I don’t know if mobile is the next big thing or already here, but adoption of geolocation in online tools is a must for mobile to achieve it’s full relevance. Since Foursquare just opened up in Little Rock, I’ve been playing with it via my iPhone this past week and although the number of users and number of places is limited with next to none participating businesses, I’m hooked.
A recent article in Time Magazine calls Foursquare’s gaming component it’s “secret sauce” letting you earn points, badges and become a “mayor” when checking-in at new places. The article says the key to user adoption is for businesses to start give aways to foursquare users who check-in often at their business– It’s like a frequent eater card, but works virtually. The only location in Little Rock that currently offers a foursquare special is the Capital Bar & Grill with every 10th check-in getting you a free dessert and the mayor receiving a free t-shirt.
I can’t wait until US Pizza starts giving away free pizza to users who have checked in ten times, but until then it’s fun to compare how many points (and check-ins) I can get to my friends. If you haven’t tried it, go ahead and sign-up and download your app to your phone (they make apps for iPhone, Palm, Blackberry and Android) or use the mobile interface and friend me.