- Palm Pre
Checking-in, earning points and badges, and “The Mayor”
Telling foursquare where you are is known as “checking-in.” When you check-in on foursquare, the program notifies your friends. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can check in like this:
Once you check-in, you will earn points:
- 5 points for your first time checking-in at a venue
- 5 points for adding a new venue
- 1 point per check-in, increasing by 1 point with each check-in (i.e. first check-in of the day is 1, second check-in of the day is 2 points, etc.)
When checking-in, you have the options of adding a “tip” and “to-dos.” A tip is something that you want to share with your friends about a place. It might be as simple as recommending an item from a restaurants menu to letting them know about an especially helpful staff member at a store. In turn, you’ll be able to see what tips your friends have left for a location when you check-in. To-dos are little notes you leave for yourself at a location, like maybe trying another menu item or where something might be located within in store.
And, just like other Web 2.0 applications, you have the option to “tag” a venue. Tags can be anything and become important in earning badges. “Badges” are extra rewards that you can earn when you check-in at an interesting place and are tied to venue tags. Essentially, adding a tag to your favorite place can help unlock badges.
The application can be accessed several ways:
- Other mobile phones http://m.brightkite.com
- Text message by texting to 41414
- Via mobile email from a specially designed email address
- The BrightKite website http://brightkite.com
Checking in and Posting
To check-in on the web, click on the Check In button:
To post notes and photos on the web, first click on Post:
Then, click either begin typing in your post or click on the photo button to post a photo:
By the way, to check in via text message, use the convention:
@ SELCO ! Attending CE course
You can also easily share your posts, check-ins, etc. on Twitter and Facebook.
It doesn’t seem that there are any badges or points to earn in Brightkite, just the ability to connect with your friends and others.
Brightkite does have an extensive knowledge base of frequently asked questions. This is the best place to start in setting up and using your Brightkite account. For a great example from their support page, click here to see how to check-in and post a note or a photo at the same time.
A kiteup is simply a meetup of Brightkite users, thus making this application more than just a virtual social network. If given a few weeks notice, Brightkite can provide its users with a public placemark for the event and a special “kiteup” kit with goodies that you can give away to your attendees. For complete instructions of how to set up a kiteup, click here.
The “Creepy” Factor
OK, so if you are getting that uneasy feeling about these applications, i.e. the “creepy” factor, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Basically, the words of advice that folks have are that if you are feeling creeped out by revealing where you are, just don’t do it. However, here’s what according to Aliza Sherman, host of site The Digital Marketer:
Yeah, location-based social networks are a little creepy. I mean you're basically checking in when you arrive someplace to let your network contacts or the public at large know where you are and what you're doing. So if you're creeped out about revealing your location, maybe you shouldn't do it. But don't let that turn you away. You may be surprised by what these networks can do for you.For her full article, click here.
For another interesting article on the subject, check out Sarah Perez’s article on ReadWriteWeb Location-Based Social Networks: Delightful, Dangerous or Somewhere in Between?
Other location-based social networks:
By Michael Scott, Assistant Director, SELCO/SELS