October 19, 2010

The Final Check In

I completed my review of foursquare and Gowalla and reached a decision yesterday. I shut both accounts down. Yes, there was a brief moment when badges (21), stamps (117), mayorships (16) and pins (17) just flew off in all directions, not to be seen on my accounts ever again. I looked these over for about 40 days (a good amount of time for testing and trial) and decided I did not want to go further with either. Both had their merits in my eyes, and both their drawbacks. Foursquare was more socially oriented, but Gowalla more travel oriented. Gowalla had nicer looking pins and stamps than the badges of foursquare, but foursquare seemed way more interactive and goal oriented. But in the end, I came down to this:
  • Not many people care where I am at a given moment
  • Fewer care to be reminded of it
  • I do not care all that much where most people are at a given moment
  • If I cannot remember where I have been, I would rather not be reminded that I had forgotten
So, out the door both went yesterday. I deleted them one after the other and I cannot remember which one went first (which sort of underscores the 4th bullet above). It was fun to try them out and collect badges for a while, but one thing became painfully clear, at least in my daily living. It becomes a little depressing to keep checking into the same places. I do not need a reminder of the banality of my life from www.e-rut.com on a daily basis. I mean, other than the occassional foray to try a new restaurant or take a trip, we are creatures of habit. And I am getting too old for the hamster wheel.

I did learn some stuff:
  • The GPS-based services on my Droid eat battery like I suck down my wife's baked ziti. Only with less sauce splattering around.
  • The location services that are cell phone based only are not always that reliable. There were times when I was standing in front of a place and was told I was 2.2 kilometers away.
  • I live not all that far from DFW airport. They must be bouncing radio signals around in the area to keep them away from the planes because I always got some weird results when I was close.
  • I can take a flight from Newark to Dallas, log on to GoGo Inflight and check in to O'Hare airport in route and earn a Swarm badge on foursquare. Been there, and did that.
I did try some new stuff as a result of seeing things on foursquare (which is why they seemed way more interactive and goal oriented):

Regrets? I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

And none at all on trying out or turning this stuff off.

I guess I'll wait for the next thing to come along.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,