Posted on Jul 30, 2010 in Technology
There was a period of time where I would sign up to all the social media websites just to check them out, but nowadays I don’t seem to have time to be one of these cool early adopter types any more. That being said I’ve been playing a couple of sites, most people used these months ago. Here is what I thought.
Formspring is a questions and answers website. You set up a profile page, from which anyone can ask you questions either public or anonymously. The questions and their given answers are then published on the your profile page or you can however choose to disallow anonymous questions, and have the ability to block selected people from asking further questions, even if the asker has remained anonymous.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. It seems to be mostly used for by people sending abuse anonymously (rather than actual questions) or people desperately wanting other people to ask them questions.
Foursquare on the other hand is great fun. It is a location-based social networking website and mobile phone application, but a better way would be to describe it as a game. Users “check-in” at venues using GPS unabled mobile phone (using a device-specific application). They are then awarded points and sometimes “badges. If a user has checked-in to a venue on more days than anyone else in the past 60 day they will be crowned “Mayor” of that venue, until someone else earns the title by checking in more times than the previous mayor. You can add “Tips” to venues that other users can read, which serve as suggestions for great things to do, see or eat at the location.
What I think the genius part of this is, it behaves like an XBox or Playstation game by giving you achievements for doing tasks and unlocking things, but instead of being stuck in the house playing a console game, your are outside enjoying the real world. It certainly tricked me into going outside.
Obviously an application like this could have some Privacy Concerns, but you can set your privacy settings however you want and they default to a setting the lets no one other the ‘friends’ can view your location or where you have been.