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Foursquare: Check-in at Harvard Yard

January 13, 2010

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I have expressed my concern about FourSquare in previous posts due to safety concerns stemming from lack of privacy.  However, Foursquare has recently partnered with Harvard to create a mini-version of the popular location game.

This will be a great way for students to get to know the campus when first arriving or for local hot-spots to gain more popularity.  I can see many more partnerships stemming from this deal, like Barclay’s Burger Shack offerings deals for those who post their locations.  This is a pretty neat way to connect the campus with the larger neighborhood of Cambridge.

It also reduces the risk of scariness from geo-location.  Presumably the users will be restricted to Harvard students/employees so the risk of randos is reduced.  Also, there are only so many places one could check-in, versus the infinite spots in a larger city, which makes the game a little more relevant (and fun).  I checked-in recently in Chicago and was the first to do so at a fairly popular location, which suggests that either there aren’t many users or they aren’t going to the same places as I am.  It makes the game a little less fun.  But on a college campus, the size issue is reduced.

I wish they would bring FourSquare to my campus, I’d like to know where my friends are and what they are doing.  There is a campus full of plugged-in users waiting.  Maybe if they get hooked while still in college, they will continue using the service while away on summer internships or post-graduation.

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