Friday morning's Takeaway
started with an apparently simple question: Where are you and what are you doing? The next question might’ve been obvious: Why? Before we even explained it, we were finding out about the morning routines of the people on the other side of the speaker. People “checked in” with us from the kitchen, the New Jersey Turnpike, the bathtub, and we got hundreds more responses by the time the morning was out. There was no apparent reason to call us other than for the sake of calling us, but the real reason was to try an ambitious experiment in social networking.
Nowadays even grandparents have some idea what Twitter
are, but only rabid iPhone users know about something called Foursquare. Foursquare
is an application for the iPhone (and any cellphone, really) that lets people know where you are simply by checking in (except they employ the bells and whistles of a GPS-enabled 3G mobile device). The value? Well that’s what we wanted to explore.
Do you feel closer to people just by finding out what they’re doing? Does your interest in the mundane actions of a peer somehow forge a better understanding of them? Is there a social benefit to connecting with people just for the sake of connecting? These were the questions on my mind when I proposed this rather outlandish idea for our show. And the answers might also explain why Twitter, Facebook and now Foursquare are taking off in spite of the dismissive comments of some vocal early observers. Here’s what I took away for the experiment: People like to play.Continue reading...