Connecting Your Virtual World With The “Flesh” World

By Jack Humphrey | Tech Corner

May 11
Image representing Foursquare as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

There has been slow adoption of geo-location social application usage in our areacompared to larger metro areas.

Not only are most local businesses apparently unaware of mobile apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, or Scvngr, locals aren’t using these kinds of apps in any numbers that would yet be meaningful to local businesses.mobile apps gowalla

Here’s why that should change:

  1. More and more people in Richmond and throughout Wayne County are carrying smart phones.mobile apps scvngr
  2. Seemingly few among them understand all the power that’s available to them.
  3. Connecting “what you’re doing” in the real world to your virtual one has many benefits.
  4. The perceived drawbacks, such as security and privacy, are more from a lack of understanding these apps than a real threat.
  5. And finally, I need more data from more community members to make these apps more interesting to use!

Did you know?

If you go to Buffalo Wild Wings and fire up Scvngr, “check in” and take a picture with your server, you can take $5 off your tab right on the spot?  The deals change, but there is much to be gained by consumers who use these apps with businesses that understand the benefits of using them as well.

With Foursquare, another app that encourages you to share your “finds” and whereabouts with your social network, I’m a lonely “mayor” of many local business establishments. If you’ve checked in more than anyone else, you become the mayor of the establishment and, in other parts of the country, the business rewards that loyalty with specials and freebies.  They proudly share that they are plugged-in and will even display the current mayor of a place on the wall or counter, encouraging competition for the top spot.

When you check in on Foursquare, indicating you’ve just arrived at the Centerville ball park to watch your son play Tball for instance, you want to see what others have said about the place.  Perhaps what to avoid or what’s good at the food stand, for instance.

There are real, useful applications for mobile social apps that benefit businesses and consumers.

If you are a local business owner, check out these apps and see what they can do for you once my mission to get more community members using them is successful:

  • Foursquare:  Gives you & your friends new ways to explore your city. Earn points & unlock badges for discovering new things.
  • Scvngr:  It’s a game all about going places, doing challenges and earning points.
  • Gowalla: Makes it easy to keep up with your friends and family. Connect with your favorite people from Facebook and Twitter then enjoy the places they go…

We’ll get there soon, or eventually…

One of the things that people gripe about in our small, rural part of America, is how “behind the times” we can be and how long it takes us to catch up to what bigger metro areas are doing.

It doesn’t have to be this way though.  We already have wildly better communication within our communities with websites like Go Wayne County, Facebook, and Twitter.  All that’s left for us to do with mobile apps and catching up to the rest of the country is a collective decision that we’re going to use them the next time we go somewhere.

So check out the links above and discover why people like myself enjoy the heck out of such apps.  And why we wish more local businesses would use them for rewards, points, and building a micro-community around their business with their best customers.

I’ll meet you on Foursquare!

About the Author

Editor of GoWayneCounty.com, CEO of BrickRoadMedia.com. Twitter: @jackhumphrey