You may have heard the recent hullabaloo (love that word) about Please Rob Me. If not, get this: the site gathers check-ins from Foursquare and Twitter that blatantly show you are not home and your house is open and ready for robbing.
Not so much. IF YOU PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!
I loved this post from Waxy showing hysteria in 1977 and again in 1983. Location-based information is (again) coming of age, and we are freaking out (again) because we don’t know what to do with it. Just like newspapers and phones before the internet.
I have been percolating a post of this nature for a long time now. Because, as soon as I hit send, the information will change, seeing as the landscape is shifting daily. And, as my friend Dave Taylor mentioned last week at the Metzger Social Media Breakfast, it’s usually not a good idea to tell anyone to do, or not to do anything. (Heh, like that’s ever stopped me). His point was that we should just understand the ramifications of our actions.
And he’s right.
But WHY would anyone check in on Foursquare at their house?
Granted, we are still figuring out the POINT of location-based services right now, just like we worked through the kinks on Twitter for the past few years, but in general, at least for me – the point is to find my friends. (OK, and to win points.)
Example: Until my friend Terry checked in at the Chipotle near my office, we had no idea that we worked within a mile of each other. Just had lunch together today. Something that would not have ever happened had we not been using Foursquare and Brightkite. Awesome.
Here’s the thing. I *know* Terry. I know his wife. We talk to each other on Twitter, Facebook and via email. THAT is why he is my friend on Foursquare. I am persnickety about who I let into Foursquare and Brightkite. No offense. But sorry. If I don’t know you in other social media avenues or (*GASP!*) in real life, you will be ignored.
But I didn’t come to this conclusion right away. I had to think about it, talk to people (Bryan, James, Jeremy, Brian, Tara, Andrew to name a few), and come to *MY* conclusion about how *I* wanted to do things. If I want to be an early adopter, I need to jump in and try things out, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t think about what I am doing.
Which means this: Do not check in at your house. Your kids’ school. When you are alone. When you don’t want to talk to anyone. When you look like poop.
Think about what you are doing. And then do it.