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4Square: Thanks for making my wife mad.

March 3, 2011

4square

True Story: I am taking a class at a Southern Methodist University to polish up on financials and HR. Using four square, I checked into the business school. I use a manual check in process instead of the automated one. Out of the last four visits, I have checked in only three times. Well, who ever initially set up the foursquare location of the SMU business school also must have created a badge (I’m thinking erroneously) labeled “Sigma Chi Best Bar experience” awarded on three visits. Well, guess what? It was posted to my facebook profile. So my wife looks at my facebook profile that night and came to the conclusion that I have been lying to her about attending a class for the last four weeks and am sneaking off to a bar without her. (the post said it was my third visit) I’m lucky that she is awesome and believes me about the mix up, but not before an interesting night of questions.

So what is the take away? You can really screw with people using these services if you are evil. Imagine checking into anywhere and the first badge would post to your facebook or twitter account: “I’m a huge tool, everyone look at me” or something like that. I know there are checks in place to prevent such badges, but you get the idea. If this practice gets big enough, it would seriously devalue location-based apps like facebook places, gowalla, yelp, foursquare, etc…

I don’t know, but maybe a good start-up business idea is to create a location-based check-in service that serves out trash as jokes….. just a thought.

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