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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Foursquare questions you didn't ask answered

You might have noticed in "Social media here to stay (call the cops)" that there was a mention about Foursquare, but I never explained what it was. I've being doing a test run for the last three weeks. So here's what you need to know about this exciting app:

* What the heck is Foursquare?

It's a tool you can use on a smartphone. With it, you tell your friends where you are.

* Is that it?

Pretty much.

* Then, what's the point?

No point. You just tell people where you are and, if you choose, you broadcast it to the world. But Forsquare disagreees:

foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics - our users earn points, win mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.
* Can't I just call my friends?

Yes. But you'd have to figure out how to use the phone in your smartphone. And who wants to actually talk to friends, anyway?

* What other uses does Foursquare have?

It fills the page at Pleaserobme.com, a site that lists "recent empty homes" and "opportunities" and it's trying to show you that maybe, just maybe, it's not such a good idea to use Foursquare.
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