Avoid looking like a dickhead on Foursquare, Gowalla

With any new social media tool comes new social media users – and stuff ups!

Location-based (Geo-location) social media applications like Foursquare and Gowalla are starting to become mainstream tools for everyday users. You need to understand the products and act ‘appropriately’ to avoid looking like a dickhead.

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Thats what i think sometimes when looking at Foursquare and Gowalla.

The sole purpose of these devices is to goto a physical location, get out your mobile phone, and ‘check-in’. Basically saying to the world ‘I am here!’

What is the point? Besides telling your friends, not much. Oh you could earn a discount at a Cafe. + you may look like a cool early tech adopter! mm 🙂

Marketers are catching on and using the product to advertise their businesses so that’s good for them.

5 rules to follow when using Geo-location apps (actually follow them ok!):

1. We know you goto work every day – good on you, well done. Don’t check in every time you step in the front door at work.

2. Don’t check-in if you are just getting some milk and the supermarket next door, or going to McDonalds for a Big Mac – there isnt really anything special in that, sorry. Especially make sure silly check-ins like this are not broadcasted to Twitter and Facebook.

3. Don’t make a check-in for your home or friends home, unless you want someone to get burgled. You can ask Foursquare support to remove the location if you have already done so.

4. If you are creating a new venue, make sure you spell it right – please.

5. Don’t clutter up the app – don’t create check-in locations for every room of your building. Noone needs to know who the mayor of the male and female bathroom is!

Now being honest, I have committed all these 5 sins. Time to take some of my own advice.

David Correll : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and Social Media Management. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at