Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Van Halen '5150'
Yeah, I know. I said that I would update this joker a little more frequently. So just go right ahead and lump that unintentional lie onto the house sized heap of non-truths.
I get lazy folks. That’s the honest word.
I suppose writing can be a lot like exercising. If you get out of the habit it gets easier to ignore… Like MTV’s Tom Green.
A computer game also has me under its spell. I can be little obsessive with games that allow me to handle God-like reigns.
I don’t have any other excuses. There’s plenty of time for me to write during the day. And believe it or not, I still enjoy it when I get rolling on the old Word program. But for some reason, it takes the use of a crowbar for me to even crack open my laptop to start writing.
Anyways, I’m writing and I’ve got a beef that needs to be cooked…
I’m getting a little upset with my favorite phone app, Foursquare. Actually, I’m more aggravated with the staff there at Foursquare.
Let me back up a little for the uninitiated…
Foursquare is a smart phone application that uses your GPS to locate what location or venue you’re physically at. You then “check in” to that venue. The 4sq user that checks in to a particular venue the most becomes the “Mayor” there. There are points given out for check ins. There are even badges given out for specific locations, venue categories, or a combination of venues.
Some play along with friends for Mayorships. Some play for meaningless points with their friends. And like me, some are just plain out badge whores.
We want all them stinking badges!
I go to great lengths to secure every badge that is released through the Foursquare application. I want them all. I want the city specific badges. I need all the expertise badges that can be unlocked to the 10th level. I even go after the MLS Soccer badges and I despise any form of soccer.
Now there are a few that fall between the cracks. When I can’t get those badges it’s usually due to shameless self-promotion. After all, it is a social media application. I used it to promote the afternoon radio show that I was a part of and I still use it to promote the weekly pop culture podcast that I’m on, The Less Desirables. Usually, it’s just me cracking wise wherever I check in trying to entertain a few of my 4sq buddies.
Foursquare relies on its user to police venues. If we see a duplicate, we report as such and a “SuperUser” will merge the multiple venues into one. They are also supposed to delete venues that are reported as “doesn’t exist”. Homes and offices are off limits when it comes to deletion.
Multiple venues are made by one of two types of users. The first would be the user that goes to check in and that venue isn’t showing for some reason. So what do they do?
Instead of searching for that particular venue, they just create a new one all willy-nilly as if no one has even bothered to create it since Foursquare started up in 2009. Adding new venues can be a rare activity with established places unless you’re in rural areas. Think of it as if you’re a 50 year old man and you start dating a 45 year old woman. To think that you’re plowing through new sexual lands that have been untouched and unspoiled would be very short-sighted. It’s the same for creating a new venue that has been around for more than 3 years.
Just do a search, people.
The other reason for multiple venues involves 4sq users desperate to be the Mayor of their favorite venues. Instead of going to the trouble of having a friendly Mayoral competition, they just decide to make a duplicate of the same venue. And sometimes, they’ll make that duplicate venue from their couches (map pin usually gives that away) for a place that is located miles away.
I frequently report the same venues day after day as duplicates. Nothing is ever done. It seems that 4sq no longer considers integrity as part of their application.
Example: For months I’ve been reporting “King YMCA” as non-existent and have requested each time that it should be merged with “Stokes Family YMCA”. Nothing has ever been done. Both of them will still show up whenever I’m in that vicinity.
So I’ve gotten to the point where I leave “tips” on those duplicates. I left a little tip on the King YMCA venue… “This place doesn’t exist. Check in at Stokes Family YMCA.”
My line of thinking has the squeaky wheel eventually getting some grease.
Some of my 4sq friends have even quit using the app because of Foursquare’s newly acquired lackadaisical attitude towards merges and outright made up venues for things like “Putting on Make-Up”, “Paying Bills”, or “Dropping A Deuce”.
Not only are these types of venues dumb because it’s an activity usually shouted in the check in… They’re also a pain in the ass when you go to check in to a legitimate venue. Because when you check in, it will show you a list of nearby venues and you check in at the one you’re located at. The hurt to the derriere is when you have to weed through a dozen of those stupid made up venues like “In The Shower” or every single aisle at a family hardware store to find the one you're at.
I understand that 4sq wants to make money. I get that. But if you’ve got an army of non-paid “SuperUsers” out there cleaning up the landscape to keep the app’s integrity, why ignore it?
I personally don’t get it and I shouldn’t really care. But I do. If you’re going to do something, I believe that it should be done right.