foursquare: I’m not sold

Foursquare, Gowalla, Whirrl and any other location based mobile social media “game” is definitely the buzz today, and rightfully so.  These have the potential to be very powerful tools for both businesses and users.

I have not bought into any of them for a variety of reasons.  What I have noticed is that businesses are doing some great and very interesting marketing tactics to connect further with the customers using these tools.  I have also noticed users adding absolutely zero value to their network.

Today I wanted to highlight what are my top 3 pro’s and con’s of foursquare, Gowalla, Whirrl and any other social networking location based tool.  In an effort to keep the videos short, I am just covering my top 3 points as I ramble.

To begin, let’s start on the positive side:

But, I am passionate about what I consider the negatives of these tools:

OK, so now you have read and viewed my brief takes on this subject and would enjoy hearing what you think about this.  Let me know if you agree, disagree or if I may have overlooked something – that happens too.  I look forward to your comments.


About kufarms
10 years in HR and recruiting both in the corporate and agency worlds. Corporate Recruiter and Socail Media Strategist. Looking to share and discuss topics as well as hopefully provide some thought. Dad of 2 with a loving wife.

6 Responses to foursquare: I’m not sold

  1. Tara Repucci says:

    Keith, I love the incorporation of video into the HR Farmer blog. I just wrote about my need to get more comfortable in front of the camera … so props to you, my friend.

    I joined FourSquare last week after holding off due to the safety concerns you raise. Not sure if you saw the Mashable article on location-sharing social media entitled “Are we all asking to be robbed?”, but it mentions a tongue-in-cheek site called

    As for me, I’m still undecided and cautiously using FourSquare right now, mostly to experience it myself before forming an opinion.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking vlog. 🙂

  2. Doug Kerken says:


    I’m digging your “mellowed down rant” on your hatred for the FourSquare. I share your enthusiasm. If you look at some of my tweets, you know that. You’re right, it is a waste of time, nobody cares where you are and what you’re the mayor of. Same goes for Farmville and the “I’m listening to” tweets from people’s Pandora.

    Worst part about it is that when some of these users grow old of it and “never change the settings” we’ll be knowing where they are forever.


  3. kufarms says:

    Tara – thanks for the thoughts on incorporating video, I figured it was worth a shot and appreciate your comments!

    I haven’t tried foursquare but I have tried Gowalla and Whirrl. Similar products but they were short lived. I think reading all of the tweets pushed from foursquare also has something to do with my opinions as well!

    I’m always up for a discussion, anytime!

    Thanks again.

  4. kufarms says:

    Hey Doug – thanks! I definitely see how much you enjoy the location based tweet or the music of choice moments. I feel that I have a kindred spirit in those moments. Thanks for your feedback and keep making people think!

  5. Patrick says:


    When I was first introduced to Twitter, I watched this video ( and it really hit home for me. People use Twitter to share “What are you doing.” and by the nature of blogs or microblogs like twitter, their authors are narcissistic.

    I follow 279 people on Twitter, and each of them uses Twitter as a tool for something different. For example, I follow @69News – they post breaking and interesting news but not where they are eating dinner. Then I follow my buddy @Rayattisano, and he posts interesting articles about business, but also where he’s eating dinner.

    Both of these Tweeps are using the tool for very different reasons but they both boil down to “What are you doing.”

    I accept the fact that my twitter stream will contain things I really don’t care about sometimes, but just like an advertisement, I don’t have to read it when I see it. It doesn’t mean that the magazine that contains the ad lacks quality content – just that I don’t personally care about that ad.

    A personal story: Back in November I had shoulder surgery and was home for a while recovering. My wife dragged me out grocery shopping and I checked in at the Giant in Easton PA and tweeted it out through Foursquare.

    A few minutes later I got a DM from @TimShady and he invited me to lunch with him and…. YOU. It ends up that you guys were meeting for lunch down the road, and when Tim saw my Foursquare tweet – that invoked him to invite me to lunch.

    I think it’s valuable to mention that I had never met you or Tim in person before, and that we only knew each other through Twitter. It was a nice lunch, and we made a nice connection.

    In summary: People are using twitter for what they want it to be: “What are you doing.” I chose to follow people where the bad/uninteresting tweets are outweighed by the good/interesting ones.

    I totally agree that not every notification needs to go out, and many of us could use a little filtering…. just like in real life.

    BTW, I really like that you vlog, I think it adds such a nice dimension to your blog.

  6. kufarms says:

    Patrick – excellent points. Each person will use any tool however they feel is best and so, the overlying theme is the users of any tool. Users need to take more time is understanding the settings, taking time to configure and not push every little location they go. Agreed, there is tremendous value in location based tools, but they are not perfect. Because I understand the users of these tools use them so haphazardly, most likely plays into my lack-of-interest and feelings of a personal lack of value. What is the difference in pushing a tweet from foursquare and posting a message on Twitter? Maybe nothing, but at least on a Twitter message I don’t get forced into a “game” with badges and mayors and whatever else comes along. In time, I may eat my words and join one of these tools in the future. Is value here? Sometimes. Do users choose to work the tools effectively? Not everyone. I choose Yelp because it provides great value on businesses, locations and interest plus users are not forced to check-in real-time everywhere for it to work, you are able to update after the fact. Until foursquare makes some changes and removes the mandatory game, count me out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: