One of the assignments for this week in my Social Media Theory & Practice class was to experiment with a location-based checkin service/app. I choose FourSquare. I had previously used Facebook’s checkin since I already had a Facebook app, but I did not use it regularly. I signed up for FourSquare, and it automatically let me know via my phone contacts who else I knew that used FourSquare, so I sent them all an invite. I got 4 friend responses. I began checking in regularly when I got to work at the Roaden University Center at Tennessee Tech University. I also checked into my hometown of Baxter — I actually received a badge and became Mayor of Baxter on FourSquare for my number/frequency of checkins (and I admit, it was an ego-boost even if it was a virtual badge). I tried to remember to checkin at businesses throughout the week, but to be honest, it was a burdensome to try to remember to checkin. Juggling 3 young children when we go to a restaurant or shopping, I am doing good to remember my purse and wallet, let alone checkin on my phone. I guess it could have been a better experience if more of my phone contacts had responded back to be friends, or if there were a part of the app that could show me categories of events going on throughout the week (for me, I would be looking for kid-centric events).
With that being said from my personal perspective, I do think these kind of apps would be very useful in promoting the university where I work. I even think we could do internal promotions for faculty/staff/students on building checkins, especially if they would make mention of an event going on — and give them some TTU swag. I also think these would be useful for our recruiters when they are visiting high schools — another way to make a connection by checking in when they get to the high school or recruitment fair. Lots of possibilities here, just need more bodies to implement a strategy for them.