Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Facebook vs. Housework? Foursquare on the Ropes?

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 by No comments yet

#VT – Not everyone is rosy about all social media.  First, from Information Week

A recent study from The University of Canterbury at New Zealand shows… What was a bit surprising was how Facebook fared: It placed 29th out of 30 daily behaviors that study participants were asked to rank. In fact, it would seem, the only thing that makes people happy less than Facebook is recovering from illness. Facebook ranked 28th in engagement and 24th in pleasure. It ranked dead last in meaning…

Ranking higher than Facebook on the happiness, meaning and engagement meter were housework, studying, and paid work… I’m not a huge housework fan, but when it comes to happiness, meaning and engagement, I get more out of housework than I get from Facebook. After I clean the kitchen, for example, I am happy with how nice it looks. There’s meaning in what I did: My family has clean dishes and a clean workspace. We don’t worry about food poisoning… I think the point is that activities with purpose give us happiness, meaning and a sense of engagement — and Facebook all too often seems to serve none of these areas. That should worry businesses who hope to use Facebook to their benefit.
 And from Forbes
Here’s a prediction: Foursquare will be the next highly-funded casualty in the social media sphere… Rather than be disruptive, Foursquare is being dysfunctional. The company is trying desperately to follow industry leaders instead of leading an industry. They are stuck in social media no man’s land.

Foursquare was founded in 2009 as a local “check-in” service. To-date, the company has raised more than $70 million (the last funding valued the company at $600 million). In 2010, FacebookGoogle and Yelp added their own version of Foursquare’s most compelling feature ““ the check-in. This summer, after getting crushed for two years by competitors, Foursquare decided to finally de-emphasize check-in and the game it had created around becoming “mayor” of a location. Only geeks with dreams of being the Michael Bloomberg of the Soho Starbucks were playing…

Don’t get me wrong; checking in is useful on a user’s primary social platform if they don’t mind the privacy implications. Many people want to let friends know where they are or brag about being at a cool event. But like the GPS was to TomTom, the “check-in” is to Foursquare. It was their one trick. Satellite navigation went into both cars and phones ““ bruising TomTom. Similarly the check-in was built into Facebook, Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor. Will it be the death of Foursquare’s pony? By the time Foursquare realized they were becoming irrelevant, it was too late. I estimate that the company has cash for 12 more months of operation with its current 150 employees. There may still be time for a fix.

Posted in: Facebook, Front Porch Forum, Knight Foundation, Local Online, Neighborhood, Social Media, Start ups

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