It might seem odd that someone who make a good portion of their living working with social media within the travel industry would have last checked in with Foursquare on the 23rd of August 2010 at their local train station. Foursquare is an excellent social media channel for travel … but as people seem to keep following my dormant account, I seem to keep answering the same question. The question is obviously “why aren’t you checking in on Foursquare?”
FourSquare and I had an on-again-off-again relationship. I initially saw a lot of potential for Foursquare in the travel industry, but personally badges do not drive me. Badges and titles are pointless, I am pretty good at discussing where I am without leaving a trail of check-in breadcrumbs. At some point I had to begin checking in during certain client projects, such as working with Bombardier Aerospace at the Farnborough International Airshow. After the Airshow I got in the habit of using Foursquare and used it more regularly, however my last few check-ins were removed and I ceased using it as a channel for myself. Let me explain why …
… I had joked for quite a while that Foursquare was the perfect stalker tool. While I did not encounter a stalker, I did encounter an unwanted visitor. One night, while at the Vagabond Inn next to San Francisco International Airport, there was a knock on my door. When I opened the door I encountered a person with a roll-aboard bag and a backpack asking me to help them deal with an airline and rescheduling their flight that evening.
I was stumped and asked the person why they were at my door. The answer I received was one that instantly caused me to turn off the location services of all my social media channels. This person was searching for help rescheduling flights on Twitter and happened on my Tweets to people that evening, they then found my Foursquare check-in from a hotel next to the airport. Rather than send me a Tweet, an email or even look up my (very easy to find) phone number for help, they hopped on a hotel shuttle and ended up at my door. I still have no idea how they got my room number, but the idea of someone showing up at my door rather than sending me a Tweet bothered me. I was bothered not only for my own safety, but that I have three kids. We don’t live in a cave, nor are we in witness protection, but the idea of someone showing up where I am and hunting me down to help them deal with an airline issue that could have been resolved at the counter or by tweeting an expert for assistance freaked me out … a lot.
I sent this person on their way, without helping them. I checked out of the hotel shortly there after, not tweeting a thing and sat in the airport all night waitng for my morning flight … having never used Foursquare again.
Does this happen often? I have no idea, but once was enough for me.
So, if you feel like following me on Foursquare, don’t, I never check in. If you have questions or need help, just find me on Twitter at @flyingwithfish or drop me an email, there is a link right here on the blog.