Check-in to my life: its a great place to be! (Location based networking in the worldview of Social Media)

Social Media it is then! I don’t really know if it is my ‘Engineer mind’ or my severe empathy for fellow humans but I seem to make sense and even enjoy the chaos that is ‘Social Media’. The constantly changing, constantly evolving synaptic communication that so confuses most people is my playground. There are games for everyone! Its Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory with unlimited possibilities and yet there is no Willy Wonka (unless you consider Zuckerberg to be one). People like me are the Oompa Loompas and the larger mass of people who are lost chatting, posting, tagging and browsing are the children in this theme park.

Do you like travelling? Or like me are you compelled to travel like a nomad? Do you like clicking pictures while enjoying the scenery through the window? Are you too often found munching wafers at airports, train stations or midway stops? Do you use Google maps to see where you are in the ‘middle of nowhere’? Do you check-in to places using Foursquare or Facebook? And what do we get out of it anyway? Maybe not today, but I really don’t see a reason as to why not! While the world was engrossed in ‘Pinterest‘ related discussion no one seemed to be talking about the importance of Location based social networks. While monitoring agencies were piling up stats about traffic referral from Pinterest, a very few were giving importance to the figures referring to rise of smart phones and increase in number of check-ins all around the world. But I am not here to talk about that.

I feel location based networking might have two basic flaws! Since it depends on activities expected from people when they are mostly out doors, users might quite easily be distracted to forget checking-in with such regularity. Hence it is important to deliver some genuine value to keep location based networking from passing away as a fad! The second issue is of privacy. From some personal as well as not so personal experiences I have observed that it can be used to track the movements or stalk the users. Well this can be avoided by not adding potential stalkers or your psychotic ex-girlfriend who might come to know where you chill out mostly these days!

Although seriously! What do I get out of these check-ins and adding venues? Ok I am the Mayor now but hey who cares? Where are the marketers? Why aren’t they offering free coffees or movie tickets every time I check-in to a mall? I understand, in a country like India its too obscure to do such promotions but what about the urban partygoers? I see great TG in them! Why not waive off the ‘cover-charge’ for the Mayor and his friends? Not only that doesn’t cost much, its a great way to promote your business and keep track of footfalls. There is a need to innovate in case the potential of location based networking is to be truly tapped. As for me, I am traveling again, checking-in to new places and I don’t even want to be the ‘Mayor’ of your neighbourhood. Let’s just be friends and share great ideas where ever we may be…

And So… Social Media it is then!


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