UPDATE - April 2010: Gowalla and Foursquare have both gone through soem GREAT updating which has brought Gowalla back into use for me along with Foursquare. Gowalla added two key features: a leader board and picture feature. Foursquare changed the layout to be much more pretty.
Okay, maybe not REALLY that big of a deal, but some of us have begun playing around with these two location-based social networking platforms and as I have talked with folks, it seems like some people are beginning to develop attachments to one more than another.
Then there are those that just think this location stuff is silly.
You register and find other friends using the service;
You physically travel somewhere, anywhere;
You "check-in" to that particular location;
Your friends are notified in a variety of ways: web, twitter, fb, etc.
You Collect pins, points, badges, etc.;
Repeat at your next location;
I have been using both over the past couple of months so thought I that I would go ahead and post some thoughts. In the end, how "good" these social networking platforms are depends greatly on personality and current patterns of social media usage.
3 THINGS FOURSQUARE AND GOWALLA HAVE IN COMMON
mobile app - Both are apps that use your phone's GPS to track your location. Both are on the iPhone and Android. Foursquare also has a Blackberry app.
Badges - Each gives "badges" as you achieve certain thresholds like number of visits, types of locations, etc.
Facebook and Twitter - You can decide where you post your location. Both allow for options to post on your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts or neither.
3 THINGS FOURSQUARE HAS OVER GOWALLA
Search - Foursquare lets you search for locations whereas Gowalla has no search option but rather uses a browsing option.
Points/Mayors - As you check-in you receive "points" that track how you are doing in relationship to your friends. These points are based on a city by city basis and reset each Sunday at midnight. Also, after a certain number of "check-in's" at a particular location, you may become the "mayor." These mayorships can be taken from you as other people check-in at the same location.
Tips - At each location, you can leave tips and advice for others who check in there later. Folks will leave tips on good eats, transportation issues, etc.
3 THINGS THAT GOWALLA HAS OVER FOURSQUARE
Items - As you go check-in at locations, occasionally you will find "items" that you can drop off and/or collect. Using these items you can become a founder and leave items for others to find later. Kind of like a virtual treasure hunt. Very fun.
Trips - There are set "trips" you can travel which includes a variety of city-based journeys: "Central Park Highlights," "Austin Bar Hop" etc.
Look - I like the feel of Gowalla both in its look and style. The Gowalla badges and items are WAY more pleasing to the eye.
FOURSQUARE BY A NOSE - If I had to chose - which I don't - I would choose to use Foursquare over Gowalla for two basic reasons: speed and community.
SPEED - The search function on Foursquare makes it much easier to find locations and check-in. I have often been unable to find my location on Gowalla even though I KNOW there should have been a location already set up. I am sure this has something to do with the rigidity of Gowalla's GPS location-setting. I have noticed that when I am somewhere that is big: mall, airport, etc Gowalla wants a more specific location whereas Foursquare lets you check-in to a more general area. I don't really want to spend a lot of time finding my location. Plus, if I happen to find a new location and have to add it to the system, Foursquare gives you bonus points whereas, Gowalla does not do anything extra for your time. Overall, Foursquare is easier to do what it is supposed to do, find a place and check-in.
COMMUNITY - While there is a friends feature on Gowalla, it does not compare to Foursquare. Both the Mayorship and points that Foursquare uses to track your movement are used to increase interaction between friends. Mayors steal from one another and friends are put in order by points and cities so I tend to follow the movements of friends. Basically, there is not competitive or comparative aspect to Gowalla which I enjoy. Now this might be intentional, but even so, I hardly ever interact with or check on friends on Gowalla.
In the end, if the point of these new social media platforms - besides advertising for restaurants, venues, etc. - is to actually be social, the speed and natural community interaction of Foursquare compels me to give the nod to the folks at Foursquare.
There you go, some musings on a non-essential but fun addition to your social media portfolio.
For those that are new to twitter, you can see some tips here, but if you are really going to get into all of this, you need to find some interesting folks. I have put together a few lists for those of you who would like stay connected to other Presbyterian type peeps.
First, you should follow these folks for general Presbyterian delights:
Presbyterian - Official PC(USA) Twitter Feed for all your PC(USA) needs.
DirofOp - Thomas Hay, Director of Operations, Office of the General Assembly for some insteresting "inside" info.
Second, here are a few lists of Presbyterian-flavored twitter peeps and orgs. These are generally folks who have self-identified "Presbyterian" over the past year. You can either follow the list and/or click on the "following" link on the link page and follow each person.
Was sitting next to some kind of parent meeting this morning at one of my "offices" and when they left, they just left their stuff on the table. Um . . . The funniest thing is that their conversation was about "greening" and improving playground culture at their local school. Nice.
AIM/YIM:brucereyeschow “Peace it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
“Peace it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Thank to all who have asked for this. This is a compilation of many different benedictions that I have heard throughout the years, no originality claimed, just some great opportunities to share it.
Go forth into the world
With compassion and justice in your heart
Give voice to the silent
Give strength to the weak
See one another
Hear one another
Care for one another
And love one another
It's all that easy
And it's all that hard
Now may the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ
The love of God
And the power of the Holy Spirit
Be with us all, now and forever more