As you may or may not know I love the social media platform Foursquare. Maybe it goes back to my boy scout days that triggers excitement when I earn a new badge. Unfortunately one of the down sides to living in a small community is that Foursquare has very limited application as the amount of users is minimal and everyone already knows everyone. However I think i have thought up a new use that may get a rural following....
For those of you out there who do not know what Foursquare is it is a geo locational social networking site that allows users to "check in" and unlock badges to gain points in the communities they live in. Now in rural Alberta this game gets a little old once you realize that you can pretty much be the mayor of everything in town with very little effort and the odds of finding someone else checked in to the same establishment as you is like finding a needle in a hay stack. Actually it becomes more of a game just seeing if anyone has ever "checked in" anywhere in town.
However I have been thinking of ways to make Foursquare more interesting in rural communities and the one that comes to mind is a farming application. That's right I said farming, here is what I envision. Due to the long hours minimal social contact involved with harvest, seeding and spraying. I think that users should be able to check into their combine / tractors each day at the different fields they are working in. Of course it would be necessary to add the field nickname along with thel legal land description allowing you to learn the fields names that boarder yours.
Why would this be fun, well for starters there could be badges for consecutive days in the field, longest day badges, and i am sure someone way smarter than me could figure out a way to check into a neighbors field when giving a helping hand even a "helpful hand" badge. The really cool aspect of this would be if there was an overhead map of your area that showed who checked in where each day everyone could see each others progress. Now for those of you not familiar with the farm lifestyle this is why farmers will drive to town to get the mail after working a 20 hour day as they really want to know who got what done all the time.
Will this ever become a reality probably not as the number of farm users would be too small to devote man hours at the Foursquare however it never hurts to think out loud. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be hopping into the cab of my John Deere and would love to earn some new badges while driving in circles for endless hours on end!
The following response was sent from Joel Cox with Get Satisfaction the next morning after my post! :) Thanks Joel
Most of the things you mention is already possible! You could make a venue for each field (not sure if these are legitimate though according to the current description) and add yourself as the manager of the field. The only thing that's missing is the badge.
I've no idea how big foursquare's farming user base is, but I'm afraid that the team is currently busy solving more mainstream problems opposed to these niche markets.