Beyond Check-in Spamming: Useful Ideas for Location-Based Apps
Josh Williams of Gowalla said checking in is the gateway activity of location-based applications. In my last post, I raised the question,”Gateway to what?” Here are some ideas I have to make these programs more useful:
* Create local Gowalla trips of state parks, art museums, historical sites, etc.
* When you create a spot in Gowalla, go back to the website later and add a detailed description including dates, history, and other information.
* Add at least one tip for every place you visit in Foursquare even if it’s bad. Enough bad reviews of the lasagna at an Italian place, and they just might take steps to improve it.
* Add a to-do for each of the places you normally visit in Foursquare. When you do this, you will remind yourself to try something different the next time you visit.
* Don’t just road munch and go after icons in Waze. Go to their website and edit roads, post to the forums, and add location names. You will be helping your community by updating the information around them.
* If you use Traveler’s Quest, don’t just dig or bury treasures in the comfort of your car. Walk to out of the way locations and bury the items.
* Take your kids with you when you use any of the geocaching applications. This is a great way to spend time with family and get outdoors to explore.
There are several other applications like MyTown, BrightKite, and Flook that I think could contribute to the value of society. With it’s rapidly growing user base, MyTown could turn it’s real estate game into something really big.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my ideas and I hope we can start to utilize these crowdsourced technologies for the benefit of all and not just for the egos of the players.