back from the business and marketing angles for a bit and answer one simple question.
What do location based social networks offer you?
I’ve often described my twitter community as carrying my friends around on my shoulder. This ever-present cloud is always up for conversation, ripe with new discoveries, and is ready for a brilliant quip or sarcastic aside. It’s a virtual traveling roadshow.
But what if my virtual community could impact my physical world?
Welcome to GeoSocial. Serendipity’s helping hand.
This opportunity cannot be emphasized strongly enough. You get to meet people that is the core definition of social.
Last Friday night I was at the local ballpark when I received a twitter mention that an acquaintance had checked in to the same venue via Foursquare. I discovered he was with another friend and I decided to walk across to say Hi.
Although I’d never met either of them in real life we were familiar with one another because of our online interactions.
What happened? Familiarity turned into friendship.
It was amazing chance to deepen a connection and impossible without the aid of a location based social network.
@Bryanjones defined the value of geosocial networking beautifully,
Imagine you are out-of-town visiting friends. They take you to a local dive and insist you try this super secret item that isn’t listed on the menu. Feeling adventurous you agree and you’re rewarded with a totally unexpected and amazing dish. If you aren’t a regular patron you don’t even know it exists. Heck, you probably wouldn’t have even stopped here.
But you are with an insider.
GeoSocial apps are insider trading in the real world.
Whether I’m discovering something in my backyard or across the country these tips are tied to the location. Tips left by friends and strangers that drastically improve the world around me.
Here are just two examples from the hundreds I could share.
- I checked in at a Mexican restaurant that I’d previously never visited. My friend @bpmore had left a tip recommending the pollo asada. Suddenly my social network leaped out and said, try this. No surprise it was wonderful!
- A beautiful day prompted me to wander a few blocks for lunch when I found local luchador @bryanjones at a nearby Mexican joint (yeah I love great Mexican food). I stopped in to say Hi and when I checked in I discovered his tip to ask for a secret habanera sauce. Wow, it was HOT, but excellent, and unlisted.
Through Gowalla & Foursquare we’ve shared everything from favorite snow cone flavors to where you can find the best desserts in town.
*It probably goes without saying if you are looking for amazing food and sweets I’m your guy, need a tip for a great gym? … ask @amybhole
So much more
In the interest of brevity I’m omitting many features like deals, specials, and prompting conversations that can enrich the world around you.
Forget the critics, go discovering.