foursquare

MapQuest, Google, and Ashton Kutcher’s Foursquare.com


This off-publishing topic interests me because I’ve never really needed GPS or any kind of map service to get me from point A to point B. I even posted about it here before once in one of my WTF posts. My mom and dad live by Onstar; I have friends who never leave the house without using some kind of GPS.

I’ve never really needed it. But I do like to keep up just in case I do need something one day. This article from Cnet talks about MapQuest and free voice prompts for route guidance.

In the online maps space, Google may draw more attention, but MapQuest, online years earlier, has continued to improve its service. And among iPhone apps, MapQuest can boast a crucial feature over Google Maps, free turn-by-turn navigation with voice prompts.

What I’ve really started to use in the past year is Foursquare.com. A friend got me into it as a social network and I’ve been using it to build points, get discounts at restaurants, and even build a photo album.

This past July 4th Tony and I had to drive to North Jersey to visit friends. On the way home we took back roads to avoid traffic on Route 80 and wound up lost in a part of New Jersey neither of us knew. So I started tracking where we were on foursquare and loved it. Whenever I checked into a place, our destination showed up on the foursquare map with a blue pin and it lead us right out of New Jersey, into PA, and onto roads with which we were familiar.

When I signed on to foursquare last year I didn’t think I’d be using it as anything other than a different type of social media. But the more I do use it the more I find I like it better than other GPS systems. And, while I’m using it, I’m getting points in addition.

The only problem I’ve had with foursquare so far is that I can’t remove some people from my friend list no matter how hard I try. Two guys from different parts of the country either closed their accounts or dropped off and they left these horrible photos that I have to look at every time I check in. One is a photo of an empty dinner plate, with remnants of what the guy had for dinner that look like little green boogers. The other is this creepy guy in bed holding a teddy bear. Both are creepy big time; both I would love to remove. And I can’t figure out a way to do that.

Through foursquare I’m also able to keep up with good friends in Palm Springs I used to see all the time. And I enjoy that. I miss them and I like being connected to them. It’s a comforting feeling. I also like seeing some of my other social media friends, like Mary G., down in Louisiana, and Ryan M. right here in New Hope. It’s a great example of how small the world really is.

Though it didn’t influence me to join foursquare, I also hear that Ashton Kutcher is an investor.

If you are so inclinded to join foursquare you can follow me @Ryan Field. If you’re a FB friend, you can check out my check-ins on foursquare because I’m linked. I can’t promise the most interesting check-ins (at least not as interesting as Ashton Kutcher’s, I’m sure…but you never know.

What’s Foursquare?


I joined another social network about a month ago called Foursquare, thanks to a facebook friend I met about a year ago. Incidentally, this facebook friend lives about three miles away from me. We’re not just blowing smoke up each others butts through cyberspace. Had it not been for facebook, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know this guy at all.

Here’s a web address to Foursquare, https://foursquare.com/, so you can see what it’s all about (for some reason the link won’t work). I think you can either use an iPhone or an Android to do this. After fifteen years of having the same cell phone plan, and basically the same cell phones which I upgraded every two years when I signed a new contract, I decided to switch to an iPhone and I’m starting to really enjoy it.

From what I’ve gathered so far, Foursquare is a social network about locations, linking people together all over the world. I’m just starting out and I don’t have as many friends as other people on Foursquare. But I saw that one of my friends is my good blogging buddy, Mary Gersham, and a few other people I’ve known online for a while. And, just to keep it real, I’ve met other local people in my area just through Foursquare. One of them is a really nice guy who owns furniture business near Princeton, NJ, which isn’t far from where I live. He’s also a very hot guy, too. But that’s another story for another post.

Now, if your only goal with social media is to promote yourself as an author…or as anything else…I’m not sure Foursquare is the right social network for you. But then again, if you’re only using social media to promote yourself, you’re missing the entire point of social media and you probably shouldn’t be there in the first place. The sad fact is that while people might want to get to know you as a person on social media, they couldn’t care less about the book you wrote until they get to know you. This is huge mistake I’ve seen authors do since social media started getting popular. And there’s nothing more annoying than receiving a private message or a blunt announcement that says something to the effect of “Read my book, etc…” The first thing I do when I see these things is delete. I’m sure others do the same thing, too.

But Foursquare seems to be fun. You can “check in” to destinations wherever you are. I stopped at my local Farm Market last Sunday, Maximucks, which is located, literally, in the middle of nowhere, and I was able to check in there. The owners were stunned they were even on Foursquare. You can also become “mayor” if you check in often enough. I think you can go even higher than that. You receive points, and information about dining out. And if you travel a lot, I would imagine it can come in handy in more ways than one.

I’ll post more about it as I learn more about it. Right now I’m still at that stage where I’m learning the basics and making a few mistakes. I have “badges” and I’m not sure how to use them. But you can follow me there with my name, Ryan Field.