Sad Social Media Commentary on the Fishtown Library

I par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Save the Library protest back in Novem­ber 2008. When I recent­ly vis­it­ed, I checked into Foursquare. If I check in again, I’ll be may­or of the joint. At a time when peo­ple are check­ing into Wawa, you’d think at least a hand­ful of folks would still be will­ing to pop in for a book or two. Does it real­ly make more sense to pay for every book you read?

C’mon, denizens of Fish­town! Vis­it your local library. Check out a book! It’s free and it will make you smarter. And you can hit Kraft­work imme­di­ate­ly after­ward to reward yourself.

Facebook Places or Foursquare?

Face­book Places. Game, set, match. Why? Because even though every last des­ti­na­tion I vis­it has­n’t been loaded into Face­book, it means acti­vat­ing one less wonky app that crash­es unex­pect­ed­ly and then scolds me if I try check­ing in again. Anoth­er plus? Peo­ple I know actu­al­ly use Face­book. Foursquare? Not so much.

Face­book Places does to Foursquare what Twit­ter’s acqui­si­tion of Tweet­ie did for every­one else in the mobile Twit­ter app mar­ket: killed ’em dead, at least on the iPhone. I know Foursquare’s try­ing to put on a brave face, but if Face­book want­ed to intro­duce badges and oth­er rewards, it would­n’t be hard and it gives peo­ple the all-in-one con­ve­nience they want in a mobile experience.

I used Foursquare off and on for months, some­times delet­ing it from the phone, then rein­stalling it if a friend con­vinced me to do so. It was point­less. The loca­tions are sil­ly, as are the tips and rewards. I know how it feels to be a reg­u­lar at my local bar. It’s great. I don’t need an app to dri­ve that point home. As I tweet­ed after Face­book Places was launched, “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” At the same time, I like to let friends know that I’m out if they’d like to join me some­place. Revive the drop-in vis­it! How fun!

Do your­self a favor and delete Foursquare already. You’re wor­ried about pri­va­cy con­cerns? Here’s a thought: don’t both­er check­ing in! I’ll go a step fur­ther and say that you should real­ly cat­e­go­rize all of your Face­book con­tacts in a way that pro­tects you from weirdos. That should be a no-brain­er at this point in the game. As in so many things, be care­ful and have fun!