Foursquare is for fun people, not the fun-police

Being quite a fan of Foursquare, I found this Gawker article that labels me and a million other users as “annoying jackasses” very interesting and insightful. (And thanks to @OKDigitalMedia for highlighting it) Here are the insights I have gained:

Firstly – it’s made me realize that to write for Gawker and get hundreds of comments on an article, all you need to be able to do is rehash very, very old news; jump on a bandwagon; and shout some outspoken statements that others on the bandwagon will love to cheer lead.

Secondly I know that I could back up such articles with ill researched and incorrect statements (e.g. “Twitter, whose popularity was built on the back of celebs”). I’d love to see the statistics to support that one. Passengers on US Airways Flight 1549, eyewitnesses to the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Iranian election protesters, communities in Canada and Australia (including my own) that were hit by forest fires in recent years would certainly argue that point.

Thirdly, it’s highlighted to me just how many people seem to resent others having FUN. Yep – that word that is intrinsic to a happy existence. Show me a happy person that doesn’t have FUN and I’ll show you a Pope that isn’t Catholic.

For many – and that many will be millions by the end of the year, Foursquare hits social media’s magic equation of fun + simplicity + value = success.

If you don’t see fun, simplicity and value in Foursquare that’s fine – each to their own. Personally I see little value in watching NBA, MLB & NASCAR. But I see no reason to attack and abuse those that do. I ACCEPT these differences as part of the wonder that is human diversity and don’t feel the need to overpower those that enjoy them.

Here’s the bottom line: humans have needs and values that can be placed in nine categories : Security, Adventure, Freedom, Exchange, Power, Expansion, Acceptance, Community, Expression.

Each person will have cognitive behaviors that represent how they prioritize these. If, for example, you value Security, way higher than you value Adventure and Community then Foursquare will not be for you.

If you value Power way higher than you value Acceptance, then you will need to force that opinion on others.

If values of Adventure, Freedom, Acceptance & Community dominate and you refuse to take anything in life too seriously then you may well love Foursquare.

Here’s some supporting articles from my blog:

On Social Media’s magic equation

On Logic, Emotion, Needs and Wants

5 Responses to “Foursquare is for fun people, not the fun-police”

  1. James Kasel Jenkins April 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm // Reply

    Hey, Taylor! Jenkins here. More interesting then the blog was the comments after. Did you read them. I’d say 80% eeyore mentality. Your having fun deal is exactly that. I found your blogs on twitter. I didn’t even know about this square thing. I’ll probably check it out and take advantage of its traffic building features. Some people just blog to stir things up. I think we can chalk this complaint filled rant of Mr. Moylen as a chance to get over some childhood neglect he suffered from. Maybe he was grounded and his Commodore 64 was taken away.
    I think all this social media is to be encouraged. If I get more clients because I have synergies with other users then so be it. Hell, I’m talking to a Canadian right now and I’m in Destin Florida. By the way I told all the west coast snow birds to tell you hello.
    Rock on Richie!!


  2. Nick Wynja September 28, 2010 at 11:11 pm // Reply

    Great post. It’s tough to explain to people sometimes when they ask “Why do you use Foursquare?” This explains it really well.


    • Richard Taylor October 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm // Reply

      Thanks Nick. It’s going to be interesting to see where it goes. Judging by their recent server outages they’re growing faster than they can keep up. They don’t have a fail whale like Twitter though. Maybe their #fail animal could be a male donkey :-)


  3. Jess September 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm // Reply

    I love foursquare, and I love this font. Go you!


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