One of the things I learned quickly while trying to research geolocation and check-in applications is that there are way too many of them to keep track of easily. I am by nature an experiential learner and learn best by actually doing things and trying out new technologies for myself. I downloaded the first couple of applications I found out about- CauseWorld and Foursquare- and enjoyed checking-in at various locations. After adding GetGlue and ShopKick and completely depleting the storage space and battery power of my phone trying to download Foodspotting, Gowalla, and others, I realized there was no way anyone could have a presence on all of these applications, So, I came up with a plan. (For me, at least.) There is really only the need to have 2-3 applications to effectively participate in the check-in trend that is taking place. Here is what I suggest as a way to limit the applications you use.
1. Choose one basic application for geolocation
Choices in this category would be applications such as Foursquare, Gowalla or BrightKite. They will allow you to check-in to your location and learn more about your town, while maybe even getting some sweet deals from local businesses.
My Choice: Foursquare
Reasons: It is simple to use and actually is being used by several businesses in Knoxville to offer deals. I like being able to get a free drink at Hard Knox Pizza (every check-in), a free milkshake at Chick-fil-a (with 3 check-ins) or 20% off at Sweet CeCe’s (for the Mayor). Foursquare also recently unveiled new business analytics pages for it’s service.
2. Choose one gaming application
Choices in this category could include Geocaching, SCVNGR, Tourality, and others
My Choice: SCVNGR
Reasons: Although I haven’t been able to use it yet, I became interested in SCVNGR because it is used by Buffalo Wild Wings here in Knoxville. I am a competitive person by nature and love the idea of getting to complete challenges while waiting for my food.
3. Pick a wild card
Everyone has different tastes, preferences, etc. This applies to social media just as it would any other aspect of your life. For your optional third application, I strongly suggest you choose an application that appeals to your personal interests and hobbies. If you are crazy about food, you might try Foodspotting. Often accused of being a shopaholic? Then you should try out ShopKick for great deals delivered to you as you walk in the door of you favorite stores. There are many other applications out there, and I’m sure you can find one you will love.
My Choice: GetGlue
Reasons: I am a total entertainment addict. I love interacting with other fans about books, movies, music, and celebrities. I also enjoy earning new badges for check-in at box office openings and events such as the Oscars.
Overall, I think one of the most important things is to remember to post responsibly to any of these sites you choose to use. I would strongly suggest that you do not share your personal information (i.e. phone number, date of birth, etc.) with these applications because we know that EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE can see what you are posting. If you can narrow down your applications and post responsible, you will have a long happy relationship with checking-in. To find our more about the wide array of applications and their uses in the professional world check out the short video below.