Geolocation what is it and is it the future? #foursquare #fbplaces #gowalla

Geolocation what is it and is it the future? #foursquare #fbplaces #gowalla

Geolocation predominantly works when mobile, you don’t take your laptop but you take your smart phone, simply put applications like foursquare or Gowalla and facebook check in highlight where you are , or things are – more usually it covers both.

How does it work?

So how does it work, well with geolocation you pretty much are showing off where you are and even who else is there with you.  Some users are addicted and check in pretty much everywhere, compared to someone like myself who is far more selective and just checks when I feel it to be right.

Of course the downside to geolocation is that you expose your location to everyone on the internet, so if you check in at your house EVERYONE knows where you live.

Why check in?

You get a badge, yes really a virtual badge – I at the moment am Mayor of 9 location (woop woop), and yes it does get a little boring after a while.  So what is in it for the user, what do they get out of it?  Some companies offer incentives for the user who is the Mayor (the most check in’s) or even just check and you get x.

The problem i think is that geolocation hasn’t reached a mass audience yet! Foursquare, which is the largest geolocation network at the moment, has about 10 million users (source 4sq)compared to Facebook’s 750 million. It’s only 1.3% of total users Facebook currently has.

So as a Charity how can you take advantage of this service and the user base, can you yet? Well firstly with the numbers there is no direct way to get a lot out so for me this gives the best reason – you can innovate, give you volunteers and supporters who are active users something great to talk about – if you give them this, they will spread your message like wildfire.

Foursquare is growing steadily and with the launch last years of facebook places opening geolocation to the massive facebook user base this surely must have great potential?

Have you tried geolocation for your charity? are you on foursquare or have you checked in on facebook? we’d love to hear your thoughts….


Alistair Gleave has been in and around the Internet since 1999 working with the likes of Devon Air Ambulance and Big Brother 2 to name but a few.  He owns Inbound Marketing Consultancy GleaveMedia and is regularly invited to talk on all things internet to audiences large and small (see more here).

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