Why I FourSquare – Personal Big Data and Serendipity!

FourSquare I’ve been asked more than once, even by some of my more social media savvy Facebook friends why I use Foursquare. “What’s the point?!” they say.

Well other than the more obvious benefits which include receiving the occasional promotional discounts I also occasionally do it as part of my personal Big Data diligence. At some point, a couple of years from now (probably sooner) I believe we’ll all have tremendous amounts of personal big data, and those of us who have more of it will be able to do more interesting analysis and comparisons. As our software ( thanks to text analytics), can more easily handle this unstructured data and connect it to other relevant information I believe it may well enrich not just my ability to tap into memories, but even help with more advanced analysis related to my health and wellbeing.

But that’s not all, it can also be an integral part of networking and can provide that serendipitous aspect that is missing from most of the mainstream social media networks.

Take this past week for instance when I made an impromptu trip to Toronto Canada. Prior to arriving on Friday I posted a question to my Facebook friends about recommendations for restaurants etc. In a matter of minutes I had several suggestions from Canadian friends and others who had been to the city.

On Saturday my first restaurant choice was totally booked, and so I checked both Yelp and FourSquare for nearby options. After finding a suitable sushi place, and having enjoyed a great meal, I realized I hadn’t checked in and so I did. Within less than 5 minutes I saw familiar face I hadn’t seen in quite some time. The President of the Canadian Marketing Research Association (MRIA) had been walking by the restaurant, saw my check-in and came in to say hello. I invited her to join us and we shared a beer and some Sake, while catching up on everything from research industry gossip to US-Canadian politics. She also gave me some great tips on what to do the next day. I always find travel more rewarding when you can get the local insights into life, including important do’s and don’ts.

Believe it or not, this has happened to me more than once - and that’s why I use FourSquare.

Thanks Sandy! ;)




[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a patented Next Generation approach to text analytics known as OdinText. For more information and to inquire about software licensing visit OdinText INFO Request.]