A recent epiphany: geo-tagging is pointless

There I go whoring myself, by optimising the post title for organic search; something I thought I’d never do. On the subject of things I thought I’d never do, this past weekend threw up a few…

Sounds sinister doesn’t it? Bluntly it’s a story of a tub of vaseline, a snorkel and a goat.

Just kidding. I went away this weekend to Monaco and found myself using FourSquare at every possible opportunity for no apparent reason; think my friend Keely summed it up pretty well.

I was checking in at restaurants, clubs, bars and even the famous casino. It even crossed my mind to check in at the casino as many times as possible to see if I could become the Mayor. I thought that would be ‘cool’.

On the plane home; I realised it was about as ‘cool’ as my Dad’s Rod Stewart collection.

Which then led me on to the concept of geo-tagging itself; specifically FourSquare as it’s the only manifestation I’ve bothered with. What’s really the point of it? Why use it? Why would my friends care if i’m in Cranberries on a Sunday with a bacon sarnie and a brew? They wouldn’t.

They’d probably be there with me anyway…

Look! FourSquare uses the line ‘Find Your Friends’. Wait a minute; did I lose my friends? Where are they? Would they want me following their every move like some sort of seedy stalker? If they weren’t already with me then definitely not.

But wait; when I go out for a drink or two, I could use FourSquare to ‘Find My Friends’ couldn’t I? No, probably not; as they would all be out with me! If they weren’t physically there in person, I’d be intrigued to see where they were ‘checking in’; but I wouldn’t really be that fussed.

Anyway, on the plane I started to realise how pointless ‘checking in’ was… who cared whether I was here or there. I should have made more of an effort to de-tach myself from technology; the holiday was a time for eating good food, emanating false gambling proficiency, marvelling at cougars, attempting to rationalise how the 65 year old big dogs had partners younger than me and as usual; getting sunburnt.

There’s a quote: ‘life is like a book, and those who don’t travel only read a page‘; thanks to FourSquare I almost feel like my most recent travels were like reading a e-book. Something inherently wrong about that I reckon.

I’m a massive believer of contextualising different social networks and comprehending their practicalities to suit audience and objectives (personal, professional, networking, brands etc); especially for a young person like myself, fairly recently graduated at the beginning of a career; immersed in a number of networks.

I do see marketing potential in FourSquare; but really it’s just another social network for everyone I know to join. Until it achieves ubiquity; for me; it’s pointless.

Really need to stop using ‘ubiquity’.

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3 thoughts on “A recent epiphany: geo-tagging is pointless

  1. I think this misses the point a bit (sorry Adam). As the recent update to the 4sq app has shown 4sq is trying to make the service more about tips than where you are, although where you are has some currency too.

    Want to find out if a restaurant is worth visiting? Check out the tips on 4sq. Hopefully they might be left by a friend you trust, if not they could still be handy ‘the steak is a rip-off’ etc. Maybe the tip has been reccomended by others too.

    Also, some people are just natural ‘gamers’ and the badge collecting and Mayorships actually mean something to them. Sure, they’re not for everyone but each to their own.

    When 4sq gains more users I’d recommend it to clients for reputation management just as you don’t want to have a bad profile on Google, the same would apply here.

    • Hi Paul,

      Cheers for the comment 🙂

      Yes, i’m intrigued by the recent update which again adds to my belief in the marketing potential 4sq presents. But the point of this post was to argue against the basic crux and concept of geo-tagging: simply letting people know where you are and seeing where they are. For me, that seems somewhat inane.

      I consider myself a natural ‘gamer’ but i’d categorize 4sq users as ‘collectors’ as opposed to ‘gamers’. Depends on your definition i suppose!

      Totally agree with reputation management on 4sq when/if it becomes more commonly used.

      And its Anthony lol!

  2. Pingback: The 11 most cringeworthy things in social media « Muse Inutili

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