Once upon a time, a long time ago (January 2010 to be precise), there were two little Adelaide Foursquare users.
Their names were Michelle Prak and Tom Williamson.
These Adelaide dwellers joined Foursquare so early there wasn’t even an ‘Adelaide’ listed on the site. (So Michelle pretended to be a Melbourne dweller). There were no local friends and things felt quite lonely.
But I think it’s safe to say that the two of us, as social media consultants, were excited about testing out this new location-based tool, which was receiving a lot of buzz in the US. For my early thoughts, see the Foursquare blogpost I wrote in January 2009
Since then, I’ve been a daily Foursquare user. I’ve gained plenty of virtual badges, Foursquare friends, and I’ve won and lost Mayorships. I initiated Adelaide’s first Foursquare Swarm and had fun seeing some of my best social media friends come together.
For more than a year, every time I visit a café or restaurant or shopping centre or bar .. I’ve taken my iPhone out of my handbag and dutifully ‘checked in’. This has become part of being Prakky.
And for what?
All this time, I’ve been waiting for Adelaide businesses to come on board. And aside from Tom’s drinks offers via The Hwy, I’ve gained no recognition from the businesses I’ve patronised.
What’s sustained my interest in Foursquare? A little bit of self branding. A little bit of virtual badge fun and competitive fun when it comes to Mayorships. And, as a social media consultant, I felt an obligation to embed myself in Foursquare for the long term.
But enough’s enough.
De Luca’s closure should have rung the warning bells.
De Luca’s coffee shop was one Mayorship that was dear to me. During the working week, I bought a coffee-a-day from De Luca’s, a fledging new café, where I was on a first name basis with staff, where I could meet clients, where I knew the coffee tasted great.
Tussling over the De Luca’s Foursquare Mayorship with other CBD workers was fun. I held quiet hopes that one day De Luca’s would recognise social media tools like Foursquare, and that they’d hail the Mayor and offer me the occasional free coffee. Not too much to ask, no?
And then, one day I walked into De Luca’s for my daily latte – and the staff announced they were closing down. (Despite me checking in every day. It didn’t make an impact on their business one iota).
So .. deep breath. While it’s going to be hard for me, I’m going to say goodbye to Foursquare for a little while. I won’t delete my account. I won’t slam the door. But I will stop checking in.
And maybe one day, if Adelaide businesses start offering Foursquare incentives, or I see my friends using Foursquare to find each other through developments like this … Prakky might come back.