Foursquare Gowalla and Yelp Oh’My

I’ve become obsessed with location based applications for my iPhone. The concept is easy to understand, where ever you go no matter where, click a few keys on your mobile phone and let the world know where you are. The little geo-apps can connect with your other popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and can even identify friends from these other services that are using the same location based apps as you. Yelp was my first introduction to using an application to share my whereabouts with my friends. Though I rarely used it because of the buggy interface, I got the idea and moved on to bigger and better things.

Foursquare caught my attention a year ago when most of my network that attended SXSW started updating their profiles with their locations all over Austin. It started spreading like a firebug and next thing I knew I was seeing updates from people all over the US sending out digital beacons of their place in the world. For the most part the East Bay was untouched territory, most of the locations available in Foursquare here in and around San Francisco which has a higher concentration of people. Little by little I started seeing stores, restaurants and even vacant lots becoming options for me to check into.

As I travel around, I check into airports, hotels and where ever else I go and I earn little badges and become the virtual “Mayor” of locations. I guess it’s cute and a little ridiculous but I still find myself trying to earn more of them and feeling a sharp pain when I get notified that someone took my title as Mayor from my local Starbucks. […]